1. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    I have always struggled with not having a gravestone or plaque even for either of my parents – a place for ‘grief rituals’ which I learnt in a bereavement ‘workshop’ soon after mum died could be important ..... (but at mum’s behest it wasn’t meant to be).

    I glanced out today at the garden (a very humble affair) and noticed the lilac tree was about to blossom ...... with a smile, I remembered mum giving that to us .... we had downsized to this house about 12 years ago – me giving up work to move closer to ‘home’ so that I could help in looking after my dad .... money was tight .... very tight ... we had downsized in the ‘boom and bust’ era ... and went bust :eek: – and faced with me not earning a salary they were scary times ... but certain we were doing the right thing .... House was modest but more than ample ... garden was a nightmare ..... but with a toddler who needed to play ‘throw and catch’ or kick a football sorting out the jungle of a garden was priority.

    Mum and dad didn’t have riches to bestow ... but I recall they helped us out paying for a small patch of land to be recovered from some concrete ridden overgrown wilderness .... and soon we had a little lawn for son to play out on .... couldn’t afford to do much else ..... New borders created lay pretty empty for a long time ....

    The lilac tree was a pot plant – not doing very well on mum’s patio .... ‘Stick it in a border and see how it goes’, she said!

    Today, that lilac tree stands eight foot tall and is full of blossom .....other cuttings given to us by friends of so many different plants (sorry, no gardener) fill the borders to overflowing ... the old flat iron I couldn’t part with but didn’t know what to do with – bought by dad decades ago from the Flat Iron Market in Salford (not named because it sold flat irons!) has become a perch for our resident robin :) .... the Britannia table which holds so much history since dad salvaged it from the old ‘coaching house’ pub that was the ‘local’ is now a bird table (after several other reincarnations) ...... and pots full of tulips are bursting into life ..... (Dad hated tulips so mum would buy them to ‘wind dad up’ ... only dad loved tulips really – he just said it to ‘wind mum up’ when she bought them!:rolleyes:)

    I realised today, my little back garden is full of personal history ... much of it in a living and sustainable way - and happy memories from long before we ever moved here, even, have moved here with us ..... unwittingly, I have a special place to remember, and to smile as well as cry – and literally in my own back yard.

    God bless, mum and dad, x
  2. guess who

    guess who Registered User

    Apr 26, 2010
    What a wonderful, 'alive' and ever-growing way of remembering. Thanks for sharing it.
  3. PostTenebrasLux

    PostTenebrasLux Registered User

    Mar 16, 2010
    London & Oxford
    Hello Tender Face,

    What a lovely description of your family and garden - you should print it out and keep it near you - your thread says it all!

    I nearly always buy a "solid" plant for the birth of a child, a big birthday, a graduation present, a memorial. A skimpy wisteria was given when my daughter was born. Now, 21 years later, it is a main feature of our small garden, the blooms amazing in colour and size!

    The garden of remembrance is for my any of those "special places" we used to visit together - some of them I refer to as my "secret place" where I can go and soak up strength and cheer when I feel low.

    Best wishes and hope you develop that green thumb of yours!
  4. NewKid

    NewKid Registered User

    Mar 26, 2009
    That is so lovely .. so many memories sewn in your very own garden... so much help and guidance from loving parents, so many quirks of their relationship to remember. Long may you enjoy it.
  5. larivy

    larivy Registered User

    Apr 19, 2009
    we always plant a rosebush for special occasions and bought them with us when we moved its a great way to remember larivy
  6. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    Dear Kaz,

    Your Rememberance Garden is one created by love. My garden that Peter and I created together had become over grown. A Landscape Gardener came to sort it out and now it resembles the garden that we so loving created.

    The neighbour next door cuts the lawns but there are weeds in the lawn, something that did not happen when Peter did his lawns.

    When the weather is warmer, I will sit outside and get rid of those weeds.

    Sending love
    Christine xx

    p.s. yee Chelsea top of the table.:D:D
  7. Vonny

    Vonny Registered User

    Feb 3, 2009
    Dear Kaz, it sounds the best garden ever and it's spurred me on to find some fitting memorial for ma (and for pa when he goes) either inside or outside the house. What better place to have it than your own garden filled with things given by your loved ones xxx
  8. Helen33

    Helen33 Registered User

    Jul 20, 2008
    Dear Karen,

    Your post was delightful reading and it made me feel that you are woman after my own heart. I am often heard saying "riches have I none but love I have aplenty" and there is nothing I enjoy more than the simple pleasures of life. Your garden sounds like a priceless wonder and something that just cannot be bought with silver and gold.

    Love :)
  9. Bookworm

    Bookworm Registered User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Co. Derry
    My remembrance garden too

    Dearest Kaz,

    This is a special thread to me - I am a botanist and have green fingers and my garden currently has various rescued places (one greenhouse down from two, great losses on cactus collection) & some places where decisions have been made so we can optimise on our weaknesses (if you've got it flaunt it - chaos, weeds.....let the bugs grow - won award for wild bio diverse garden 2 summers ago) - but it is full of tears too - remembering e.g. where the lilac was planted - right next door to a greenhouse, close to the house - the new polite gardener (knowing the score) said "He must have been very distracted to plant it there). So I'm still on a rescue mission and only hanging on by "skin of teeth" - but yes - gardens will always, always bring back happy/sad memories.
  10. maryw

    maryw Registered User

    Nov 16, 2008
    This is a lovely thread, and one I too empathise with. Like you, Kaz, I treasure my lilac tree, which my Mum gave me on my 50th birthday, which is now growing well and has blossom on it. Also have a miniature lilac tree which she gave me some years before that. Also have 2 evergreen conifers, which came from her house (and my childhood home) in Canterbury. They were so small when we moved them and now they're huge! And also a wonderful magnolia, which I bought as a stick from M&S for £3.99 shortly after we moved here and which is now a very big shrub. Also have a flowering cherry which a pupil gave me when she left school..... you're right, so many personal memories and much nicer in your own garden than in a graveyard. Trouble is if we ever moved, I'd have to take them all with me...

    So happy that you realise you have your memories "with" you on your doorstep and "within" you xxxx
  11. Norrms

    Norrms Registered User

    Feb 19, 2009
    Torquay Devon

    Hiya Kaz, you have such a wonderful way wiyth words and the garden sounds wonderful. We had a lilac tree as a young boy which was hit by a lightening bolt but survived. I always remeber mt gran saying it must be as tough as us lot!!LOL Wonderful memories Kaz, thank you so much for sharing then with us, best wishes, Norrms and family xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  12. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Thank you Karen. Your thread today has been a light in my darkness.

    Quite inspiring.
  13. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Oh goodness. I’m so pleased I posted this now and glad it has touched some ‘nice nerves’. :)

    I don’t know how usual or unusual it is for someone (like mum and dad) to be so adamant about ‘no memorial’ – and it’s been an itch that won’t go away for me. How many times I have passed the local stonemasons and been tempted to defy their wishes for my own sake!!!! (But daren’t ‘coz I know me mam would know!’) :(

    So without realising or planning, my higgledy-piggledy little hotch potch of a garden has solved the problem ... and I just wanted to share it in case it helps someone else in a similar dilemma.

    Much love to you all, Kaz, x
  14. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Karen, what a wonderful post. What a lovely way to keep your mum and dad close to you, you just have to go out your back door, even look out of the window. I'm sure you'll be telling your son the stories too, and it will be equally special for him.

    You've even nade me wonder if I'm doing the right thing, moving.:eek: But I know that wherever I end up, I'll create a garden with plants that mean so much, but small enough to tend myself.:)

  15. maryw

    maryw Registered User

    Nov 16, 2008
    Kaz, just to share experiences.... there is no memorial for my Dad (died 30 years ago) and I have never even been back to the crematorium (we moved away), there is no memorial for my Mum (her wishes)... I went back a couple of weeks ago to attend the funeral of her best friend.... didn't quite know how I was going to get through it, but I did and it gave me the opportunity to park the car in the garden of remembrance and see how lovely it was. I still didn't need the memorial to remember my Mum - she is in my heart and my memories, and, in the way I act, she lives on !!!) and, like you, in the growth of my lilac tree. Only my experiences.... big hugs xxxxxx
  16. Bookworm

    Bookworm Registered User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Co. Derry
    Been to check my lilac tree - which sat in a pot for 2 - 3 years & then Hb planted it (on my orders to get it planted) in an entirely inappropriate place (so unlike him - but that is part of the story....) & now in a new place selected by gardener - no flowers - yet - but we are on a latitude with Northumbria so maybe the flowers will yet come......:cool:
  17. donkey

    donkey Registered User

    Aug 16, 2009
    sutton coldfield
    ive never had anywhere to greive my mum as her ashes are still on the sideboard of her second husband, but youve made me realize that i have two beautifull flowering cherry trees given to me by my mum 15 years ago and they look magnificent thankyou xxx
  18. gill@anchorage5

    gill@anchorage5 Registered User

    Apr 29, 2007
    Green Fingers!

    Lovely posts - what a green-fingered lot we are!

    After a long dark and horrible winter - I have never been so pleased to see the garden "break into life" in the spring.

    We lost my lovely Dad John at the end of October. I had got half way through planting the spring bulbs when he became seriously ill. Everything went on hold until after the funeral - then the rest were planted with a very heavy heart.

    They have come up beautifully - poignant memories everytime I open the curtains in the morning - but a beautiful sight.

    Love to all who are giong through what we are going through and missing a loved one.

    Gill x
  19. Starshine

    Starshine Registered User

    May 19, 2009
    Oh that was so truly lovely, memories are all around us wherever we are aren't they. We just need to keep on making our memories for our families to remember always.

    Starshine x
  20. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    I planted a beautiful rose bush in my front garden as a memorial to my Mum and it has had so many flowers this year, which I've been able to pick and put into vases with other garden flowers, or give away.

    We also planted lots of pink flowers for my daughter's wedding in 2008, because my Mum and my mother-in-law loved pink flowers and we were having the reception in a marquee in our front garden. Every summer we now have a lovely display of pink flowers, which bring back many happy memories of the wedding, If our mums could have been there, I think they would both have approved!

    Our son proposed to his girl friend in Paris last month and my Mum would have been delighted with this news. We shall have to think of some flowers to plant, which will remind us of their engagement.

    Our local Parish Church often has many pretty flowers left beside graves, but the cut flowers soon die and look untidy. Some people plant the graves with beautiful flowers of many colours, which look lovely and last a long time.

    It would be better if bouquets of cut flowers were taken to a care home or given to an elderly person who is housebound. My Mum used to love looking at her flowers when she was in the nursing home and I'm sure she'd have appreciated some extra flowers, even if they were from somebody she didn't know.

    I think of Mum all the time and lots of things remind me of her. I don't feel it is necessary to have a specific place-the things she liked always bring back happy memories for me.


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