A Family Memorial Garden


Memories are so precious.  They are what make us who we are.  I’m a very sentimental person and while I’m not a pack rat, and I have the mantra that “People are to be treasured and not things”.  I have an exception to that rule.  Things that have been passed down in the family, things that evoke good memories.

I remember my grandparents working in their garden in Pennsylvania.  We would come for Easter and their garden would already be flourishing.  My Gran and Pap always had a small garden.  Neal’s grandparents had fruit orchards at one time and always had wonderful flowers and potted plants growing in their yard and around their house.


My husband and I have the most wonderful and loving memories of our grandparents, so when they passed on I took bulbs from their gardens or planters and I started a memorial garden.  Every year when it starts to bloom and we look at it we’re reminded of our grandparents.  This year it’s so over grown with bulbs though that it isn’t blooming to it’s fullest.  I like to to think of it as the love they gave us growing us multiplied with in us and our family just as those bulbs have.


This year when the Memorial Garden is done blooming we’ll be taking it apart, pulling out and separating the bulbs and replanting the garden and around the house.  Funny thing is, I can’t go near the garden because I’m deathly allergic to every flower that blooms from it.  What fun bulbs are buried there?  Tiger Lilies, Irises, Daffodils, Tulips, and a few types of lilies that I’m not exactly sure of names.

In the last few years the the memorial garden has expanded to other things too.  I have a Red Maple that I bought as a twig.  I swear I never thought that it would grow.  The first year after planting it got one leaf on it.  My husband swore it was dead and wanted to pull it up but I wouldn’t allow it.  As you can see in the photo it’s come a long way!  This tree holds importance to me because when my family first moved here (I married the boy next door and my parents live next door to us in my childhood home) my parents friends gave them a Red Maple and planted it as a house warming gift.

We also have Rhubarb that has gone wild.  Neal’s mom has a green thumb and can grow anything.  She has tried to remove plants before and as if by magic they will come back to haunt her the next year.  She just has the magic touch, but I digress…The rhubarb plant had gotten huge like a good 8 feet in diameter.  Neal chopped the plant in 1/2 and tilled the part he was getting rid of into the yard.  As you can see above it rooted and grew.  So I’ve added this to the list of things he’s not allowed to get rid of.

Lastly, I want add to the memories is a Black Walnut tree.   When Neal and I bought his childhood home he took a black walnut and got it to sprout and he planted it.  For years it was just kind of a stick in the ground, but he would mow around it.  At one point he even put a little cage around it.  And then one year it happened…it grew three or four leaves.  Today 23 years later it has grown and flourished much like our family.


Each spring and summer as I see these grow, I’m reminded of how precious family is and how much we have learned from each other.  These plants and trees represent love, kindness and perseverance to myself and my family.  Do you grow memories too?

5 comments for “A Family Memorial Garden

  1. Kim Avery
    June 27, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    I have Iris that my grandmother grew in her garden. I also have Plantation Lillies and some Hosta Plants from my great aunts garden!

  2. Sandy Cain
    July 14, 2017 at 10:48 am

    How lucky and blessed you are to have land, to able to make such a precious garden! We’ve always lived in apartments, and it’s darl with a west exposure, so we can’t even grow things in window boxes. None of us, going back generations, have lived in a house. I do so wish I could grow memories!

  3. Linda Manns Linneman
    August 5, 2017 at 7:33 am

    This is such a great idea. Your trees and plants are beautiful. What great memories. Thank you for sharing

  4. Lynne B
    October 24, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    I absolutely loved reading about your memorial garden. I love that you took bulbs from your grandparents gardens to plant in your own.

  5. denise low
    November 5, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Thank you for sharing. My mom passes away and she loved tulips. I am now planting tulips for a reminder.

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