Designing a memorial garden
In landscaping, designing a memorial garden is one of the most challenging gardens to create because there is a lot of pressure to get it right. Grief is personal, and there is no rule book on how to grieve someone right. Although it gets better with time, you will never forget your loved one and always wish they were still here. People usually create a memorial garden for two reasons. Firstly, to honour their life and dedicate a space on their property just for them. Secondly, to create a space to grieve in private. Creating a memorial garden will make you feel closer to your loved one that’s passed away.
The first thing you need to consider when designing a memorial garden is how much space you wish to dedicate to your loved one. You could create the whole garden to be a memorial to your loved one, or you could dedicate a section of your space to remembering them. How much space you have in total and how much you plan to do in your memorial garden will determine the size of your memorial.
Also, before you begin to design a memorial garden, you should write a list of all the things your loved one enjoyed - and all the things that remind you of them. Including personal objects in your design will make you feel more connected to them. Our landscapers in Chesterfield understand how unique a memorial garden is, so when we design a memorial garden in Chesterfield, we always like to know who the person was who passed away was.
A place to sit
The first thing you need to consider when designing a memorial garden is to include a place to sit. Relaxing in your memorial garden allows you to think about your loved ones and feel closer to them. Seating areas vary drastically depending on the style of your garden. For example, you could choose to plant a bench in the space, or you could have a custom-built seating area. Alternatively, if you include a pergola for cover, any outdoor furniture you purchase would keep nice all year round.
Often, park benches are the first thing people think of when they think about memorial gardens. Memorial benches are found all over the world, often in beautiful areas. However, a memorial garden can be whatever you want it to be. If a park bench does not fit into the overall style of your garden, then you do not have to have one. The objective is that you are comfortable and can relax in the space.
Create a soothing soundscape
Our garden designers in Chesterfield strongly believe that your garden should be a treat for all your senses. Before our landscapers start a project, they will always consider how the garden can be turned into a sensory experience and not just something pretty to look at. The easiest way to achieve this is to consider the senses: sight, touch, smell and sound as each component is selected.
For a memorial garden, our landscapers in Chesterfield also recommend a soothing soundscape to set the mood. To do this, consider all the elements in a garden design that create sound. Sometimes, it’s as simple as including a couple of windchimes to set the mood. However, your soundscape is as big as you make it. For example, the sound of running water is a beautiful addition to a memorial garden. So, consider including a water feature in your garden design.
Another way to create a beautiful soundscape in your memorial garden is to increase the biodiversity in your garden. Attracting wildlife into your garden creates a soothing soundscape of chirping birds and buzzing insects. Furthermore, studies have shown that surrounding yourself with nature positively impacts your mental health. For this reason, encouraging wildlife into your garden is a brilliant idea for a memorial garden.
Choose their favourite plants
Did your loved one have any favourite plants? Or, at the very least, a favourite colour? Incorporating a selection of plants that your loved one liked will once again mean you have reminders of them all around your memorial garden. However, if they didn’t have a favourite plant, then simply finding plants to match their favourite colour will work just the same way.
Alternatively, there are many plants often used as sympathy flowers that would make a brilliant addition to a memorial garden.
- Lillies. Lillies represent peace and purity of the soul. Lillies come in many different colours; white is an excellent choice for funerals and memorial gardens.
- Orchids. Orchids are a symbol of eternal love. So, if you are creating a memorial garden, orchids are beautiful flowers to plant.
- Forget-Me-Nots. Forget-Me-Nots are a great flower choice for a memorial garden for obvious reasons. They symbolise that you will never forget your recently deceased loved one.
Decide whether to make it visible from your house
Another important decision you must make when designing a memorial garden is whether you would like your memorial space visible from your home. For some people, seeing the area from their home is a constant reminder that their loved one is still with them. It brings them comfort to be reminded of them throughout the day. However, other people like to compartmentalise their grief; they do not want to be constantly reminded of their loss throughout the day.
There is no right or wrong way of designing a memorial garden. Grief is personal, so you should create a space to benefit you and your loss.
Add personal touches
Finally, the best thing about creating a memorial garden is that you can fill it with personal touches that remind you of the person you have lost. What sort of outdoor space would they have loved? Were they a social person? Consider creating a social area in your garden where you can host guests. Every time you have people around to yours, you can think about your loved one and how they would have enjoyed being there.
Overall, a memorial garden is whatever you decide it to be. At Chesterfield Landscapes, our landscapers understand how important it is to get it right. If you would like help designing a memorial garden for your loved one, please do not hesitate to contact one of our garden designers in Chesterfield.