Home Memorial Garden Projects: a Balance of Physical, Mental, & Creative Energies
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Recently, my children and I planted a memorial garden in honor of my mother. It was in recognition of what would have been her 86th birthday. Working together in the garden was a wonderful opportunity to remember her love of the flowers and the outdoors. It was also a great source of exercise for the whole family.
Like any home project, planting a memorial garden, whether large or small, requires some thought and planning. Consider the person that you are honoring and the type of flowers that he or she would love. For us, we wanted to plant flowers that my mom had planted in her own yard. She loved perennial flowers that created great hedges, such as, Azaleas, hydrangea, and roses. We also planted Asiatic lilies, Purple Beauty Creeping Phlox, and Iberis Purity(Candytuft). Growing up these plants surrounded our home, with exception to the Candytuft, that was included to add some white to balance the colors. Earlier in the Fall, we planted Chrysanthemums to ensure Fall color in the garden.
Preparing the design and shape of the garden should be done in advance. This is a great opportunity to involve all of the family members in the creative process. Memorial gardens come in all shapes and sizes. During the planning stage, also select the statues or stone figurines that you would like in your garden if any. It is your family’s personal space. If you are planting flowers that grow large and spread, as we did, consider spacing for growing needs.
Once you have an idea of the design that you want, it is time to prepare the soil. Make sure you have adequate garden tools to accommodate your soil. This physical activity is wonderful for the shoulders, back, and legs. Gardening provides three types of aerobic exercise: endurance, flexibility, and strength. It is also exercise with a purpose to remember and connect.
I discovered that working together on the memorial garden was a nice way to relax in the evenings and refocus on the important people in my life. Even after planting, the benefits are still there. Caring for the garden, watering and talking to the flowers, and just enjoying the view can relieve stress. We have a bird bath, solar butterflies, and an angel in our garden. These features enhance the serenity of the garden.