Helderberg Hospice Garden of Remembrance – A place for memories to grow

Sadly, dealing with the loss of a precious loved one is a challenge that we will all experience during our lifetime. This is one of the most painful and traumatic events we will ever undergo, and healing from the grief is a long and heart rending process.

In an effort to assist with the healing process, Helderberg Hospice has established a Garden of Remembrance in their beautiful gardens at 21 Old Stellenbosch Road, Somerset West. This is a safe and tranquil place for all members of the Helderberg community to visit and spend time remembering and paying tribute to family members and friends who have passed on. Unfortunately, with the high crime rate we have, it is a sad reality that it isn’t safe for family members to spend time in cemeteries remembering their loved ones, especially if they are alone or elderly. Our garden offers a private, safe haven which is free from vandalism and criminal activities.

The garden was established last year with the generous assistance of NCC Environmental Services (Pty) Ltd, Tyris Construction, and Amandla Construction. As their Mandela Day 2016 project, these companies did all the ground preparation and landscaping of our Garden of Remembrance. Included in the landscaping is a paved pathway which allows easy access to all sections of the garden for the elderly and people in wheelchairs.

We are very conscious of our limited water resources in the Western Cape, and have gone to great lengths to ensure that this garden is as water wise as possible. Our dedicated team of garden volunteers spend a lot of time nurturing and caring for our gardens, and their expertise and experience makes certain that the plants selected for the garden are indigenous and require minimal to no watering once established.

They have also ensured that plenty of compost has been dug into the soil, as it aids the water retention ability of the soil, adds nutrients, and also encourages earthworm activity, which improves aeration and drainage. Thanks to these wonderful volunteers, any additions to the Garden of Remembrance will receive the care and maintenance needed to flourish and endure as a lovely, lasting tribute to loved ones.

This special garden is open to all in the Helderberg who wish to honour the memories of those no longer with them; it is not only for those who have received the specialist care of Helderberg Hospice. As this is a garden to benefit the whole community, Helderberg Hospice invites all in the Helderberg basin to get involved with this project and consider donating the following in remembrance of loved ones:

1.      Benches with armrests (from our preferred supplier – made of recycled plastic) in remembrance of their loved ones.

2.      Trees, plants and shrubs from our recommended list (available on request) – another really nice way to remember someone special.

3.      A plaque is available for purchase, which will be placed on the bench or in the garden. This will be engraved with wording of the donor’s choice.

4.      You are welcome to discuss any other idea’s you may have to remember your loved one. For example, we have a wheelbarrow full of succulents which is a unique living tribute to a beloved husband and father, who made the barrow as a gift for his wife before he passed.

The community is also invited to visit the garden Mondays to Fridays from 08h30 to 16h30.

Visit our website on www.helderberghospice.org.za/gardenofremembrance or contact us on 021-8524608 or cheryl@helderberghospice.org.za