“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.” ~ From a headstone in Ireland
A memorial garden lives on. Live plants, by their nature, can provide soothing comfort to you during your bereavement, while providing many years of pleasant improvement to your landscape. Let’s look at some memorial garden ideas you can create in your back yard.
Back Yard Memorial Garden Ideas
Sometimes it helps to actually see ideas, even if you won’t create the same memorial garden. Here are a few ideas for memorial gardens, or pieces you could add to your remembrance garden.
Butterfly Memorial Garden
A very special memorial garden, usually most appropriate for a woman or little girl, is a butterfly garden. This involves plantings of special flowers and shrubs that are known to attract butterflies.
One plant especially attractive to butterflies is the Butterfly Bush.
Spectacular Flowering, Bi-Color Buddleia-Butterfly BushPugster Periwinkle Butterfly BushButterfly Bush Bi-Color Buddleia Davidii Live Herb Plant 2.5
Forget me not memorial garden
Plant a small patch of forget me not flowers, and either add a small bench where you can sit and reminisce, or add a memorial plaque. What a lovely reminder to plant in your memory garden.
A quiet place to meditate
Find a quiet place surrounded by beauty and add a small bench with a comfortable seat. A big rose bush or hydrangea plant is the perfect backdrop for this garden design. Great place to reminisce good old times and meditate on life. For an even better spot, place a memorial stone with some loving sentiments inscribed on it.
Colorful flowers border
Add a colorful flower border leading to your front door. Plant your loved one’s favorite flowers or flowers that remind you of them. To make it more special, add some solar lights to the path.
Wildflower memorial garden with a sitting spot
Probably one of my favorites is planting a wildflower garden with a memorial bench, or a couple of chairs. Simple, beautiful, and peaceful.
How To Create A Backyard Memorial Garden
Pick a spot & focal point for your remembrance garden
Pick a quiet corner or spot in which to construct your special garden. You will need to select a focal point for the project. Good choices would be:
- a memorial bench
- large special rose bush
- or a small accent tree
Some really beautiful small specimen trees are:
- flowering dogwood (pink or white)
- Japanese maple
- Japanese flowering cherry
If you wish to just plant one solitary memorial tree, visit this page for some project ideas and interesting memorial tree-planting options.
Add a small pond
You might even consider installing a small pond in your garden as well. Home improvement centers sell pond liner kits complete with instructions. If you include a small fountain or waterfall, the sound of running water can be very soothing. Solar pumps are available which allows you to place the pond away from the house.
Pick up a book or two on ponds before taking on a project like this, it’s pretty ambitious. But if you are fairly handy with home and garden projects, a pond can provide a fascinating and rewarding new hobby for you.
Aerate your pond with a solar-powered fountain. Placed in direct sunlight the pump will send a continuous, gentle spray into the air at heights between 14 and 25 inches. No wiring or operating costs are involved!
A concrete statue is a nice addition
Another idea for a focal point would be a statue or concrete figurine. One favorite for a memorial garden is a cast concrete angel or cherub.
Plant some flowers
Once you have the focal point or “centerpiece” of your memorial garden, plan for some small shrubs and flower beds. Select plants you know your lost one loved, such as roses, lilacs, or jasmine. Use evergreen azaleas or rhododendrons to provide a backdrop and round out the display.
For the flowerbeds, consider bleeding heart (here’s a good guide to growing bleeding heart flowers), forget-me-nots, tulip bulbs, violets or violas, daffodils, lilies of the valley or even sunflowers. You also might consider planting a wildflower plot or an elegant butterfly garden to honor your lost loved one. (See more on butterfly gardens below).
Create a pathway to your memorial garden
For a walkway, you might lay down mulch, bagged stones or gravel, or even construct a plank walkway out of pressure-treated wood. Personalized stepping stones can also add just the right touch (offered below).
Part of the therapy of this project is the planning and creation of it. Immerse yourself in this worthy new project! Your memorial might not end up on the cover of Home & Garden magazine, but it’s yours!
Your loved one would be honored by your tribute to him or her. And you will end up with a special place for quiet reflection or prayer… a lovely spot to remember your lost angel.
Memorial garden accents you may want to consider:
- Wind chimes, windspinners
- Garden benches
- Engraved memorial rocks
- Birdhouse or birdbath
- Bird feeder, hummingbird feeder (this Grateful gnome hummingbird feeder is so beautiful!)
Centerpieces & Focal Points
Sun and moon sundial
This impressive sundial brings both the sun and moon to the ancient art of telling time. Ready to withstand any conditions, it is hand-crafted of weighty, cast aluminum with antique-bronze, powder-coat finish.
Whitehall Products Sun and Moon Sundial, French Bronze
Resin pedestal birdbath
The resin birdbath will be a unique focal point for your memorial garden while tempting wild birds to visit. This elegant birdbath is crafted to resist the elements, so it can remain outdoors all season long.
Best Choice Products Outdoor Rustic Pedestal Bird Bath Accent for Garden, Yard w/Fleur-de-Lis Accents Copper
Her head softly tilted, this thinking angel garden statue is sitting serenely, pondering the world below.
The Lakeside Collection Garden Angels with Solar HalosG
Pay tribute to a loved one by dedicating a classic resting place in the garden with our inscribed, hand-cast stone bench. Space is provided for an optional, personalized marble plaque.
Custom memorial garden plaque
Add a personal touch to your memorial garden by displaying a customized plaque.
Whitehall 2 Line Personalized Aluminum Bird Garden Plaque 14.25
Memorial Garden Accents
River rock stepping stones
Naturally smooth, river rocks offer durability and organic beauty in our Zen-inspired stepping stones. Stepping stones have a water-resistant, PVC backing that allows soil to settle between stones. Set of six.
River Rock Stepping Stones Pavers Outdoor for Garden, Set of 6 (Roundness)
Glass hummingbird feeder
This glass hummingbird feeder is just as bright and vivid as the hummingbirds it feeds. Adds an elegant touch to your yard décor.
Hummingbird Feeder for Outdoors, 38 Ounces, Blue Phoenix, Including Ant Moat, S Hook, Hemp Rope, Brush, Cleaning Rag, and Service Card
This beautiful solar wind chime rotates effortlessly around a beautiful glass globe in even the slightest breeze. Luminescent crystals in the brilliant glass globe absorb the sun’s energy during the day to release a soft green glow at night.
Solar Wind Chime LED Colour Changing Hanging Wind Light Waterproof Spiral Spinner Lamp for Garden Yard Lawn Balcony Porch
Meditation wind chime
Wind chimes bring beauty and soothing tones to your outdoor retreat. Every time the breeze blows the relaxing, “Zen” sound that escapes these artistic garden bells will send peaceful energy around your garden or patio.
India Arts Chime of Four Dome Shaped Tin Bells with Metal Striker on 25
I hope these memorial garden ideas helped you envision one that would fit best your style, and will remind you of, and help commemorate the loved one you lost.