Thursday, January 24, 2008

What would you grow in a Memorial Garden?

I really don't know where to begin. I miss gardening outside. I miss Spring and Summer. I miss warm wind and cool rain. I miss beautiful flowers and tasty organic garden vegetables. Since it is Winter where I live, there isn't much I can do about all of that.

I also miss blogging. I miss Veggie Garden Info. I miss reading all the great garden blogs out there and commenting on them. I miss my blogging friends. All of those things I could still be doing. So why is it that I'm not doing them? Could it be because most of all, I miss my dad?

Since he passed away in September, I really haven't been the same. I have had a difficult time doing any of the things I used to enjoy and I have been a terrible blogger these past four months.

I think I am beginning to feel better though. While at his house last week, finishing the work of sorting through his things, a new thought came to my mind and it has gotten me excited about gardening again. The thought was simply this - Why don't I plant a Memorial Garden for my dad? He didn't want us to have a funeral for him and he is not buried in a cemetery. So maybe creating my own Memorial Garden would help me. I could have a plaque or a stone with his picture on it and a bench and some flowers. I could put it right next to the vegetable garden so I would see it often.

this is where I need your help (if anyone is reading this). What kind of flowers or plants should I grow in this memorial garden? I have no idea where to begin in planning this.

I do know that it is a good idea because since I decided to do it, I have begun thinking of other aspects of the garden now as well. I have a whole list of ideas for blog posts as well. I will write my 2008 garden goals soon and hope to begin posting regularly again!

But for now, does anyone have any ideas for my Memorial Garden? I would love to hear them!

I also want to apologize for my long absence here and at Veggie Garden Info and at your blogs as well.

Thanks for reading.



Hi, Marc and welcome back.

Did your Dad garden, too, or have some favorite plants? If he did, that's what I would include in the garden. For me and my siblings, my sister now owns the house we grew up in and so I guess in some respects she is keeping my Dad's memory alive by tending her vegetable garden in the same place he had his, taking care of the trees he planted, putting up with the big yews he planted around the foundation.

Not too many brilliant suggestions, but as you think about it, you'll come up with the perfect memorial garden to honor your Dad.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens


Marc - it's so good to hear from you! I am certainly glad you're feeling better and looking forward to your hobbies like gardening again.

My advice mirrors Carol's. Favorite plants. Plants that remind you of your Dad. Plants in his favorite color. I'm sure whatever you do will be a great tribute to him.

Again, glad to have you back.

Katie at GardenPunks


Hey Marc, I'm going to have to lend further support to Carol and Katie's suggestion. I would be very interested to see how those plants look and grow together.

Its good to see you posting. We missed you over here.



Hi Marc, Glad to hear from you again. Glad your feeling better. Not many bright ideas of plants from me either. But I know what ever you plan and plant it will a great memorial garden for your Dad.


Hi Marc,

I'm sorry to hear about your father's passing. The folks before me mentioned the best possible idea, things that remind you of him. I would just say to think about his personality and plant plants that have traits similar to your father. Some plants have characteristics that come to mind, like oaks being stalwart and sturdy. They also seem to evoke a sense of wisdom. One very good and long lived tree would hold his memory for a long time. Viburnums with flowers and berries are good ones. A favorite tree of mine is the Yoshino Cherry. They're elegant trees in the spring with the white flowers and have a nice canopy the rest of the year. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do for him.


Hi, Marc. I'm a fellow Ky-ian also. I found your blog about a month ago when I decided to switch to organic gardening and was looking for advice blogs that were local for me.

It was such a treat for me to click on your blog today and see you are back! But I am so terribly sorry about your dad. I know just a little something about having a private memorial garden. Hubby and I have had one planned for years and this is the year we finally have a new home to place it near.

We plan to remember several family members in the garden, which will be set apart in a more private space in our yard, for reflection and rest after the long day. I know it has to have a seat or swing then. Probably a swing for us because my granny & pappaw loved to swing on the front porch. There will be irises for my mammaw (her favorite flower), and daisies for my pappaw who would bring them in from the field for her. There will be hollyhocks like my granny grew along her fence. My hubby's mom grew marigolds and another flower that I haven't yet identified but will. And for his dad, that was hard. But he chewed tobacco, and raised it. So a single, well-tended tobacco plant will be there too. Also, flowering bushes that I can remember in places that they or we used to live at. And some sort of ornamental statue that represents the fact that we love and miss them.

As you can see, a memorial garden is just that...a garden in which each person makes a very personal decision based on their memories or feelings of their loved ones. Although you can glean some direction, it will most likely be a very personal memory that will decide what you will plant. Perhaps a childhood memory of the kind of tree that a tire-swing hung on. Or a favorite color or saying. Good luck on this most endearing journey. So glad you are back.


Sorry for your loss. I think this is a great post.

My dad passed four years ago - on an Easter Sunday. We planted a bed of Easter lilies, not that they'll ever bloom at Easter time, it just seemed appropriate. My mom bought a weeping cherry for herself, and a fruit tree, of our choice, for each of us kids.

I suggested a collection of perennials that he was famous for mowing over (he was NOT a gardener).

When my time comes, I'm thinking Forget-Me-Nots. Good looking, great name and annoyingly invasive, just like me.


Glad to see you back! It seems like a lot of garden bloggers are starting to emerge from their winter slumber, maybe it's the seed catalogs warming up the mailboxes for us.

I would concentrate on creating a "place" rather than just plants. For my grandpa I have the garden swing because that's where he always would sit at our old house.

I would think of doing a bench or a path or a small area. There are some lovely online sites that make custom rocks for paths and there are a number of really nice do-it-yourself projects out there as well.

The important thing is that it means something to you.


Thank you all so much. You guys are great! I said that I missed my blog friends and many of you commented! It is also nice to see a couple of new people who I'm sure I will get to know as well.

You all have some great ideas and you are showing me that it is a good idea to create a memorial place in the garden for my dad. I'm sure I will write many posts about it as it developes.

Thanks again!


I would like a tree, perhaps an apple tree, in my own memorial garden. And somewhere to sit and reflect.


I think a nice bench or a bird bath inscribed with your Dad's name would be a nice touch for your Memorial Garden. I'm glad to see you back to blogging!


Hello Marc! look at all the friends you have out here in blogland! We miss you.

For your memorial garden, think of happy times, and happy memories you had with your Father and pick some plants that will remind you of those!


I'm sorry to hear about your dad. My brother just lost a close friend at a very young age.. I was thinking of planting a memorial tree for him.. your idea sounds great! I think it would be a wonderful tribute to your dad.


Marc, I think it would have to be perennial. There are not many perennial veggies, but asparagus and rhubarb come to mind. I also think I would want some personal effects that could endure the weather ... a coffee mug perhaps ... Welcome back


Hey thats a fantastic idea... You just go ahead. If you can co relate your dads nature with plants like soft nature, very well known like a fragrant flower.. etc... i think u can give a try for this too...

Garrett Sawyer

Sorry that your dad is gone. My dad passed away last year too in July. For me being only 20, thats kind of too early for a person to lose a parent. He didn't even get to see me start college (which I start in a few weeks). I had a general liking of the outdoors and working with plants etc before he died, but ever since he died I've been more serious about gardening. I don't know why, possibly I feel that life is short and I need to do what I want before my time is up or it could be I'm doing it to keep my mind occupied on other things. In fact, the very next day after I found out he passed away at the hospital, I was out in the yard yanking weeds.

as far as a memorial garden.. (i've kind of decided to do that as well) I would choose plants that you have memories of him liking, working with, or what he liked to eat. Also you could try his favorite colors or smells. Perhaps even associate certain colors for important events in his life. You could also express what kind of personallity he had through plant/flower/leaf texture. The most obvious things I would include in mine would be garden art (permanent, non-living, easy to care for). I don't know your personal taste but i'm into asian tradition, I would get a metal figure of my dads chinese zodiac animal ...if it's like a sheep or an ox or something too big for a could try finding his elements ( mine is fire as a rabbit born in 87, so something with fire). If you're unfamiliar with that kind of stuff look up chinese zodiac on wikipedia. You could incorporate something to do with his western Zodiac sign, the meaning of his name, figures of things that were important to him. If he was in the service you could try military figures...stuff of the like. I'm sure you get the picture, most importantly the section of garden should be everything you want it to be that you think your dad would have approved of, and add one thing that he wouldn't of that you remember arguing with him over just for balance! lol. I hope you can come up with some nice and unique ideas based on some of my raw suggestions. Good luck!


I sympathize with your is one year ago TODAY that my Mom died. A memorial garden is a wonderful idea, and I'm sure you will get ideas as you go along. I grow hollyhocks in honor of Mom as she had them all around her house, and also have a rose named "Agnes'(her name.)
May God Bless and comfort you as you grieve your Dad.


I sympathize with your is one year ago TODAY my Mom died. A memorial garden is a wonderful idea, and I'm sure you will get ideas as you go along. I grow hollyhocks in honor of Mom as she had them all around her house, and also have a rose named "Agnes'(her name.)
God Bless and comfort you as you grieve your Dad.

Diana Gardner-Williams

Hello Marc,

I am sorry about the loss of your father.

Unfortunately our first baby was stillborn and my husband and I built a memory garden for him. Tanner is sadly missed, but I truly enjoy his garden as well as teaching his little brother about all the plants favored by the butterflies.
Please visit and feel free to email me. North Carolina isn't far from you
Peace Love and Hugs from Above
Diana Gardner-Williams


I just found your blog today - I, too am sorry to hear of your loss. My son died two years ago and I have been adding plants to my garden in his honor. He was not really into gardening in any way but I have found joy in finding plants that have significance for me for a memorial garden like Bleeding Hearts. I also have found some wonderful plants with variety names that are meaningful or remind me of him. I know that you will find just the right way for you to create a memorial garden for your dad. And, of course, in all things gardening, it will evolve with time.

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