Meaningful Gardens

Rest, Reflect, Recover, and Renew…

Experiences are essential to the human condition. We invite you to consider ways garden spaces influence your experiences, and thereby offer valuable meaning to your life.

Physical places can inspire contemplation and inspire the imagination. While this potential is certainly not limited to garden spaces, there are important elements of gardens that cannot be entirely satisfied in spaces void of plants. While in a garden, one can feel a sense of stability and longevity while also sensing and discovering the fragility of life. Designs can be purposeful, thoughtful, meaningful, and relevant to a particular person, ideal, community, and/or culture. In many ways, gardens serve as a bridge from the human world disassociated with nature to a world completely reliant on natural forces (recognizing that some factors are highly influenced and aided by human caretakers).

When considering gardens as meaningful spaces, we believe the foundation of this perspective rests in an area of gardening intent on communicating a message of respect or honor. Memorial spaces need not always be gardens. However, gardens are ideal creations for memorial spaces.

Gardens as living legacies… This is an area of public horticulture that deserves widespread support and attention. While some of our national monuments are nicely positioned within garden spaces, it should not take an act of congress to generate the necessary momentum to create and maintain memorial or honorary garden spaces.

How can we learn from successful projects and communicate those best practices to people considering an installation of a memorial or honorary garden space? In time, we will develop a “toolkit” to aid communities in pursuing and creating successful memorial garden spaces.