Garden Forever
A Garden of Love & Healing Living Tributes to Those We Have Loved and Lost

by Marsha Olson, MA

Gardens that Heal, Honor and Remember

Nancy Lockett has a Japanese magnolia planted in honor of her “beautiful daughter – a lover of flowers, of gardens, of beauty.” Lockett says, “She always laughed at me for being repeatedly overjoyed at the first magnolia blooms.”

Lockett’s is one of several dozen gardens featured in the new book A Garden of Love and Healing: Living Tributes to Those We Have Loved and Lost (Fairview Press, $18.95). The book was written by Marsha Olson, a Lyons, Colorado therapist and avid gardener, who long ago recognized the therapeutic effects gardening can have for the grieving soul. “Gardens are perfect vehicles for connecting us with the natural spirit of rebirth and re-growth, while providing a beautiful physical reminder of those who are no longer with us.”

A Garden of Love and Healing shows us how to find healing in the natural world by creating our own garden memorial. Olson reveals how a garden, created in memory of our loved one, becomes a living, healing sanctuary helping to transform the pain of loss into the peace of acceptance.

The book includes touching anecdotes from gardeners around the country, along with creative ideas for planting your own living tribute. It provides ideas and layouts for various thematic gardens, including a patriotic tribute to the victims of 9/11. Also included are lists of symbolic plants and flowers, and sources for garden accessories such as stepping-stones, statuary, and personalized plaques. There are even tips for planting a commemorative tree or setting up other types of living tributes, such as wildlife feeders or herb patches to honor a loved one’s passions or hobbies.

Jan Weber shares in the book how a beautiful garden, filled with statuary, many from friends, grew from the memory of their beloved young son, Mark. Jan says, “Each time we enter Markie’s garden we are reminded of Markie and all the other wonderful people God has sent into out lives.”

Nancy Lockett tells about holding a community garden tour in her daughter’s memory with plants being donated to sell for the benefit. “I feel all those plants now beautifying our town are another part of her legacy”.

Olson adds “And that is what this is all about: honoring the legacy of these beautiful souls who have graced our lives.”

145 pages, April 2002, Fairview Press

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