If you are feeling moved to give a gift to someone who has lost a loved one, consider giving something for the garden. Some people find great solace and peace in their gardens, and if that's the case -- or if the deceased loved the outdoors -- this is a fitting way to commemorate their loss. A memorial gift for the garden is a thoughtful way to express your sympathy, for it will allow the recipient to reminisce while surrounded by the comfort of nature.
Trees & Plants
Give a bag of spring-blooming bulbs -- hundreds, or one bulb for each year of the deceased's life. Seventy pink tulips nodding their heads each spring is a beautiful reminder of a loved one. Ferns symbolise grace and acceptance and jasmine symbolises peace and healing. A strong tree sapling is another good plant gift, one that will become a stately ornament in the recipient's garden as time goes on. Do your research before buying to make sure that your chosen plants will flourish in the recipient's soil and light conditions. Buy sturdy, healthy stock and choose perennials, rather than annuals, for a memorial that will come back every year.
Stones & Stakes
There are many varieties of memorial stones available. Order a rock slab from a local stonecutter and have it personalised with a name and dates; some masons can even etch a favourite photograph into the stone. You can find garden stones online that feature comforting verses or quotations, and some of these are customisable as well. Buy concrete stepping stones, or make them yourself -- they are fairly simple to make and can be personalised with writing, stones, glass, tile or anything else that will stand up to the elements. Garden stakes are small memorial plaques made of metal, resin, ceramic or glass; they are fastened to sturdy stalks that can be driven into the ground. These stakes also feature poetry, quotes, names and dates, and other artwork.
Installing a memorial bench in a garden is a thoughtful gesture; it celebrates the lost loved one while inviting garden visitors to stop and rest a bit. Any type of outdoor bench can be customised in this fashion. Add an engraved metal plate to the back of a wrought-iron bench, or have a name and "In Memory Of" carved into a wooden bench. Benches of marble or stone may likewise be engraved. If you are making a bench of poured concrete, use a stylus to inscribe it while the concrete is still wet; add a favourite quotation, decorative mosaic designs or perhaps the handprints of children or grandchildren.