How To Make A Mossy Meowmorial Garden for Cats by Merlin.
Dear ones, with Pet Memorial Day over for another year, I’d like to share some thoughts about life and death. Oh, and a DIY project for those of you who have gardens. A memorial or Meowmorial garden can be created for any pet (they can be prepared in advance and enjoyed for years, but please check your local bylaws re: burial permissions. IN A HURRY? SCROLL DOWN
It’s been 4 months since I made my graceful exit. I did my best to make it an easy journey for all concerned. Domino, Odin and Nou Nou mourned for weeks but even my dear old bud, Domino is back to his playful self. Summer disappeared in a feline slow blink of change. Layla has been itching to work on
her my memoir but it will have to wait until after our big, Black Cat Book is launched sometime before Halloween! I can’t wait.
Saying good-bye is hard. Layla took her time. This is the last time we held hands/paws. I’d already left the building but she hung on for a few extra days. That’s a story for another Monday. Don’t let anyone rush your good-byes. In fact, don’t listen to anyone about grieving (not even me). No one knows what is right except you.
Nature is our best indicator of passing time. Layla stops by our memorial garden every day and was shocked to see a sudden overgrowth of vines covering my birch log stumps. She cut back the excess greenery and did a quick unedited video. To prep this post, she reviewed hundreds of photos taken of me and the burial mound since May, but wasn’t ready to share until now. It’s all the same to me. We thought it might be insightful to share the changes in the memorial garden as a metaphor for life.
Death is the road,
Life is the traveler,
Our soul is the road map.
The first stop in our journey is summer. We’ll do another chapter for autumn, winter and finally spring. Then, if we’re still blogging, we’ll do it all over again.
Every feline member in our family gets a proper send-off and special spot in our garden. I chose mine long before my exit.
There used to be a path leading to the secret garden behind the barn. Gris Gris is buried in an ivy-covered mound near the entrance. The mound resulted from a ball root of a tree uprooted during Superstorm Sandy. Another tree fell across the tiny pond, blocking access to the path. It looked like a natural dead end (forgive my pun) for my final resting place.
This photo was taken in October of last year. The bricks (lower right) is where Gris Gris is buried and his favorite bench is still there.
We like our gardens to be as wild and natural as possible. Some sections are wooded and impenetrable except to a family of deer, groundhogs, chipmunks, rabbits and other creatures.
We never use pesticides since friends don’t poison friends.
Plus we love to attract butterflies, birds and bees. They need our help. In the 15 years we’ve lived here, we’ve noticed a drastic reduction in honey bees, butterflies and certain birds. This is the endangered butterfly list The latest report on honey bees and hummingbirds
How to create a wild and mossy memorial mound
- Creating a burial mound means you don’t have to dig as deep but the deeper you dig, the higher the mound can be. Digging is hard work and can be dangerous. Check hidden electrical or buried sprinkler system. Have a proper shovel and tools. It’s a dirty job. Wear sturdy shoes and old, work clothes.
- Having a mound of dirt isn’t attractive so you’ll want add a pop of color. It can be instant like a roll of grass sod, annual herbs or flowers but moss is especially lovely. Layla collected patches of moss from another part of garden. If you don’t have moss, you can buy it in sheets or other moss products. Moss loves moisture and shade. Sorry, if your garden is in full sun, moss is not for you.
- After arranging your moss, grass or other greenery clumps, gently tamp down and water them.
- Leave space in between the clumps to plants annuals or plant perennial seeds. They can be sprinkled, tamped down and watered but more memorable is creating seed wafers.
- Layla made hearts from a kit containing nutrient rich planting and seeds from Pet Perennials. It’s kind of like making cookies but planting instead of baking.
- Keep watering every day unless it’s raining. The seeds sprout within two weeks but won’t bloom until the following year.
- Adding a border is optional. We re-purposed old bricks but stones or any low border fence will frame the memorial mound.
Purrsonalize it with items that are meaningful for you. We have a lantern with votive candles, cat figurines, a cat angel, crystals, windchimes and a Buddha. We re-purpused an antique terracotta planter to use a grave maker.
We also transplanted baby ferns, lily of the valley because they were popping up. Work with what you have, depending on the month and growing zone. Re-cycle, repurpose, reuse. Our DIY project cost $0.
The Memorial Garden In May. The messy dirt and bare patches quickly grew lush.
By Midsummer, the mound and surrounding garden turned lush with day lilies.
We had more rain than usual with spurts of jungle-like growth and happy moss. In July, Layla who has a dry sense of humor, moved a vacated birdhouse to a branch above the Gris Gris mound. Tiny and extremely noisy birds moved in of an unknown species. It’s undecided whether the feathered tenants will be evicted or fly south this winter. The only thing I know for certain is every day in our memorial garden is different.
It’s almost autumn and goldenrod, pokeweed and asters are adding the greenscape. The fullness of summer will fade into the crisp coolness of fall and then who knows? Join us, have a seat and maybe I’ll get Layla to share more photos and stories.