If you've ever driven down Lombard Street in San Francisco, you know the world's most crooked street is lined with hydrangeas.In memory of my uncle, who lived a few doors down from Lombard Street, I added hydrangeas to my garden this year. My uncle would have been amused. Living on the top floor of an apartment complex with a view of San Francisco Bay, my garden adventures were foreign to him but we could always agree the Lombard Street hydrangeas were beautiful.
Regardless of the kind of plant, adding greenery associated with a good memory is a wonderful way to add a special touch to a garden. Giving a plant that has a special association to someone can also be a nice garden gift that helps them deal with sorrow. It's difficult for some people to even talk about death.
In making memory quilts out of clothing and photos to help people preserve memories and cope with a loss, I have found embracing the gift of life that was shared can be the kindest way to help someone cope, and move on. Even a simple plant that has a memory associated with it can be the emotional anchor someone needs to manage through their grief.
My uncle was a special family member. By having a plant that I associate with him, I remember the wonderful times we had together and it helps keep those memories alive and close to my heart.