Our long-time family dog, Lily, died this past winter, and we decided to plant a small area of our front garden in her memory. Of course, it features lilies, and they look very pretty now and remind me often of Lily and her antics. I’ve heard recently of more people who plant a memory garden to remember a beloved family member or even a pet.
This is the ‘Toronto’ lily. Our family spent several months living in Toronto when our children were younger. To be honest, Lily was not an urban dog and the trip was rough on her. She disliked the local dog park in Toronto (and all those nasty dogs there!) and the drives back and forth from Toronto were a real trial for Lily. But, she was a good sport — as nearly all dogs are. I will always remember her bursting out of our minivan and romping in the yard when we got back to Northfield. She knew this was her home. And, she was happy to be there.
It’s the recalling of these special memories that make a memory garden meaningful. I don’t think there are “rules” for memory gardens—these are the most personal of all garden spaces and they can be created to recall whatever important events, people (or pets!) you want to remember. I’ve heard of people planting trees to commemorate a child’s birth or a wedding—great idea! Taking a cutting or moving a loved one’s plant to your garden is also a way to keep memories alive. Because of the seasonal nature of gardens, you can plan to have your memory garden shine at a special time of year.
What memories does your garden hold?