Losing a loved one is always hard; if it's an older person who has lived a full and happy life it doesn't seem so bad. Sure, we're sad, but we have the comfort that they left a legacy of that life well lived.
If it's a young child, or a nursing infant, that's when we have real trouble accepting it; losing a child in any fashion leaves us bewildered, and the sheer unfairness of it makes our heart break in two.
My way of dealing with the loss of my beautiful grandson, who I had yet to meet, is to build a beautiful garden. A horticulturist is compelled to use gardening as a way of dealing with any strong emotion and grief is but one of them.
Although a garden was planned for the back yard of our tiny house, this just gives it added focus. You can bet that extra care and thought, along with lots of love, will go into the design and planning stages, and also the building of it.
This is one time that trying to save money might not be the best way to approach it. I would love to spend a ton of cash, if it would just take the awful feelings of grief and loss away. That also is the wrong way to go about it.
We have a lot of things that can be reused and given a new lease on life, instead of going to the landfill. We feel very strongly about that, so many items from the bone pile will go into the making of the garden.
A memorial garden should be a place of tranquility and joy, with little thoughtful and whimsical touches that bring some peace and a few moments of appreciation for a life well lived, no matter how short.
This picture shows the fundamental building blocks (the square pavers) that will be recycled into a patio area for the garden.
With only enough to place them alternately, this will give me room in the spaces to plant some of my favorite succulents and other hardy plants.
The house now sits where the black big foot forms are here.
It's early April, and the snow is finally revealing the mess - all the construction on the house came to a grinding halt as we rushed to make it habitable, and everything outside was abandoned where it lay and was covered in snow.
Now it's time to reassess, and start taking some measurements.
Standing on the porch of the house, and looking east towards the Eggporeum...
and standing below the Eggporeum and looking west towards the house. I particularly like how Bracken gets into both pictures...
Everything gets recycled - from old bedframes and other pieces of metal, to the paving blocks.
Things are happening now - the snow is gone, and the ground is perfect for digging. This is a project that is solely done by hand, with a potato rake, shovels and a wheelbarrow and a hand truck for moving the pavers.
The rickety porch is no longer; dismantled, recycled or burnt in the outside bonfire.
Joyce came to visit later in the summer and contributed to the project. She's Andrews widow, and Carsens Great Granma.
The orientation of the Eggporeum creates a courtyard of pavers, which will be planted with low growing hardy succulents of all kinds, and thyme to make a green sward and soften the hard lines of the pavers.
Another commonly found motif in memorial gardens is the labyrinth. Often used as a synonym for maze, this is different.
It can come in many different designs, most often in the Greek key type, but this one is slightly different and uses the native flat rocks found in leveling the area.
We've found that this peaceful little area is also used for passing from one area (the house) to another (the mercantile), and it's also where the washing line is. This makes it an integral part of our little homestead, not just left abandoned.
The plants that I will choose for this garden are outlined here