Hugo’s Garden

The morning of the first anniversary of Hugo’s death was spent at his garden.

Sprucing up Hugo’s garden was something Martin and I had wanted to do for some time. Our son was buried last April, meaning the six month period you need to wait for the earth to settle ended just as winter started. We thought it better to wait for spring.

Hugo's garden shortly after his funeral.

Hugo’s garden shortly after his funeral.

Last summer Hugo’s garden was alive with vibrant colour: regular fresh flowers; violets and forget-me-nots and a beautiful daisy bush. An array of toys, windmills, and whirlygigs ensured the garden always looked alive.

Sadly the first frost killed the daisy bush, and the other flowers died off too. Dead leaves and general detritus gathered among the flowers and toys, and appeared as quickly as we cleared them. Plus, rabbits and other little creatures enjoyed nibbling on the leaves.

Hugo's garden flourishing in full bloom last summer.

Hugo’s garden flourishing in full bloom last summer.

So, we wanted to install something that was off the ground to protect the plants and toys. Martin had the idea of wooden planters from the local garden centre. We bought a hexagonal one and a square one – they are the perfect size and demarcate the plot perfectly.

The hexagonal one is placed nearest to Hugo’s cross marker. We filled that with two bags of neutral sparkly rock – white, pale pinky-red, pale blue – and placed toys on top. We are now able to place the bits that people have kindly given us in Hugo’s memory in that planter – they are a bit more secure amongst the rocks, and off the ground. We will add to the planter as we go with little mementoes of places we go, so Hugo can virtually journey with us.

Toys, mementoes, and sparkly stones in the hexagonal planter.

Toys, mementoes, and sparkly stones in the hexagonal planter.

The square planter contains the flowers. Currently it contains the viola (beautiful yellow, blue and purple petals), dwarf tulips that are yet to grow, and some of the forget-me-nots we were able to rescue. There are a couple of other perennial bush type plants – one with yellow star shape flowers and the other with purple cone shaped flowers (I am hopeless with remembering names of flowers – I should have written them down.) It will look glorious when they are all in bloom.

The square planter and burgeoning plants.

The square planter and burgeoning plants.

Next to the hexagonal planter we have a vase for fresh flowers. We took out some of the whirlygigs for the time being while the garden beds down, and we are likely to revolve some of them between Hugo’s garden and our home garden as a way of maintaining a connection.


Side view of Hugo's spruced-up garden.

Side views of Hugo’s spruced-up garden.

Working on Hugo’s garden was a positive and constructive way of spending the anniversary.

While it is still a work-in-progress, we are really pleased with how Hugo’s garden looks now. That feels like a funny thing to type: I would so much rather have a nursery to decorate, of course. But Hugo’s garden is a way of Martin and I showing our love for our son and paying tribute to him by ensuring it is always looked after and cared for.

14 thoughts on “Hugo’s Garden

  1. Mary @TheHeartyLife says:

    Lovely! I can’t wait to go spruce up the grave and freshen its look and finally get a headstone and some identity to her little plot! Isn’t it weird how much it plays on your mind, its the only thing we can really do for them though isn’t it x Thinking of you x


    • Leigh Kendall says:

      So right, Mary, these things are the way of showing our love for our babies. It felt important to get the plot just right for Hugo – just as I would have done with his nursery. Sending love xxx


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