The vision for the Remembering Garden is one of building community in the face of loss and in creating beauty despite profound loss. The concept is built off of community gardens that have become commonplace in cities across the globe and influenced by the National AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco and the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. I imagine it as a garden as diverse as the people that are remembered in it, with patches of wildflowers interspersed with neatly-curated rose bushes.
The Remembering Garden would be located as part of a public park or other open area, perhaps with associated art installations, picnic areas, or other features that would be a center for community activity. Each Remembering Garden would be curated by a local volunteer community and develop "rules of the garden" grounded in a set of generic principles but tailored to local communities and cultures represented in the garden. Examples of the generic principles might include the following:
1. Grief should be supported both for its personal nature and as an opportunity for connection to the larger community
2. Honoring and supporting grieving individuals strengthens the community
3. Death is an opportunity for beauty and renewal
4. The Remembering Garden is community-owned and transcends the individual
5. Maintaining the Remembering Garden is the responsibility of the entire community
Plantings in the Remembering Garden would be organized through a website where grieving community members could notify others when a death occurred. Remembering Ceremonies would typically occur at a common day/time each week, so that community members could become habituated to attending them. However, individuals could designate an alternate day/time if he/she preferred to invite specific community members (invitations might also be distributed via the website).
I imagine the Garden being divided into small planting plots. Each plot might include a post that could house a Remembrance Card that could be signed by attendees at the Remembering Ceremony and/or other community members who visited the garden.