Create a Memorial Garden

When my mother passed away, my father created a beautiful memorial garden for her.

A memorial garden is a tribute to someone who has died, which offers a place for members of the family or friends to remember and also to heal. It does not have to be large or extravagant, but it can include some of the flowers and items the loved one enjoyed during their life.

Little figures my mother loved.
Little figures my mother loved.
Bench my father made out of a log.
Bench my father made out of a log.
Glass ball I had given my parents from the South Pacific
Glass ball I had given my parents from the South Pacific
Climbing vines
Climbing vines
Pretty pansies
Pretty pansies
Grapes on the fence make a beautiful backdrop for flowers.
Grapes on the fence make a beautiful backdrop for flowers.

Honor them with flowers they loved or that have special meaning

If you want to make a memorial garden, choose flowers and plants that you know the person you are honoring enjoyed. Did they love pansies, tulips, daffodils, daisies, or geraniums?

Consider the person's favorite colors when choosing the flowers you use in the garden. Also, plants that have specific meanings, such as rosemary (remembrance), forget-me-nots (memories), yellow tulips (friendship), poppies (rest or eternal sleep) or pink carnations (I'll never forget you).

A memorial for a young child or baby could include white lilies (purity) or daisies (innocence), baby's breath (gypsophila) or Sweet Dreams coreopsis rosea (small roses).

If the deceased is a spouse,rosesare very appropriate.

If you decide to plant a tree as a memorial, plant an oak (strength) or yew (immortality). Both of these trees can grow quite large, so make sure there is enough space for them to grow throughout the years.

Consider their personality

Small figurines, ceramic animals or stones carved with appropriate sayings can be place strategically around the garden. Shrubs, trees, vines, and flowers can all be used to decorate the available space.

You could include a small pond or birdbath. If the person had a great sense of humor, you could also put in a small whimsical statue.

Memorial Flowers

For a veteran or war hero, you could plant a red, white and blue garden. This could include daylilies, red poppies, white phlox and peonies, and blue Siberian irises or blue Jacob's ladder (polemonium). Not too many flowers are true blue, so you may need to use a dark purple variety of delphiniums or campanulas.

Other appropriate plants for a patriot would be a 'Peace' rose, 'Freedom" alstroemeria, "Patriot' hosta, 'Over in Gloryland' Siberian iris.

Other popular flower choices for memorials could include a 'gentle shepherd' daylily, 'guardian angel' hosta, or 'remember me' hosta.

Planning your garden

Consider the rules of proportion when you plan your garden. Plants that grow taller need to be in back with the smaller ones in front. Of course, remember that it is the fact that the garden was planted from the heart that makes it a memorial garden. Do not fuss too much about the rules or design. Do what is most meaningful for you and your loved one.

A Place to ponder

It would be good to include a bench for yourself and visitors to sit on and enjoy the garden. Climbing vines such as honeysuckles and ivies can create a secluded spot for remembering and contemplation.

Small spaces

Even if you live in an apartment, or do not have room for a garden, you can still create a memorial by tying a colorful ribbon around a pot of rosemary and placing it on your deck or windowsill. Remember that when winter comes, you may need to move some of your plants indoors.

Larger spaces

The plants you choose to include in the garden need to do well in the soil, sun or shade and other conditions where you have decided to create your memorial garden.Consider the amount of water that is available also.

Helping and healing

Consider having other family members or friends help you to make the memorial garden. This can help all concerned to heal as they are involved in the planning, planting and caring for the garden.


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Comments 27 comments

elayne001 profile image

elayne001 5 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

So sorry to hear about Duke. A memorial garden would help you heal and be a great place to think about him. Thanks for your comments martin.


martin devine 5 years ago

I think this is a great idea! I haven't lost a member of the family, thank goodness, but I did lose my running partner and forever passenger, Duke. He was my german shephard, 13 years old and died of cancer. I've been wondering how to commemorate his life and have decided on a pet keepsake http://www.jewelrykeepsakes.com/sterling-silver-pa... and I think I'll do a small memorial garden as well. He used to lay in the shade in the backyard and watch me mow and do yard work and it would be the ideal spot for a small garden in his memory. I wouldn't have ever dreamed I would miss him as much as I do so hopefully this will help.


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

Thank you pmccray. Sorry about your brother. That must have been difficult.


pmccray profile image

pmccray 6 years ago from Utah

What a unique idea to remember a loved one. My brother passed away at my home 2 years ago this November and this would be a beautiful tribute to him. Voted up, shared, bookmarked, and marked useful,awesome and beautiful.


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

I am glad you were inspired by my hub Galaxy 59. I am sure it will be a beautiful place of tribute to your parents.


GALAXY 59 profile image

GALAXY 59 6 years ago from United Kingdom

What a wonderful idea. When my parents died they were both cremated and their ashes scattered at the crematorium, which means that the family have nowhere personal to go to lay flowers or simply sit and remember them. I still have quite a few things of theirs around and making a memorial garden in a quite spot at my house is such a good idea I don't know why I have never thought about doing it before. Thank you for giving me inspiration.


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

Thanks Hello, hello - glad you liked it. Thanks for commenting.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

You gave there a wonderful idea. Thank you.


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

So rightly put dallas93444. Couldn't have said it better.


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Great idea... The "life force" goes on...


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

Thanks Granny's House - yes, my Dad is very talented in many ways. You can read more about him on a hub I made specifically about him if you are interested.

@klarawieck - that is great that you planted zinnias for a memorial garden. I am sure it is gorgeous and would love to see a picture. Thanks for visiting and commenting.


klarawieck 6 years ago

I did a memorial garden for my husband's grandmother who died recently. I planted Zinnias from seed and now the garden is absolutely beautiful. They are reseeding themselves.

Thanks for this beautiful article.


Granny's House profile image

Granny's House 6 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

Loed this hub. Great ideas. Your father is talented!The garden is beautiful


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

Glad that you were inspired by my hub. My father's garden is very peaceful and comforting. Thanks Diane for your comments.


Diane Inside profile image

Diane Inside 6 years ago

Hey elayne, what a sweet idea, and very consoling for the family. It is so important to remember our loved ones, and what better way than a small memorial garden. It would be like keeping them apart of the home. Almost feel like their spirit is still there with you. Very sweet.


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

Thanks Zakmoonbeam for commenting. I am sure it will be a beautiful peaceful place eventually.

Glad you liked it MartieCoetser. I'm sure your family will enjoy that.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa

Quite an inspiring idea! It is almost time to start planning our summer garden. I will definitely create a corner for my dad.


Zakmoonbeam profile image

Zakmoonbeam 6 years ago from Parts Unknown

A wonderful article, I really enjoyed it, and it has given me food for thought, it's time for me to create something in a small part of our garden for my Grandfather.


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

Thank you LianaK for your comments. Glad you liked it.

@Isileli - With the business of life, it is comforting to have a garden to inspire and comfort us. Thanks.


Isileli Tupou 6 years ago

thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas and they are so inspiring and comforting so very much needed in a world of turmoils. Cheers


LianaK profile image

LianaK 6 years ago

Beautiful garden ideas. I know when I have visited such gardens I feel peace and balance in my life. Thank you so much for sharing. Beautiful, inspiring hub.


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

I should have added in pets - that is a great idea LillyGrillzit. Thanks for your addition.


LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

This is a great idea. Perhaps this would be a way a person could get or provide closure for the loss of a lost loved one, and/or dear Pet. what a wonderful idea. thanks you for sharing


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

Thanks Pamela99. Yes, it is very comforting to sit in the beautiful garden and meditate.

@Judicastro - Thanks for the vote and comments. I appreciate your taking the time.

@Lauri - Sorry about your mother. A memorial garden could help sooth the wounds of losing her.


Lauri 6 years ago

Hi Elayne - My mother was not buried, so we don't have a place to visit her. How wise to think of doing something like this - thanks for the wonderful idea!


Judicastro profile image

Judicastro 6 years ago from birmingham, Alabama

Elayne voted up and beautiful. Some wonderful and thoughtful ideas. Thanks!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Elayne, I think this is a wonderful idea. It is such a special, unique tribute to a loved one to build a lovely garden. This is an excellent hub.

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