How to make a memory garden

Written by maria o'brien
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Creating a memory garden can help you channel grief and memorialise a loved one who has passed. Memory gardens can be simple or elaborate, depending on your taste and purpose. Many people like to start small and add to the memorial garden every year on important anniversary dates. Making a memory garden as a family is a good way to share memories and thoughts about your loved one as you work together. Here's how to make a memory garden.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Choose a location to build your memory garden. A quiet corner of your backyard, a patio area or a section of the front yard landscape are all possibilities for your project.

  2. 2

    Pick a central focus for the memory garden. Perhaps a young ornamental tree, a rose bush or an evergreen will be the main plant you use to memorialise your loved one.

  3. 3

    Plant flowers and plants that evoke memories of the loved one who has passed. Start with plants she liked, flowers in the colours she wore or scents that remind you of her, such as lavender or violet. You could also choose plants that have special meaning, such as birth month flowers, plants with the same name (Rose, Rosemary, Veronica, Lily) or other significance, such as the forget-me-not or bleeding heart. For veterans or those in the military, plant red, white and blue flowers and poppies.

  4. 4

    Add a statue or stonework to the memory garden. A kneeling angel, a cross or a statue of a saint may have special significance.

  5. 5

    Make or buy a memorial garden bench or sitting stones to create a place for visitors to sit, share memories and reflect. The bench can be a simple wooden bench or a more elaborate one with personalisation.

  6. 6

    Add a plaque or sign that indicates the purpose of the garden. "Welcome to Sarah's Garden" or "In Memory of Grandma Alice" are equally appropriate options. Something as simple as a marker with the person's first name or a significant quote would work, too.

Tips and warnings

  • Invite family members of the deceased to plant flowers in the memory garden.
  • Have a private dedication ceremony once you've established the memory garden for your loved one.

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