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Flowers, foliage or berries of plants within your babies’ memory garden or plants received as a sympathy gift can be dried and preserved. Early pregnancy losses, stillbirths and infant death are losses with horrific pain to follow. Flowers are the one thing I wanted delivered everyday after the death of our stillborn son Tanner. I love flowers, the colors, the fragrance and just being surrounded by them. Maybe I thought they would have lifted my spirits. They didn’t, however I was able to be visually content while I grieved for my son.

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Drying flowers did not enter my mind after Tanner died. Since we have 2 memory gardens for him and several house plants given in his honor, I am able to dry flowers and foliage whenever I’d like.

This is an easy craft and doesn’t require any special tools or knowledge. Flowers reminiscent of your sweet child can be framed, placed onto handmade cards, create bookmarks or placed into shadowboxes in honor of your baby. If you have flowers from your babies’ funeral or memorial service and they have dried already,they are unable to use in crafts at this point. The flowers need to be dry and flexible to be pressed or flattened.

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If you do not have a memory garden, pick flowers that remind you of your child, gemstone colors or some favorites you love.

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Make sure they are blotted dry with a paper towel. Place the flowers on wax paper and lay another piece on top. Take several books and lay on top to press. I would keep them overnight so they are nice and flat in the morning.

If the flowers are very delicate I use tweezers to move them. I purchased silicon gel to dry my flowers in the microwave within 30 seconds. If you do not purchase drying gel just keep them in the wax paper for several weeks. It is important to remove all excess moisture from the flowers and foliage before creating your tribute memorial. When removing flowers from the gel, use a paint brush to remove the excess gel.

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The flowers I’ve chosen are Helleborus (the large purple blooms), Purple-Leafed Plum, Daffodils, Vinca and the foliage of Loropetalum and Gardenia.

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I love to emboss and have invested in a light board, embossing tools and templates. You could easily write your child’s name, use stamps and ink, or purchase scrapbooking or wooden letters. A decorative corner punch was also used.

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A frame, paint brush, glue and backdrop paper is needed to finish your angel babies’ artwork. Just a dab of glue is painted on the backside of the flowers to hold. If you have a  steady hand, the glue isn’t necessary.

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There are some many wonderful crafts to utilize the flowers from your babies funeral, memorial services or those given as a sympathy gift. The blooms provide a tangible memento of your angel baby to frame, create scrapbook pages, handmade cards, or decoupage onto tile and decorative plates.

Preserve your angels’ flowers as a keepsake reflecting your love and their precious life

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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Statuary, Garden Fountains, Monuments, and other pieces for your angel’s memory garden should be properly placed within your landscapes to add beauty and serenity. There is a correct way to install your angel babies’ statuary to avoid a cluttered and detached garden. I hate to be a stickler, but you really don’t want your child’s statue leaning to one side or placed in the garden without being complimented by beautiful plants.

Without getting too technical, garden statues, monuments and art pieces should adhere to some principals and elements of good design. Most pieces are focal points or accents within the gardens. In other words, your eye is drawn to the most unique element of a garden first. This is called the focal point. An accent piece is the secondary visual to compliment the focal statuary or fountain. In a relatively small area there should be only one focal point and possibly 2 or 3 accents. The cross in Tanner’s garden is our focal point and other smaller statues are the accents.

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For a better understanding, think about focal points within residential homes. Fireplaces, tabletop centerpieces or a painting on a wall could be focal points. These focal points do not stand alone, or shouldn’t and are usually complimented with accessories. The accessories used in the landscape and gardens are plants. The objective is to soften the art pieces, fountains and statuary by using plants to create a beautiful unity to the earth. This will give your garden a more natural scenario. Creeping Jenny is a plant used here to create a bed of soft green leaves for the angel baby statue to lie upon.

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Plants are also used to draw your eye into the piece called an allee. Many people create an allee to highlight their homes by lining the drive with many trees of the same variety. An allee of lavender brings your eye to the angel statue at the end of the walk.

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It won’t matter if you paid $1000 for your babies’ water feature, memorial statue, or monument if it is installed incorrectly by standing crooked. A good solid base is needed for your babies’ art piece. We in Greensboro, NC are prone to drought-like conditions where the ground dries up and shrinks the soil structure. This will cause garden art to sink and become cockeyed. Think about a concrete slab, compacted stone gravel or another hard material that will not give way to the weight of your child’s focal point.

Remember these suggestions for your babies’ garden statue:

  • Provide a strong base
  • Use plants to visually connect your piece to the earth
  • Use plants to soften your monument at the base or cascading down its sides
  • Use plants to draw your eye by creating an allee
  • Provide year-round color by incorporating annuals with your child’s art piece (In the Greensboro, NC area we have pansies in the winter and whatever our hearts desire for summer annuals)

There are more suggestions on remembering your baby that has passed from miscarriage, SIDS, stillbirth and other tragic pregnancy and infant losses at “The Season your Baby Died and Became and Angel“, “Zodiac Signs and Gemstones for Miscarriage and Pregnancy Losses“, and “Planting Helleborus in Gardens Remembering Babies“.

Pregnancy Loss Memory Gardens Blooming White” provides many plant varieties to use in a babies’ garden. There is nothing purer than a sweet little baby.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above http://www.justacloudaway.com/

Diana

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Creating a Memory Garden

 When a loved one passes, the road to healing is usually a long and challenging one.  When you feel the time is right, planting a memory garden can provide healing and remembrance as a tribute to a deceased loved one. People generally send flowers and plants to funeral homes, which are symbolic of new life. In retrospect, first, a hole is dug, and then a plant is placed.  Tending to the garden with water and sun and nurturing for its survival are key.  When the time is right, a beautiful bloom emerges. Since, healing comes from within, a memory garden allows you time to feel your environment and accept life’s natural progression.   People are often more depressed during the winter months, days are shorter and darkness seems eternal.  This is the time that the earth needs to rest in order to produce an explosion of color, fragrance, and new life that comes with spring.  

 Here are some ideas to get you started      

 Set aside uninterrupted time to think about your space  

Make a list of characteristics of your loved one  

Write down a list of plants, bags of soil, mulch along with any other pieces you would need for your garden  

 You can work on your garden at any time once you have some basic materials       

When do you want most of the plants to bloom? (at the time of your loved one’s passing to lift your spirits) 

Location of the garden     

Sunny or Shady Spot     

Accessibility     

Exposure to the wind      

Will the garden be visible from your home?      

Can the garden be incorporated into existing landscape?       

How much time do you want to spend on maintenance?       

 Do you want perennials or seasonal annuals?      

Could you relocate this garden to another house?     

 Getting Started 

Clean the site of weeds and debris       

 Bring in rich soil -Your plants will live longer and have a better chance of surviving drought.      

Planting should take place in the early Spring or Fall       

Mulch should be at 3” depth      

Water, water water (Make sure to water at a depth of 1” every third day until roots have been established) 

Other options if you don’t have space for a garden, you can be creative and place plants on a  deck, porch patio or balcony.  Be creative and place plants in something other then a planter.  Also, incorporating statuaries, memorabilia. 

Pots -cinderblocks-  bird bath-bird house-wagon- kitchen pots and pans-old boot- watering can. 

 In honoring a baby:     

Consider a small garden that incorporates blue, pink or white flowers.        Use flowers that produce small flower heads like forget-me-nots, babies breath or crocus bulbs. What was the theme of the nursery? What were the baby’s favorite songs?  What were your dreams for him/her?

 If honoring a golfer:

 Plant an area strictly of dwarf mondo grass, which represents golf green

Create a sand trap using pea gravel 

 If honoring a music lover: 

 outdoor speakers   

rain chimes

When planting grasses, the movement  of wind on the blades of grass create a beautiful sound 

 If honoring a spouse ·       

 Plant a rose garden

Incorporate a wood structure for a climbing rose

Plant shrub roses at the base     

Tree roses and miniature roses could be planted in pots.    

 The perimeter of the garden could be in the shape of a heart 

In honoring a boater/fishermen 

In an area of your garden, which is wet, place an old rusty anchor as a focal point. 

 Plant water loving plants like yellow flag iris, red twig dogwoods, bald cypress or weeping willow trees. 

 Incorporate large bounders for seating. 

Some plants have specific meanings 

Forget-me-nots mean memories      

Rosemary means remembrance    

Oak Tree means liberty       

Daisies- innocence     

 Lily means purity   

Allspice shrub means compassion 

Some plants incorporate a word in their name.      

 Royal star magnolias     

Star of Bethlehem bulbs

 Blue star ammonia 

Planting Pointers 

Remember not only are the blooms of ornamental value.  Plants and their leaves have unique shapes, color and touch. 

 Eastern redbud trees and sweetheart ivy are heart shaped

Sweet gum trees are star-shaped

Ginkgo trees are fan shaped

Leaf-lambs ear have a very soft texture

Rosemary is fine and soft

Yucca plant is very coarse

 Burning bush, nandina, barberry and burgundy are red plants

 Maple trees are yellow fall color

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