Memorial Day

Meaningful Memorial Gardens

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Memorial Day

Memorial Day is well-known in gardening circles as the time it’s generally safe to plant all plants outdoors.  This Memorial Day, consider using this “safe-to-plant day” to create a natural remembrance for a loved one.

Memorial gardens can take all shapes and sizes — from a single planting of a special tree or shrub to this:

Nitobe Memorial Garden in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Nitobe Memorial Garden in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Memorial gardens are a long-lasting way of honoring your loved one and as such, choose components that will grow and age well over time.  Consider using concrete statuary and benches rather than plastic, and planting trees and shrubs that will fill (yet not overwhelm) the area as time passes.  When planning out a memorial garden:

Memorial Garden BenchCreate a dramatic focal point

  • A stunning ornamental tree, a statue, a bench, etc. will draw the eye into the space and then to the other elements.  A bench offers a place for visitors to rest, while a well-placed stepping stone or plaque can elaborate on your loved one’s life or the idea behind the garden.

Memorial Garden GazeboCreate an enclosed area

  • Go literal with a gazebo or other man-made structure, or go a bit more natural with tall ornamental grasses or shrubs to form “walls.”  Boundaries like this will create a private space and invite reflection.

Plant in a meaningful design or themeMemorial Garden Butterfly Garden

  • Consider color-blocking your plants into a heart or other shape that is reminiscent of your loved one’s life and interests.  Or trying planting a butterfly garden with plenty of butterfly plants if they loved watching butterflies, or plant lavender if they loved the smell.

Memorial Garden Seed SavingUse plants from their garden

  • Transplant, save seeds, root cuttings from favorite trees and shrubs — growing a bit of their favorite plant is a natural and discreet way of incorporating your loved one into the garden design.

Remember, no matter what you plant or how, what matters is that it grew from your heart.  Happy Memorial Day!

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