Planting a tree in memorial to your loved one can serve as a lasting tribute.

Top Tips for Memorial Gardens and Lasting Bereavement Tributes

Nothing better represents the cycle of life than a growing tree…from the spring buds…to the beautiful summer blooms…to the falling leaves and winter rest. All for the growth cycle to begin anew.

One of the most thoughtful gifts I received after my mother died was a gift certificate to a local nursery to purchase a tree. Now 15 years later, every time I look out my kitchen window I see this beautiful tree, which reminds me of my mother. I reflect on how large and strong the tree is, still in awe of its size, which represents the length of my journey without her physical presence.

You may wonder what kind of tree to plant? Are there certain trees that you like or perhaps ones that your loved one enjoyed?  For some ideas:

  • Oak trees represent strength.
  • Willow trees represent release and a new start.
  • Cypress trees represent endings.
  • Yew trees symbolize immortality.


At my father’s grave, there is a huge tree, which is now over 40 years old. I remember watching my mother and her friend plant this tree, when I was quite young. Now, this strong oak tree is there for my young son to see. 

A man doesn’t plant a tree for himself. 

He plants it for posterity.  

~ Alexander Smith

 Top Tips for Memorial Gardens and Lasting Bereavement Tributes

Similar to planting a tree, another way to honor and remember the life of a loved one is through a memorial garden. It can be as simple or elaborate as you like.

Whether a few flowers on your porch or a full-blow garden, tending to living plants can be healing.

  • What type of flowers might you like in your garden?
  • Were there favorite flowers of your loved one?
  • Perhaps there were some green plants you received at the funeral that you want to tend too?


Some of the symbolic messages of flowers include: 

  • Forget me Knots:  True Love
  • Tulips:  Love
  • Bellflowers:  Gratitude
  • Sunflowers:  Adoration
  • Peace Lily:  Peace and Healing


I love lilies. When my four-legged family members, cats Emma and Fiver, passed away I planted a lily for each of them in a special garden. I spread their ashes around our yard and in this garden. I also placed beautiful stepping stones and statuary in the garden to represent their lives and love they gave our family.

For one of my miscarriages, I bought beautiful lilies from a florist to place in a vase, with one lily to represent each member of the family, including the baby that was lost. Although these flowers were not permanent, the act of purchasing these flowers in remembrance was healing.

Are there certain types of flowers that may bring you healing?

Love and Blessings to You!


Where flowers bloom so does hope ~Lady Bird Johnson