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Memorial Garden Ideas

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by Sir Ts Princess on May 26, 2006 01:12 AM
Ok, I've been here for a little bit, and I've seen pictures of many people's wonderful gardens. So, with that said, I'd like to see what the members here can help me come up with.

Most of my "gardens" are rather public and whimsical in a way. But, now I'm wanting to plan out one that is more personal...sort of a "private retreat". A living memory to someone dear to my heart. I'm wanting to create a memorial garden for a baby girl I lost 11 years ago. Its a very long story, and I really don't want to go into details. But, I've had this garden on my mind for quite a while.

There's some things I know I want. But filling in the space aside from that is what I can't really come up with. What I know I want is a fence to seperate the section from the rest of the yard. I was thinking lattice with a trellis for a "gate". I know I want roses, probably miniatures. I need something to climb the fence and trellis. I would like some bleeding hearts, but doubt that I have enough shade. I also know that I want some statues, mostly angels/cherubs. I have looked at several and picked one out already...you can see it here http://www.collectionsetc.com/Item56047.aspx# . Some others I've looked at and am considering are here http://www.collectionsetc.com/Item50448.aspx http://www.collectionsetc.com/Item50450.aspx, http://www.collectionsetc.com/Item60116.aspx
http://www.prestigememorials.com/index.php/fuseaction/products.details/pid/10526 (but this one is rather pricy for my budget). I thought about a small water feature, maybe a "stepped" pond that has a "waterfall" effect. But, so far this is about all I've come up with. I think that perenials would be good, as would shrubs and trees so that it doesn't seem like I'm replanting the entire garden every year. I do want some annuals that could be changed out every so often. And I do want a sitting area with a couple of chairs (or bench) and one or two end tables for sitting and enjoying a cup of coffee, tea, etc. Any and all help appreciated. If I don't move, the area for this garden would be somewhere between 1/8-1/4 acre. What's there now is weeds, some trees (two HUGE cedars, pear tree, plum tree, and some other sort of tree) these grow along a chain link fence to seperate the end of the yard from the neighbor (that's where the cedars are) and to seperate the yard from a field (that's where the rest of the trees are). So, the lattice would be between my old house and the "garden" that's where the trellis would be. And along the other part of the chain link fence to give me some privacy from my inlaws who think this whole idea is "stupid". Some containers would be ok as well and I've found one that I kinda like http://www.collectionsetc.com/Item52085.aspx . I've got to really pull this garden off for my own sake. So, like I said, I welcome everyone's input. And I know I need some garden stones and stepping stones. One set of stepping stones I found that looked like they might be "ok" is these http://www.collectionsetc.com/Item49191.aspx . I'm doing all of this on a budget. I mean I can't just spend like crazy, and I don't mind "handmade" or "do it yourself" things. As for my sitting furniture, I think my husband plans on building that for me. I wouldn't mind birds, butterflies, etc. I mean this garden is for the memory of a baby girl.
Thanks in advance.

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by tkhooper on May 26, 2006 01:45 AM
I think for a baby girl I would probably try to stay in the white and pink range of colors but that's just my thoughts on the subject. I would probably steer clear of the miniature roses for an area that big and work with the climbing tea roses for your arbor. For the chain link fence I'd go with morning glories again staying with the combination of pink and white.

If you are willing to buy the seeds you can get peonies seeds for about one dollar a piece. They take a year to sprout and then 3 to 7 years to produce blooms but once they do you will be so glad that you got them. I have one called the powder puff that is pink and white and it is gorgeous. Just my opinion of course.

I would probably put out some lambs ear around your seating area just because it feels so soft and nice and children love it. So do I actually.

If you decide to get the stepping stones I would probably go with the thyme for between the steps just because most moss I've looked at is way expensive and really doesn't like a lot of sun.

For a nice shrub I'd probably go for the babies breath that is a perennial if you can amend the soil in that area to support the plant. There are two types of babies breath one is an annual and one a perennial. At least I think that's what I've read.

Another nice plant to have on a fence is a moc orange the smell is so wonderful and I love the flowers too.

I would definitely add some mums for fall color and some daisies too. Daisies and little girls just go together so well.

with peonies, roses and mums you would have blooms from early spring through first frost which would make it a really nice retreat.

You can also get some nice snapdragons both full size and miniature in white, cream and pink that would add a different shape to your spring blooms. And if you like them but you have to give them lots of room you could do some of the pampas grass. It comes in both a pink and a white and will definitely add a nice backdrop during most of the year. But like I say they do get really big. I had one that's spikes were taller than me and I stand 5'7" in my stocking feet.

I have found that if you do roses and plant green onions around them the aphids stay away. Which is a really cheap way to control that pest.

For an annual I like zinnia and there are a variety of pink colors you can get and also different heights of them. And it is easy to harvest the seeds so it doesn't cost anything to replant them every year.

I would probably add 2 cherry trees when the budget allowed just because the blooms are the right color and kids love cherries.

These are just some thoughts. I hope they give you more ideas that you can use for your garden.

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by Sir Ts Princess on May 26, 2006 02:03 AM
Yes, they do. The color scheme I was thinking about was along the lines of pink, white, and lavender. I was thinking of sort of the soft pastel colors. I didn't know that there was a perenial baby's breath. The bleeding heart I wanted was the pink one...it's just finding enough shade for it.

Thanks for the ideas, I'll have to take some peeks at some pictures for the plants you mentioned.

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by tkhooper on May 26, 2006 02:17 AM
If you do roses along your south facing fence then right infront of it (north side) on the garden side you will have a nice shady spot for your shade loving plants. Lavender is a wonderful color to incorporate into the garden too. And you could actually put lavender into the garden if you are better at growing it than I am. It dies quickly with me. But the flowers would look great and the smell is wonderful. If your husband is willing to make that a tall fence say 6 to 8 feet high you would have enough shade to add some hostas, double bloom impatiens, Balsam, Lillies of the valley.

And now my creative juices are flowing and I'm thinking of Rhoddies and azaleas for shrubs. They are expensive but maybe you could do some trading. There is very little that you can't get for your garden as long as you are willing to start with seeds and cuttings rather than mature plants. There is a lavender colored azalea that is just wonderful and so delicate looking.

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by Sir Ts Princess on May 26, 2006 03:12 AM
As far as what my hubby will build for me concerning this garden...about anything I "really" want. I've discussed this garden with him for quite a while, we've played with various thoughts and ideas. And he understands why I need this "space" so to speak. It's my way of "dealing" or "coping" because there's not actually any sort of stone, memorial, etc. for my daughter and there never has been. This isn't something that my sons know about, not something I really talk about...if that makes any sense. I would LOVE to find some winter bloomers. Why? Well...I lost her in January and something blooming at that time of year would be really nice.

The lavendar plants are a great idea. I'm fixing to create a folder on my photobucket page to hold the pictures of plants that I'm currently considering. It doesn't mean that all of them will be planted, but some could...ya know.

As for Azaleas, there's LOADS around here if I could ever get good at propagating them. The colors my MIL has are the whites and the dark pinks. Since her shrubs have grown together...there are sections where the flowers have cross bread and they are really neat looking. They are sort of a pink with stripes (or they were before the blooms fell off. LOL)

I don't mind growing my plants from seeds or from propogation. Either is fine with me. But I'm considering keeping a list of "wanted" plants with me, ya never know what you will find on "clearance" because the store people aren't good gardeners. [clappy]

I've also thought about putting my gardenia in the garden just because of it's white blooms and wonderful scent.

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by tkhooper on May 26, 2006 03:59 AM
That's a great idea. I've never tried growing one but the flowers look nice when I see them on the net.

My son died at 20 days old back in 1984. He has a head stone but I'm not much for grave side stuff. A memorial garden sounds like a wonderful idea.

I have a folder of wish list plants and what they require to do well that I keep on my computer. So I know what you mean.

You know the garden pinks and the carnations are another nice plant to have. The carnations are biennial but if you plant the seeds the first two years you should have them blooming every year since they will self seed after that. And they have that lovely minty smell.

I love the idea of a waterfall water feature. And if you dig the hole and pile all the dirt up in one big pile your most of the way home for getting what you want. And they even have solar powered pumps for them now so you don't have to run electricity to them. And you can get the pond linning stuff and it's not really ruinously expensive. And if you have lots of rocks on your property you have it made.

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by Mrs.Spud on May 26, 2006 04:04 AM
this is a really nice idea. I think sweet pea would be a beautiful vining and sweet smelling plant. dual purpose...and I love the name "sweet pea"

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Mrs.Spud: Idaho Mom
by Sir Ts Princess on May 26, 2006 04:24 AM
yeah, it is a nice name. I named my daughter though. Her name is November Nicole, I call her my "Angel Baby". I'm trying to grow some sweetpeas now for my MIL's fence...well, actually it's the fence between her 1/2 of the property and my 1/2 of the property. LOL. I just can't live on my half unless I either completely redo the mobile home that is there, or move it out and then build a home there. (stupid tornado and hurricane) [Razz]

Rocks...hmm...have a lot of broken bricks, cinder blocks, and concreate. Not so sure about actual "rocks" but probably have quite a few of those too. My "pond" idea is this (thought of it for my site sort of...part of it I found online somewhere...but the rest of it was my creation [Smile] )Pond Idea 1: Here's a very simple method. Choose a location with at least some shade to reduce algae growth. Dig a small hole in the shape you want your pond to be. It should be maybe a foot deeper than you want the finished water depth to be. Gently slope the edges. Level the top of the pond all around. Around the perimeter, dig a shelf few inches wide and a few inches deep. Line the whole thing with a thick layer of newspaper to keep any rocks or roots from poking through. Cover with a layer or two of heavy plastic, draping up over the perimeter shelf. Fill with a couple of inches of water and smooth out the wrinkles in the plastic. Add more water, up to the shelf. Place rocks on the shelf to anchor the plastic and provide a visual transition to the landscape surrounding the pond. Fill with a little more water, as needed. Line the bottom and sides with rocks or pebbles for a natural effect. Pond Idea 2Take a plastic kiddy pool, dig a hole the size of the pool, and place pool into hole with lip just above ground. Then use heavy black plastic and place inside of pool and drape over the edge. Bury the plastic that is over the edge with the dirt that was removed and then plant inexpensive perennials and shrubs all around the pool. Fill with water and whatever else you would enjoy like fish, plants or submersible pump for bubbles.Now, couldn't you just imagine the effects if these ideas were combined? Hmm. My brain is bubbling with some water ideas! What about an inexpensive waterfall? Hmm, why not use a pool pump! I'm not talking about the big expensive ones. I'm talking about the kind that come with the inflatable type of pools. Say you had one of those pools (like we did) and the pool got damaged by the pump didn't. Why not use the pump for your pond? Boy is my brain ever bubbling with some really cool pond ideas. Oh, and fish? Well, think Goldfish and a pluko (alge eater). Both will do well in the pond even when the pump/waterfall isn't running. And both will grow big in such an environment. The goldfish will even survive freezing, but you might want to put your pluko in an aquarium for the winter. [Smile] Ain't I creative...and FRUGAl! [Smile] Now, the trick to using that pump is that where it pulls the water into the pump would be in the lower pond (you have to cover the intake hose with screen) and where it puts the water back into the pond would be in (or slightly above) the upper pond. Again the hose opening would be covered with screen. Since the smaller pond would sit slightly above the larger one, you simply cut a slit (or small hole) into the kiddie pool for the water to go from the top pond into the bottom pond. Now, granted...this idea might take a bit of tweaking, but generally, you get the idea. Oh, and rock for the top pond? The natural looking aquarium gravel, it's only a couple of dollars a bag. But, this is my idea so far for that aspect.

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