ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Create your own memory garden with meaningful plants and found objects.

Updated on January 19, 2014

What is a memory garden?

A memory garden is simply an area of your garden where you assemble a few meaningful keepsakes from your life's explorations. Things like 'found' objects from the seashore, the wayside or the woods, things from the places you have visited and loved visiting.

Sitting amongst these mementoes in your garden can help you mentally revisit these places and relive the memories of the good times you enjoyed there.

This is a process that can change over time as you continue to add items and keep your commemorative garden constantly full of interest. But be aware that I don't mean such things as stuffed toy donkeys that you've wrestled back on the plane from the Costa Brava. I'm thinking of more natural things.

All gardens are organic in that they are the home of living things, but a garden that really feeds the soul should be constantly changing, constantly evolving.

There is no food for your soul in a garden that is ignored except for obligatory lawn cutting and resentful, grudging weeding. A garden that stays static can be dull.

Bare bones - the beginnings of my memory garden - Spring 2010.
Bare bones - the beginnings of my memory garden - Spring 2010. | Source
The end of the summer 2011 ... Nature has taken over.
The end of the summer 2011 ... Nature has taken over. | Source

So, what sort of stuff do I collect?

Don't worry, you'll know it when you see it. The point is to keep it as natural as possible. And it's also important to keep it legal, so no digging up wild flowers I'm afraid as most of them are protected species in the UK and may incur fines of up to £1000 per plant if you are caught taking them.

One of the best ways to start your memory garden is with some form of 'skeleton' - you can see what I started with in the first photograph.

At our last cottage our collection consisted of a lichen-covered rock from Pembrokeshire, a piece of Welsh slate, some angular Yorkshire limestone, a beautiful chunk of glistening quartz we found in our own garden, a driftwood beam from a beach in Wales and a piece of ancient bog oak from the sunken forest in Mount's Bay in Cornwall where we lived at that time. We even included an old metal fishing float we found washed up on the beach at Sennen Cove.

And when we moved to our present cottage in Devon we added a large pointed piece of granite from our Cornish garden, to remind of our happy times in Cornwall.

But I holiday abroad ...

Obviously if your memories are mainly overseas based, a memory garden is more of a problem. You could be in big trouble with the airlines, if you try to bring and bring a bit of hefty Greek stone back with you. And it's also important to be legal; the days of 'acquiring' Elgin Marbles-type antiquities is well and truly over so make sure the rock you found wasn't holding up the Parthenon.

So maybe you just limit yourself to bringing back a delicate shell from a much-loved beach, or a special-shaped pebble, a seabird's feather or even a bit of luminous, sea-washed glass to build up an arrangement on a corner of the patio; small finds can so easily be lost amongst plants.

The intense blue of native English bluebells.
The intense blue of native English bluebells. | Source
Primrose
Primrose | Source
Rosemary … for remembrance
Rosemary … for remembrance | Source
Water droplets on forget me knots ...
Water droplets on forget me knots ... | Source

Soften your hard landscaping with plants.

Having said you should not go pinching wild-flower plants from the countryside does not mean to say you should not have wild flowers in your memory garden.

Okay, so you might not be able to have the genuine article from your holidays in the Yorkshire Dales but there are plenty of reputable wild-flower nurseries on the net, so you could always pick up a primrose or a native bluebell or a spotted orchid from them.

It may only be a proxy plant but it should give you a virtuous feeling as well as a good memory. I have planted my memory garden with rosemary plants as rosemary is for remembrance, to paraphrase Shakespeare. In actual fact this herb is very good for mental stimulation, helping to clarify thoughts and refresh the mind.

And what about forget-me-knots, the flower of remembrance. The Victorians gave a meaning to most flowers, a sort of language of flowers, and there are quite a few books and websites on the subject.

So it is easy enough to select the plants that are meaningful to you to plant in the spaces of your memory garden and these will help soften the harder features of your collection.

As you can see it is comparatively easy to make a truly memorable place in your garden with just a little creativity and it's as easy to do Timbuctoo as in England.

The only thing to beware of is that it can be difficult to leave these mementoes behind if you move and moving a load of rocks takes some explaining to the removal men.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Angie Jardine profile imageAUTHOR

      Angie Jardine 

      7 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      You're welcome, sweetmarie83. So nice to inspire someone to try it themselves. One of the best gardens I had was when I lived down an alleyway and had pots all over the place. Surprisingly it was a lot of work. I'm a sucker for collecting things for the garden - I can't resist pine cones, shells and feathers.

      Thanks for stopping by ...

    • SweetMarie83 profile image

      Marie Landry 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This is a really beautiful idea. I live in an apartment, but I'm thinking I'll get creative on my balcony. I've been wanting to put some flowers, herbs and maybe a tomato plant out there, so if I can manage to do that this summer, I think I'll put some of the things I've collected over the years out there, too...shells, rocks, etc. Thank you for this wonderful idea!

    • Angie Jardine profile imageAUTHOR

      Angie Jardine 

      7 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      Bless you, FrugalGal ... could not agree more. One can really get into the 'flow' and lose time in a garden ... a sure sign that it's the right place to be.

      Namaste.

    • FrugalGal profile image

      FrugalGal 

      7 years ago

      Very nice hub. There's nothing like being creative in the garden. Good for both mental and physical health.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)