MEMORY gardens are a great way to remember a loved one – or pet – or simply provide an older person with a special place to reminisce.
Monique Wilson of Garden Centres Association of Australia (GCA) shares her tips for creating ideal memory gardens.
What is a memory garden?
They serve two purposes: one is to help the person creating it to celebrate someone or a pet who has passed away. They keep memories alive and help with the grieving process. It is a space to sit or stroll through and reminisce about times spent with that person – or pet – who has gone.
They can also offer a place for someone to look back on happier times in their own lives. This may be useful for an elderly or ill person to reflect in or for a parent to create something special with a child, who will eventually move away.
Select a nice sunny spot where flowers and plants can grow and thrive. Make it a quiet, private place and put in a seat on which you can sit and reflect.
Add some water like a birdbath or water bowl or other means to attract birds or wildlife like a birdfeeder to ensure the memories have a sense of being alive.
Fill the garden with plants that had memories associated with the loved one (or special times in your life) and if possible incorporate something the person owned such as a pot plant (maybe a pot that has a fresh plant in it), a statue, or something quirky like a toy, shoe, handbag, motorbike helmet or art. If possible, plant inside it.
Appeal to all the senses with plants that have fragrance, colour, texture and will fruit or flower so you can pick a part of the memory and bring it inside as well.
Fabulous flowers for memory gardens
Sweet peas, daphne, snapdragons, hydrangeas, dianthus, roses and bulbs – the choice would depend on the person.
You may create the garden purely using the person’s favourite colour or food.
You could find a plant variety that has the person’s name in it as well.