Memorial Garden Ideas

normandy grave yard memorial d day


“All gave some and some gave all

And some stood through for the red, white and blue

And some had to fall

And if you ever think of me

Think of all your liberties and recall

Some gave all…”

Memorial gardens provide a place of healing and comfort in remembrance of an event or loved one.  It can be as small and simple as a plaque next to a tree or inside a flower bed.  Or can be as large and elaborate as you wish.  A wide variety of plants thrive in Sacramento — your memorial garden will be limited only by the space you have, the amount of time you can realistically alot to caring for the garden each week, and of course your imagination.


It’s time to take a trip back in time.  Grab a pen and paper.

Seriously, do it right now.

All set?  Good.

There are five things you are going to write on this piece of paper: words, personality, loves, sounds & smells.


What comes to mind when you think of the good times you shared? What made you laugh? What made you cry? Was she impulsive? Was he stubborn?  Don’t overthink this, just start writing.  Does he make you think of Harley Davidson or wine?  Does she make you think of skydiving or Pride & Prejudice?


Class clown? Student body president? Most likely to succeed? What made you smile?  What made you tear your hair out?


What was he or she most proud of?  How did he spend his time?  What did she love more than anything?


Do you hear the ocean or the breeze when you think of your loved one?  What song is he/she singing right now?


Leather, pine, dog, flowers, grease, cookies, perfume…  Smells are the most direct link to memory.  What smells remind you of your loved one or of a time you spent together?


Assess your Space

Whether your garden is a single pot on your porch, or is 200 acres, doesn’t really matter.  Right now you are going to define your limits as far as space and time go.  Done?  Great, let’s move on.

Storing Memories

A whole book of ideas could be written on the subject. The idea is to incorporate your most meaningful memories into the garden.  Here are some things to consider:

  • A poignant phrase is often far more powerful than a novel.  When it comes to phrases, shorter is better.  
  • Paint terra cotta pots, and then paint phrases or words on them
  • Make sure there’s a place for you to sit
  • Plant fragrant flowers
  • Plant bushes and flowers that attract birds and butterflys
  • Hang a hummingbird feeder
  • Glass mobiles and balls reflect light beautifully
  • Use metal art or sculptures

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