You’ve had the memorial service. You’ve begun the healing process. You miss your loved one daily, but you’re beginning to move on with your life. There’s just one last thing you have to take care of: what to do with your family member or friend’s cremains? There are a lot of creative options when it comes to your loved ones ashes. You can mix them with pain or shoot them off into space, but if your friend or family member was a lover of nature, then one of the most beautiful things you can do with the ashes is create a memorial garden incorporating the ashes with the soil.
Think about it, your loved one was green enough to request cremation rather than a burial. They were at least eco-conscious enough to realize that traditional burial takes up land resources that could be allocated for other uses. Giving the ashes back to nature makes sense and a garden is a beautiful way to go about that.
When you decide to create a memorial garden, you have a couple decisions to make: where to put the garden and what to plant.
Choosing garden space may be as easy as tilling some ground on their old (or current if they left behind a spouse) property, but if there is no longer any property in their name, where should you plant? You can always make a garden on your property as a memorial to your loved one or, if your property doesn’t have enough space for a garden, check into getting some space in a local community garden. A community garden is a great way to make the memorial public so that any relatives or friends can come visit and pay respects to the deceased.
Before you mix ashes with soil, you’ve got to pick the type of garden you’d like. If you want a hearty, relatively maintenance free garden, choose perennials. These flowers only need to be planted once, bloom every year and are pretty easy to care for, however, they have fewer flowers and their blooming period tends to be shorter than annuals. Annuals, on the other hand, have to be planted each year, but they produce beautifully colored flowers and would create a vibrant, bright garden. Of course, you can combine the two for a balanced garden.
One other option for a garden is to create a fruit and vegetable garden. Take the green concept to another level and plant a garden that will provide for the community or a family. Hearty vegetables such as various squash, lettuce and carrots can be healthy provisions for a family, making it so that your loved one provides care even after their passing.
A memorial garden is a great way to ensure you loved one’s memory lives on for years to come in a visual way that can be cared for and visited. Its beauty will also bring a smile to the faces of visitors and people passing by.