Garden Cairns

I have been a very absent blog writer and I know it.  Working on my newest project (leaf magazine) is just one reason, the other is that I had to put our family cat to sleep yesterday and while I had hoped I would feel better today, I don’t.

I don’t want to go on about it (too sad) but just about the only thing I am finding any ability focus on in today’s aftermath is re-runs of 30Rock (total zone out TV)  and haphazard internet searching for inspiration for grave markers for pets.   Does anyone have any ideas  for something that isn’t tacky, covered in paws or other stupid pet-ish images, or just plain cheesy?   These are my visual inspirations at the moment.  We buried our dear Chuck in the garden just below our bedroom windows.   My only goal is for it to be beautiful, destination-worthy and tall enough to be able to see even if we have a foot of snow on the ground.

Dover-Sherborn Press photo by Mark Thomson This is the "Stone Totem Fountain" by Louis Pomerantz at the Cairn Croft Sculpture Garden

cairn garden

I appreciate your patience.  While I pull myself back together as well as get my work-self organized (With Leaf Magazine fulfilling so much of the same goals that I have for studio ‘g’ – but on a bigger and grander level – I am trying to figure out my balance – but don’t worry, I will).   If you are looking for some good inspiration, you might want to check out the Leaf Facebook page, we have a regular line-up of great inspiration going up daily.


images by Mark Thomson of the “Stone Totem Fountain” by Louis Pomerantz at the Cairn Croft Sculpture Garden and Fay Young.

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.

13 Comments

  1. Kerry Harvey on August 10, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    So sorry for your loss. RIP Chuck. 🙁 I really like the first image of the stacked stones, it has a very serene quality.

  2. Jenn on August 10, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Always hard, to lose an old friend and family member.

    Loving that stone totem. Is it a recirculating fountain? the wet look is fascinating. (Although, not, perhaps, what a resting in peace cat wants over his head, no?)

  3. rochelle on August 10, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Jenn — that fountain is great (yes, I think it is a fountain) — but I think my purposes a bit too tall….and certainly not a fountain – like cat torture ….but lovely nonetheless.

  4. geoff on August 10, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Rochelle-
    My condolences on your loss. I just had to put down the second dog in 2 years so I’m working on the same situation. I’ve found that beating on the native Berthoud Pink sandstone does wonders for the sadness. A few hours of hammer and chisel work and I can build a nice 2-ft Goldsworthy-esque egg up on the hillside with an iris bed in front of it. Tough, stately, and in keeping with the homesteads here about. Good luck.

  5. Katie Gillespie-Cool on August 10, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    I’m not sure about the snow since that would never enter my mind here is So Cal, but when one of our dogs had to be put to sleep, the kids made a grave marker with one of those kits for a stepping stones. Maybe you could build on that idea – make it a project to help work through the grief. I know how awful it is.

  6. Tina on August 11, 2011 at 12:06 am

    I am so sorry about Chuck. It is so hard to have to say goodbye that way. Almost one year ago we had to put down both our elderly cat and dog within a few weeks. We had them cremated planning to bury their ashes in the garden with a marker but I still haven’t picked them up yet. I was paralyzed by indecision and wanting it to be just so. Finally a few weeks ago I ordered a bowl/pedestal combo from Charleston Garden. I am planning on filling it with white annuals and a small conifer for winter interest. I thinking tending it will be a nice remembrance and we can have a memorial service of sorts when we set it up. Heartfelt sympathy.

  7. Loree/plant lust on August 11, 2011 at 12:46 am

    For me it has to be a living thing, a plant…or a few. The day my grandmother died I was lost and just cried and wandered. I ended up at a nursery where I bought a few plants, different colors of the same thing. When I moved I dug a couple up and they moved with me. When they bloom my grandmother is there in the garden with me. Good luck, take your time.

  8. rochelle on August 11, 2011 at 6:18 am

    Geoff — Berthoud Sandstone? Where are you?
    Katie – good idea…
    Tina – you are making me feel better and a little less rushed….I have this sense that I want to do something right this second, but the extra stress that is giving me, ultimately makes me sadder. Not sure why I feel that way, there is absolutely no reason why a marker has to be decided and installed today, like you, I think I should give it some time and patience. Thanks for making me realize that.
    Loree – Love the plant idea…lily of the valley grows wild where we buried him…and it will certainly take over if left alone, but I think we shoudl augment it – even if it is just with a little catnip. I love that you move plants with you. My family has always done that….it makes sense though given that most mothers day gifts are special roses or other cherished things.

  9. geoff on August 11, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Just north of Carter Lake, West of Loveland, CO

  10. Michelle on August 11, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    I love the stacked stone fountain! I want to make one – but imagine drilling through the stones would be a challenge. Guess it could look fantastic as a sculpture sans the fountain – and there is a concrete sealer we used on our exposed concrete patio that cound give it that wet look – not to mention I live in a rainforest and it actually would be wet the majority of the time. 😉 I am on the hunt for beautiful round stones!
    Sorry about your cat – we’d be heartbroken to lose one of ours too.

  11. rosekraft on August 12, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Concur with Loree and the living plant tribute – every summer the three foot calla lily shoots up from the cats’ grave in our backyard, and I quietly call out “hello Fred, hello Leroy”.
    In terms of something a little more permanent, you’ll know what’s appropriate when you stumble across it sometime in the future.

  12. Joy on September 8, 2011 at 12:38 am

    Rochelle – let the grief simmer and you will find that the perfect memorial will rise to the surface in time.

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