Many of you know that I started a project last year that has been very important to me. Just a quick recap for those of you that don’t: Last summer after losing our golden retriever Moses to cancer, my neighbors gave us some Hosta lilies to plant in his memory. I planted them down in an area near the woods and my vegetable garden, where in the corner we have buried other pets we have lost, or scattered their ashes. I don’t often visit cemeteries…..I don’t feel like the person or pet is really where their remains are left, I feel they are always with us. Therefore the area had become overgrown even though I had planted things there from time to time, and stacked rocks around the graves.
I decided that it was time to do something special there. We had Moses’ ashes to bury, as well as the cat we had lost a few months before, Katie. I wanted to make a place that would be pretty and happy, not a cemetery, but a memorial garden. There the project began, and I finally finished it last month. I’d like to share some photos from start to finish, and just tell a little bit about each.
September: Cricket and Sheba checking out the frame we had our contractor friend build for the garden. My hubby cleared the area, and I marked where the stones were for the graves that were there.
Kobi loved the garden area. I never imagined at the time we started the garden that we would be burying his ashes in there before it was even finished. I like to think of him still down there chasing grasshoppers!
Sheba inspecting the first plants that would be going in there!
October: We had a load of loam delivered and my hubby brought it down to the garden with his four wheeler and trailer. Here I am hard at work smoothing out the dirt!
I ordered a bunch of different flower bulbs to plant in there. It was challenging to select them since a lot of the area is shaded. I got them planted in early November before the first snow fell!
Cricket is making sure I did it right! The rocks marking the graves were put back in place. Moses’ ashes were buried in the front right, with a plaque from our friends marking where they were.
Finally in May the first flowers are blooming!
In June, these beauties called Mountain Lilies were blooming:
I moved Hosta lilies, Violas (also called Johnny jump ups, which my mother and I always planted when I was a teenager), Pansies, and Forget Me Nots from my other flower garden up by the house. When we had a week’s vacation in June, we visited the local garden center for a few more plants. Then several bags of mulch, a hanging Fuschia, a few statues and solar lights, and it was finally complete!
Now a few closer views of each area:
In the front are snapdragons which I planted by seed, they have not blossomed yet. Around the rocks are a perennial called “Lamium” which is new to me, but was on sale at the garden center and likes partial shade.
This is my favorite part of the whole garden….the tags hanging on this trellis, which I found at Hobby Lobby when shopping with friends. I got the idea of hanging the ID tags for the pets from a Facebook page called “Hundenruhe Haven Senior Dog Sanctuary“.
Some of the ID tags were the ones that the pet wore, but others I had made special because I didn’t have tags for that pet (some of our cats never wore collars or tags).
One last thing: the solar lights have significance in that there is one for each pet that is memorialized there. The larger ones are for the dogs, and the smaller ones in the corner are for the cats. I included each pet that lived with us in this home. We had many cats before we moved here, but we got our first dog, Shelby, when living in this house. It was just impossible to include all the cats we’ve had! When I look down from our bedroom at night, I can see the solar lights, some of them with changing colors, and it gives me a sense of peace.
I hope you enjoyed the tour of my garden and the story behind it. I will probably add some more things as time goes on, maybe a little walkway and more flowers. What is your favorite part of the garden?
Thank you to Sugar the Golden Retriever. for letting us join in this blog hop. The idea is to share about something that made your day, week, or month, (in this case, year!) inspiring you in seeing beauty. Sugar was inspired by the See Beautiful blog.
2 brown dawgs says
It came out just beautiful. I love the idea of the trellis with the tags.
Thank you so much!!
Holy cow this is the coolest thing ever. What a wonderful idea, just inspired! Your flowers are beautiful and as everything fills in it will be lovelier every year. What a meaningful tribute to the love you share with your pets.
Thank you so much! It’s difficult sometimes starting a garden and having to try to anticipate how things will fill in and how it will look. I hope to share more photos in the future too when things change over time.
Beautiful, Jan, such a nice job-and I love Connie’s comments….
Thank you, Lynn, and me too….and don’t forget you were there when we picked it out as well!
My favorite part is the trellis, we picked it out together and since I’m not close enough to actually help build the garden it makes me feel like I contributed in some small way. I miss Shelby and Maggie and Katie and Moses and Kobi and concha my namesake very much.
I will always think of how we picked out the trellis together, Connie! You definitely did contribute, and I love so much that you have special memories and miss our “kids” too….thanks so much for saying that.
Dogs N Pawz says
I love your garden and I too think it was a great idea! The trellis with the tags is perfect! I might have to do something like that in my garden! Thanks for sharing.
Thank you! I hope you decide to do it too….it really makes the garden special I think.
What a beautiful spot you created. It’s a place you can go and remember all the good things you loved about your furry friends who have gone before us. And, I love the idea of hanging the tags on a trellis. What a great idea!
Thank you, Sage! As soon as I saw that idea of the tags I knew I had to do it for the garden, and I’m so glad I did!
A Spaniel's Tail says
That is a beautiful memorial garden. Love the trellis with the dog tags on! And tulips are Hoomans favourite flower 🙂
A Spaniel's Tail says
Sorry – didn’t seem to be posting, then posted three comments at once. Apologies 🙂
No worries! Sorry if you had problems posting your comment. Darn spammers made me have to put in some security for first time commenters.
Thank you! Tulips have always been one of my favorite flowers as well!
A Spaniel's Tail says
That is such a beautiful memorial garden. Love the trellis with the dog tags on it 🙂
Thank you and thank for visiting and commenting!
That is such a wonderful and beautiful memorial garden, we love it!
Thank you, Brian!
I love everything about this! What a beautiful idea! I’m not sure which part is my favorite. It’s close between the tags on the trellis and the solar lights.
Thank you….I am so glad I came up with the idea, and actually completed the project (I’m not always good at carrying out my ideas). I love both of those features the most too.
Hailey and Zaphod says
What a beautiful tribute to Moses. That is a happy place!
It is indeed….and I imagine he approves. 🙂
Terry Cramer says
I’m very touched by this, and a little tearful. I love that you can look out and see the solar lights. I love the thought and care and time that you put into it. Thanks for showing it to us!
And thank you for coming by and sharing it with me, I am so glad it touched you. 🙂
Pam and Sam says
What a totally magical and most special place in your yard……a memorial garden is a fabulous idea….and I especially love the tags all in one spot and that you have a light for each animal buried/remembered there. Super idea……and totally sweet!
Hugs, Pam (and Sam)
Thank you, Pam and Sam! I can’t help but think that now we will have to live in this house forever (I think you know a little bit about trying to sell a house and not being able to go through with it 🙂
Caren Gittleman says
this was so beautiful that it brought me to tears. I love that even your solar lights have significance. That is TRULY a labor of love and is so beautiful. I am sure it brings you much comfort xoxo
Thank you so much, Caren, it means a lot that it touched you too. It does bring me comfort, and happiness that I finally did something special for the ones we have lost. xxoo
M. K. Clinton says
You did an amazing job and I’m glad that it is a happy place to remember your beloved friends. I was good looking and reading until I got to the tags hanging from the trellis. Now I have tears in my eyes and can’t hardly see my keyboard. What a beautiful tribute. I know they are at the Rainbow Bridge pointing it out to their friends. ♥♥♥
What a sweet thought, Melissa, thank you so much for that! Even though I want it to be a happy place, I still had tears in my eyes at times when working on it, and when writing this post about it. I think putting Kobi in there was the hardest part, because it was the freshest loss. But now it really just makes me happy.
Christine & Riley says
I loved how you hung their tags. This is a beautiful area…everyone is in the book case in our house and others have a small area in the yard, thanks for the inspiration .
You’re welcome, I am so glad you found it inspiring.
Before now, I just didn’t have a special area, either in or out of the house, so I’m so glad to have that now.
What a beautiful garden and what an awesome idea. A place of beauty to go to and remember the beauty they brought to your life.
My favorite thing is the tags. I love how each pet has their own tags and I imagine when the wind blows and the tags jingle it reminds you them running.
You are so right, Jodi. It is comforting to think of them running with their tags jingling just as they did in life.
Thank you for your thoughtful words and understanding of what it’s all about.
Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady says
Wow! What a great tribute to your pets. Absolutely beautiful that you would take the time to do this. I love the tags, although when I saw that photo, I almost had tears on my cheeks.
Beautiful beautiful post, and I thank you for sharing it with us.
ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
I’m so glad it touched you, Jenna. It helps that gardening is another passion of mine, so I could put two passions into one project. 🙂
Golden Woofs: Sugar says
What a Beautiful LOVE Garden and wonderful way to tribute furry love ones <3 Many cemeteries in our area do offer a pet memorial garden plot. Yours is very special. Happy Seeing Beauty. Golden LOVE n Woofs
Thank you, Sugar. I don’t know of any cemeteries in our area that offer that, but I’ve never really looked either! I’m glad I was able to do my own at home.
Hawk aka BrownDog says
What a beautiful garden and wonderful memorial.
Y’all come by now,
Hawk aka BrownDog
Thank you, Hawk!
What a beautiful idea. Our pets are always with us but you have created a special way of honoring and remembering them.
Thank you, Jan! I like to think that our crew that is gone approves as well!
Love that it is a happy, fun place. Those mountain lilies are beautiful! The only question is that squirrel…kind of a teaser, I mean how can a dog rest in piece with a squirrel in the area? You did a great job!
BOL….you are so right about the squirrel, Emma, I didn’t think of that! Perhaps I should find a mouse for the cats too, right? 🙂
Oz the Terrier says
Jan, that has got to be the most Beautiful garden I have ever seen. I love the idea of hanging the tags on the trellis! It is an interactive memorial…you can still “touch” each pet. I wish I could be there to see it in the evening, with the lights a-glow.
Thank you so much, Oz. You are right about the trellis tags….each animal is right there where I can touch them. Sometime I might try to get a photo of the lights at night, but I didn’t have time to try to do that for this post! It really is special.
The garden turned out beautifully, Jan. I love it. My favorite part is the trellis also….and the lights. Had a hard time choosing.
Thank you, Sheryl! I love both of those things too. You’ll have to take a look in person as well!
I love that!! What a special and beautiful place you created.
Sand spring chesapeakes says
Jan that is so beautiful! I’m crying now at what you have done. Such a great idea and it turned out so beautiful and special. You gave me some really great ideas! I love the trellis with the tags on it. You should be very proud of your beautiful work. Your gang has a very special place to rest.
Thank you so much, JoAnn. Your words help me to realize that I accomplished exactly what I set out to do….honor our lost pets in a special way.