What is a Scattering Garden?
A scattering garden, often found in cemeteries, is a designated place for scattering cremation ashes. As cremation rises in popularity (mainly due to a lower cremation cost and families who are less traditional), so have scattering gardens. They are essentially beautiful graveyards for those who choose cremation - gardens designed and planted to make use of the scattered ashes. Cremation gardens are designed to be able to use the ash scattered there productively. These gardens represent the natural cycle of life and how some parts of our deceased loved ones are always with us in some form.
With the growing interest in scattering gardens, they are now being included at many of the memory forest locations. A memory forest is a special place where people can go to plant trees in memory of their deceased loved ones. Many of these trees are also planted with all or a portion of cremation ashes. Growing a tree with ash transforms the remains into something new, something living. The Living Urn has developed the leading memory tree planting system, which is designed to make use of the cremation ash to help grow the tree, similar to a scattering garden.
Why a Scattering Garden?
Using a scattering garden as a place to lay all or some of your loved one’s ashes gives you and others who are grieving a place to come reflect and remember. Scattering gardens are designed for solitude and respite, many with benches for quiet contemplation among the lovely garden. These gardens also commonly feature plaques and other markers that memorialize those who have passed. This allows you to blend aspects of the traditional burial with the flexibility of cremation.
Many people find scattering gardens warmer than a standard cemetery, which makes visiting the garden easier and more appealing. Gardens after all are going to be more inviting than cold tombstones and monuments. Also, while cremation is a more environmentally friendly option than a traditional burial, too much ash at a single location can potentially damage the natural growing environment where they’re scattered. Most cremation gardens have taken the natural composition of cremation ash into account with their garden design. Scattering gardens allow you to leave your loved one’s ashes somewhere where they will do good, which gives you a living gravesite to visit whenever you wish. To streamline the scattering process, many people choose to use scattering urns, which are both practical and reverent.
Comparing Memory Forests and Scattering Gardens to Traditional Gravesites
One thing that memory forests, scattering gardens, and traditional gravesites have in common is that they are resting places for those we’ve lost. There are no wrong choices when it comes to deciding what to do with your loved one’s ashes. If you’re wanting some help making up your mind, here are a few things to consider.
- Memory forests and scattering gardens are alive and growing, whereas a gravesite (unless you plant flowers yourself) is typically only grass and stone. They can be much more inviting places than a traditional cemetery with a gravestone. Not only do they impart the healing qualities of any garden, but they also hold a physical piece of your deceased loved one.
- While all of these sites will contain a physical part of your deceased beloved, only in a memory forest or scattering garden will that physical part of your beloved be transformed into something living and lasting. For example, a memory tree could live for many decades as a living memorial.
- Many people believe that scattering gardens and memory forests are much more suited for comfortable contemplation and remembrance than traditional cemeteries. Scattering gardens may have benches for sitting, and is there anything more peaceful and centering than walking through a forest? Especially one that is being cared for.
Where to Find Scattering Gardens and Memory Forests
Scattering gardens and memory forests are lovely, peaceful, and permanent places to lay a loved one to rest. There are scattering gardens and memory forests all across the nation. Even if there’s not one in your local area, there’s likely one that is close by. To search for a memory forest near you, please click here.
If you cannot find one that is nearby you or suits your interest, try googling search terms like “scattering garden near me”. Hopefully, local cemeteries, memorial parks or churches that have scattering gardens will pop up. It’s also possible that local cemeteries won’t have information about their scattering gardens online. Calling them and asking might turn up some hidden gems. And, if that doesn’t give results, while you’re on the phone with them, you can also ask the cemetery staff if they know of any scattering gardens in the area.