After the passing of my mother last year, a friend brought me a gift of a lovely garden bench with the suggestion that I start on a memorial garden in honor of my dear sweet Mother.
Mama's sudden death was very painful for me, so it took awhile to be able to bring myself to begin the project. Each time I would think on it, memories would overtake me and I'd be unable to get started toward any real progress. I'm a thinker, a ponderer, a daydreamer. When I begin a new garden area, I spend lots and lots of time just thinking, as I wander around in the garden.
It took a long while to pick the spot for this memorial garden. Recent years of drought kept reminding me of how many plants I have lost over the years because I could not keep them watered enough. I knew I had to choose a spot that could be reached with the hose.
Once I picked my spot, I began to consider plants I wanted to include in my memory garden. Since most available garden space here is in the shade, I would need shade plants. Certainly, I wanted plants that would live and flourish. I wanted plants that would be beautiful in every season. Plants that would provide privacy would also be best, as my intention was to end up with a secluded spot to sit and remember my Mother. And finally, I wanted to include some of her favorite plants and her favorite colors. This would prove to take a lot of time and planning. I wanted shrubs that would grow large over time and fairly quickly. They would need to be thick shrubs that would offer seclusion and screening. Perhaps I might want to hide in there some day to be alone with my thoughts.
I tried to make the area large enough to include a spot for the garden bench I mentioned, as well as a birdbath or some type of statuary which I might want to add later. I ended up lining out a rectangle about 10 feet by 15 feet.
|Red Knockout Roses|
Initially I planned on having only white blooms, which is most often used in memorial gardens, meditation gardens, and prayer gardens. But since I needed plants that are dependable, I began with Knockout Roses and Ruby Loropetalum.
I placed the evergreens in the foreground for privacy. The roses and loropetalum were planted on the corner of the spot that will receive a good bit of sun. I knew I could depend on them to at least double in size the first year. (Yes, that's right...our climate does that to Knockout Roses and Loropetalum.)
At the back of the garden, I placed some larger specimens: Mock Orange,
|Mock Orange, Philadelphus coronarius|
and two types of Doublefile Viburnum, Shasta and Mareisii.
Although they are not evergreen, they leaf out very early in Spring and will have lush, thick, green foliage until frost. There will be plenty of privacy when weather would permit my sitting out there for any length of time.
To finish my enclosure, I planted a few more evergreens.
|Banana Shrub, Michelia figo|
This project will be ongoing. Mama loved hydrangeas, so several types will certainly be included. They will be protected and accentuated by the evergreens.