Grief comes in waves — the pain ebbs and flows. Planting an at-home memorial garden is a beautiful way to create a physical space for processing those emotions. Let these memorial garden ideas inspire you to grow and move forward.
Look Up, Way Up
If you have the yard space, planting a single tree — think something special, such as a quince or magnolia — is a simple way to mark someone’s passing. Even as their life comes to an end, this new tree is just beginning.
Forget Me Not
Plant perennials with a deeper meaning: forget-me-nots, gladioluses, chrysanthemums and hyacinths are all connected to sorrow and support. And like with any garden, make sure there is enough sunlight to warm the soil and your heart.
The sound of trickling water is undeniably soothing — installing a fountain or small pond would add a sense of calm to a memorial garden and aid introspection. (Plus, the birds would welcome a new watering hole.)
Frozen in Time
Sometimes having a solid, physical object that represents the person-gone-too-soon (it’s always too soon), can help focus our feelings. A classic statue on a plinth, a woodland creature or a cheeky gnome, whatever calls to you is the right call.
Find out what birdwatchers already understand — observing our feathered friends is incredibly meditative. Set up a bird feeding station in your memorial garden and be reminded, with every new yellow finch sighting, that the world is still full of life.
In our modern world, more and more families and friends are separated by great distances, making regular visits to a gravestone impossible. Engraving a stone marker in your own garden, with the person’s name or a meaningful quote, creates a touchstone no matter where you are.
You don’t need a sprawling backyard to create a memorial garden; there are some sweet small-space options too. A windchime takes up very little square footage but provides a symphony of sounds every time the wind blows, giving you a brief musical interlude to meditate on the person you’ve lost.
Light the Way
Solar light, lanterns or safe candles bright a soft, warm glow to a space once the sun goes down — after all, grief doesn’t follow the clock. Having safe, illuminated access to a memorial garden at any hour could be important to you.
Rest in Peace
There is something reassuring about a solid, wooden bench; in those dark moments of grief, feeling supported is so important. In this literal interpretation, an engraved bench or seat in a quiet corner provides a place to rest and recover.
Love is Love
Incorporating elements of what they loved in life is a thoughtful way to personalize the garden design. Were they passionate about horses, or did they love classical music? Was there a plant or flower they always grew or requested for special occasions? Being surrounded by the things they loved will make you feel more connected.