Thursday, March 21, 2013

Garden Memorials for Your Pet: Five Inspiring Ideas

People and their pets develop special relationships that are fulfilling and meaningful. It is difficult when their time with us passes and we lose them. Many find creating a resting spot in their gardens provides a fitting tribute to a well-loved pet.  It also helps to aid the grieving process and preserve pleasant memories.

Here are five meaningful yet practical ideas for a garden memorial for your pet to preserve the memory of your beloved furry friends.

1.  Memorial Garden for Your Pet
Our cat Leo was a super garden cat, very effective at keeping the rabbit population controlled.  To honor him, we created a cat garden filled with herbs he loved to sniff and chew during his reign as our king of the garden.

Cats like to sniff and chew on plants. To make it easy to maintain and for Leo to move freely, we chose low to medium height plants.

Perennial varieties forming the backbone of the garden:
1. catnip
2. cat mint
3. lemon thyme
4. creeping thyme
5. vanilla grass and cat grass
6. lavender

Plants for accents of seasonal color:
1. crocus, mini-daffodils and hyacinths
2. calendula
3. parsley
4. button chrysanthemums

Learn more about plants for cats. Please note: Dogs don’t really enjoy eating plants as cats do, so you can put the plants in the dog garden that please you. Learn more here about harmful plants for pets NOT to include in your garden plans.

2.  Water Basin with Sculpture as a Garden Memorial for your Pet

This sculptural hypertufa water basin works for the birds. It’s topped off with a cat’s head sculpture.  Leo is buried underneath this water basin in the center of his cat garden. (photo: Leo‘s memorial)

3.  Custom Hand-painted Tile
Ceramic tiles can easily be hand-painted to customize a pet memorial.
Custom info and a caricature add light-hearted fun to this memorial planter.  The Dog’s head sculpture can be place on the shelf attached to the planter. 

4.  Custom Stepping Stone
People move around much more than they used to.  Many are upset when they bury a pet in one home location and then have to move away to another.  I’ve made several memorial stones for pets incorporating the actual ashes of the pet into the concrete mix when the stone is made.  In this way, the pet owner can take the stone with them wherever they move. 

Another idea is to capture the impression of the deceased pet’s paw prints in the setting cement.  This results in a lasting, very individual commemoration.

5.  Garden Stake as a Pet Memorial
If a memorial on the ground does not provide sufficient visibility, there is nothing like a garden stake to serve as your pet’s memorial.  The same custom techniques used for stepping stones can be applied to a garden stake. 

No matter how you choose to commemorate your pet, it will be a labor of love, something that will bring back pleasant memories each time you enter your garden.

Many more sources of inspiration await at the upcoming Spring Sale at From the Summer's Garden, every weekend in April through May. Special fun events, mingle with artists, chat with Steve, and renew your spirit for a fantastic spring season! See you there! 

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