Those who follow this blog know about our rose garden tribulations. We live on 13 acres, with lots of area to landscape. It remains a work in progress, and I had several ideas for pet remembrance and plants to honor pets like my Bravo, Magic, Seren and others. Finally, I chose a location for our pet memory garden. I’m sure it will evolve in the coming months and years.
Our Pet Memory Garden: Pet Remembrance Ideas
When I shared pictures on Facebook, several folks posted their own pet memorial flower gardens. What you choose depends on the pets you honor, what plants thrive (or don’t) in your neck of the woods, and individual preferences.
I wanted something small and manageable. A couple of years ago, I created an enclosed flower bed beneath one of our oak trees at the front of the house. It originally held tulips–but in North Texas, tulips don’t repeat bloom well. Although I collected the bulbs, chilled them per instructions, and planted the following spring, nothing grew. My husband suggested roses, but we already have those everywhere else. Also, roses thrive in full sun, not in the shade.
And I wanted our pet garden filled with colorful blossoms that attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and all the critter delights that so enraptured Seren-Kitty and her canine buddies.
Pet Memory Garden Ideas
You can find beautiful pet memory garden stones and monuments. I wanted something more representative–and I’m also an Ebay junkie, browsing far too long over garden decorations. I found garden spinners, a cast metal tree surround seat, wind chimes, and many other treasures. This cast cement garden cat works purr-fectly as a tribute to Seren.
So I hunted for appropriate canine statues. Bravo didn’t look exactly like his Bullmastiff mom, and we could only guess about his dad (maybe Dane?). So I found a cast fiber-stone statue, not too heavy, that came as close as possible to represent Bravo. I don’t think he’d mind.
Honoring the Memory: For All the German Shepherds
One friend commented she’d had many cats over the years and wouldn’t have space for individual stones or statues. Maybe a rock garden, with a name inscribed for each–or a single monument with a place to include each precious name? Those of us who love multiple pets feel the same–but a single representation works for me. One kitty statue for past and future felines, and one German Shepherd to represent all our shepherd buddies.
Plants to Remember Pets
Our Shadow-Pup doesn’t visit this area, and stays in the fenced back garden, and Karma-Kat only ventures out in his Karma Kart stroller. So I chose plants for color.
There are Asian lilies (toxic to pets!) for orange, and yellow daffodils. Bunches of blue and pink hydrangea bloom in clusters. Dahlia in yellow, orange, and red surround the outer edge. And plumbago, those clusters of blue at the center, grow tall into shrubs that will shelter my spirit pets and shower with color in the heat of Texas summers.
So do you have a pet memory garden? How do you pay tribute to the pets of your past? Do tell!
Future Garden Plans
Our back garden area currently looks like a forest with lots of volunteered native trees. We plan to thin that out, keeping three beautiful oak trees, and showcasing some islands of flowers and color (mostly roses).
Since Texas summers scorch us, and our pets, we may include misters to help cool the area. And also possibly some fun gazebos for future outdoor entertaining. I found these, with great sales and discounts, and love them. Click on the “clearance sale” banner for more info.
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Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!