While there are many factors to consider when planning your military memorial garden, choosing the right plants will add a depth of beauty and meaning to the space. Keep these three key components in mind when choosing what to plant.
Select Significant Colors
Color is one of the easiest ways to align your plants with the purpose of a space. For a patriotic garden, you might choose to go with a red, white and blue color scheme. Keep in mind that there aren’t many plants that naturally match the “Old Glory Blue” of the American flag; possible substitutes include the deep blue-purple of Baptisia 'Sparkling Sapphires' false indigo, or 'Black and Bloom' salvia. Perhaps you want your garden to reflect specific military ribbons and/or decorations, or maybe your loved one’s favorite color.
Plant and Flower Meanings
Plants with specific meanings attached to them can help tell a story in your garden, either by their symbolism or historic significance. The poppy (Papaver rhoeas) has been used since WWI as a symbol of remembrance for the dead. Roses are another patriotic flower option, as they were designated as the national flower in 1968. Many flowers, such as forget-me-nots, hydrangeas and lilies all bear a message of enduring love and remembrance.
Important Holidays or Events
Do you want your garden to bloom around an important holiday, such as the 4th of July? Or perhaps another significant date, such as your loved one’s birthday? Plan your plant selection with an eye to bloom time so you can enjoy your memorial garden at these significant times.
Rachel Fountain is Horticulture's social media manager.