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Plants for a Memorial Garden

gelbe rose - yellow rose image by Yvonne Baumann from

Creating a memorial garden is the art of planting a garden in memory of someone that has passed away. It can be a garden filled with that person's favorite flowers or colors, or it can be symbolic plants that are typical in that type of plot. Plants for a memorial garden should really express the personality of the person in memory and have many of her personal picks along with some plants and flowers that symbolize good thoughts.


Rosemary is botanically known as Rosemarinus officinalis and is from the mint family. It is fragrant, drought tolerant, evergreen and classified as a shrub. It will get 6 feet in height and 4 to 5 feet in width. Needle-like leaves are 1 inch long and smell somewhat like pine. Flowers are pale blue, in clusters, and 1 inch long. Plant a rosemary bush in well drained and fertile soil with about six hours of bright sunlight (full sun) a day. Propagate via cuttings or seed in USDA hardiness zones of 8 through 10. Rosemary is planted in symbolism of “remembrance.”


Tulip is botanically known as Tulipa spp. and is from the lily family. It is a perennial flower that is good for containers or cut flower arrangements. Sizes, shapes and colors depend on the cultivar but most are bowl-shaped. Leaves look like straps. Plant a tulip flower in non-acidic soil in full sun. Propagate via bulb division in USDA hardiness zones of 4 through 10. Yellow tulips will symbolize “friendship.”

California Poppy

California poppy is botanically known as Eschscholzia californica and is from the poppy family. It is an easy to grow annual. Flowers are cup-like, 2 to 3 inches wide and in the colors of yellow, red or orange. Leaves are fern-like and 6 to 8 inches long. Plant a California poppy in poor but well drained soil in full sun conditions. Propagate via seed in USDA hardiness zones of 5 through 10. Poppies will symbolize “rest” or the “eternal sleep.”


Hosta is botanically known as Hosta spp. and is from the lily family. It is a perennial that is good for containers and shade. Foliage can be different colors and sizes, usually between 6 and 36 inches tall. There are small flowers that will come up on stalks that are lily-like. Plant a hosta plant in fertile moist soil in shade or partial shade. Propagate via division in USDA hardiness zones of 3 through 9. Hosta has cultivars named “Patriot” and “Remember Me”.

Knock Out Rose

The knock out rose is botanically known as Rosa Radrazz and is from the rose family. It is a fragrant and easy to grow shrub that is also a fast grower. It is very resistant to disease and tolerant of many soil and temperature conditions. Blooms are red and smell like tea. The bush gets 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide. Plant this rose in partial shade or full sun in any soil. Propagation is restricted due to this cultivar being patented but it is hardy in USDA hardiness zones of 4 through 9. Roses, especially red ones, convey “love.”

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