Garden Photo of the Day

Memories Through Gardening

By Kim Charles

Linda Stanford showcases her heart felt "memory gardens" in Illinois.

"Back in the Spring of 2013 Linda and Herb moved to Flossmoor, Ilinois and acquired a yard with trees, green bushes, one hosta variety along Butterfield Creek, a bridge and gazebo.

Today there is nothing formal about these ten gardens, just a copious amount of perennials, roses, flowering bushes, vegetables, herbs and lots of art. Each garden is dedicated in memory of a loved one featuring their favorite flower variety. There is also a garden dedicated to Alzheimer's and the most recent garden dedicated to the memory of Herb.

Recently the gardens were featured in one of the local garden walks and received many accolades."

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  1. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 07/26/2017

    Such a nice way to commemorate loved ones.

    1. user-7008787 07/26/2017

      Thank you Tim!

      Herb and I were talking one day and I ask him what was his mother's favorite flower, he said she loved lilies.
      That's how it all started.

  2. frankgreenhalgh 07/26/2017

    Thank you for sharing a wonderful story and sentiment, Linda. Your lovely gardens keep memories alive and create a peaceful and relaxing environment to enjoy. Cheers from Australia

    1. user-7008787 07/26/2017

      Thank you Frank!

  3. user-3565112 07/26/2017

    Linda, Your gardens are terrific& the sentiment behind their design is heartwarming. " Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature" comes to mind when seeing your beautiful post this morning. Thank you & good luck, Joe

    1. user-7008787 07/26/2017

      Thank you Joe!

  4. 2bakeornot2bake 07/26/2017

    What a wonderful, inspirational way to garden!

    1. user-7008787 07/26/2017

      Thank you Noreen

  5. Sunshine111 07/26/2017

    How lovely!

    1. user-7008787 07/26/2017

      Thank you Lily

  6. sheila_schultz 07/26/2017

    Gazing upon your beautiful gardens must flood you with so many warm and loving memories. Life goes on, one way or another and you seem to have found the perfect recipe for keeping your loved ones close at hand. What a touching tribute. Thank you, Linda, for sharing your passion with us.

    1. user-7008787 07/26/2017

      Yes Sheila! Can't wait til my Veggies are ready to eat.

  7. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 07/26/2017

    Good morning, Linda. Gardening is a great way to both remember and honor loved ones. You've done it beautifully. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    1. user-7008787 07/26/2017

      Thank you Linda!

  8. user-4691082 07/26/2017

    Please accept our sympathy on your loss of Herb. What a beautiful property you have created. I love the bridge out front, as well as all of the plants you have used. I hope you find solace as you tend your plants. I know I do.

    1. user-7008787 07/26/2017

      Thank you Rhonda! Herb loved the gardens, he was hilarious calling me "his little farmer." It is definitely helping me through.

  9. VikkiVA 07/26/2017

    Dear Linda, such beauty, I especially love the picture of your Echinacea. I can't seem to grow any but the pink variety. What is the name of the flowering plants in your second photo? No doubt you have wonderful memories of Herb when ever you walk through your garden. Vikki in VA

    1. user-7008787 07/26/2017

      The taller one is Dame's Rocket, the dark purple are Mountain Bluets (Cornflowers). They both self seed and if you keep them deadheaded they will blooms through September in Zone 5b

    2. user-7008787 07/26/2017

      Oh yes Vikki, such beautiful memories

  10. digginWA 07/26/2017

    That lily is luscious. Thanks for sharing these photos. For me, it's the sight of red geraniums that makes me smile, as that was what my dad wanted in a big pot every summer at his lake cabin, with a dracaena smack in the middle. I went rogue one year and snuck in a trailing something or other. Balance. Ha.

    1. user-7008787 07/26/2017

      Thank you Tia! I love dracaenas, just gorgeous!

  11. user-7007498 07/26/2017

    Linda, thanks for sharing your garden and touching story with us. Hopefully your gardens bring a smile as you remember those you have honored. Beautiful.

    1. user-7008787 07/26/2017

      Thank you!

  12. user-7008735 07/26/2017

    What a lovely way to design a garden, Linda! I am sorry for the loss of your dear Herb. Many of my plants remind me of friends or family, too. I adore the deep red peonies that my Dad gave me from his garden and remember taking armloads of the flowers to my elementary school teachers near the end of the school year. Last month my cousin gave me some violets that came from my Grandpa's garden via my aunt's garden and hers. Grandpa has been gone for more than 50 years, but I am thrilled to have this link with him. Your garden will bring both tears and smiles, but I hope there are more smiles.

    1. user-7008787 07/26/2017

      Thanks Lorraine! I love Peonies they are one of my favorites.

      1. user-7008735 07/27/2017

        Mine, too, Linda!

  13. User avater
    meander_michaele 07/26/2017

    What a lovely reason to create new garden beds...commemorating special people who have enriched and shared some of your life's journey. I hope the soothing joy in the act of planting helps to balance out the heavy heart that has to also be present...especially in the passing of your beloved Herb. Would you mind sharing what his most favorite flower was? I'm not sure I could easily answer that question for've given me something to think about.

    1. user-7008787 07/26/2017

      Thank you!

      Herb loved Roses and unfortunately the Rose Garden hadn't bloomed when I sent in the photos.

  14. tennisluv 07/26/2017

    You must find such pleasure and solace in each of your garden areas. Quite lovely. Thanks for sharing.

    1. user-7008787 07/27/2017

      Thank you Sonya!

  15. bettinastanford 07/27/2017

    My mom knows more about gardening than anyone I know, and she used it to honor the people she loves. I'm super proud!

    1. user-7008787 07/27/2017

      Thanks Tina! Your Granny's Zinnias are now in full bloom.

  16. tyradixon 07/27/2017

    Linda, how heartwarming to see this beautiful tribute that you have created come together just as naturally as God has intended. Herb indeed is smiling down on this garden and I know that with every blade of grass and every flower that blooms, his memory continues to march on forever with us all. Thank you for sharing this! It's simply stunning!

    1. user-7008787 07/27/2017

      Thank you Tyra!
      My memories of flower loving loved ones is so encouraging.

  17. user-7008793 07/27/2017

    The garden is beautiful! What a lovely way to remember those who are gone but never forgotten.

    1. user-7008787 07/27/2017

      Thank you Belinda! It's your turn now!

  18. angelstanford 07/27/2017

    As always, you have out done yourself!!!! Each year your garden is more and more beautiful. I know that Herb is bragging on "his little farmer" to all his friends in heaven!!
    Angel Stanford

    1. user-7008787 07/27/2017

      Thank you Angel! Yes, I'm really feeling like Herb's "Little Farmer" today. I actually have 3 ears of corn with green beans using the stalks as a trellis, I amazed myself with this one.

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