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I would like to plant something in my garden in memory of my son, who lived only briefly in November 05. 

What kind of shrub would be looking nice at that time of year?  Is doesn't necessarily have to be flowering, as looking gloriously autumnal in leaf would be just as appropriate.

Any ideas welcome.


Acers are nice, you can get ones that stay quite small.


There are forms of Sorbus (Rowan) which stay around 1 m, and have lots of white berries.

Hello Catherine.

Sorry for your loss.  Losing a child must be the most emotionally difficult feeling to bear. 

I grew a rose for someone....the name and colour were perfect.  It flowers at the,right time.  I grow a dicentra spectabile for my young nephew flowers wonderfully at the right time too, viz., spring.

November is difficult.  A camellia is nice.  Full of promising buds in November to,produce its flowers in spring.

Lomicera winter beauty is a shrubby honeysuckle with scented late winter flowers and, again, has buds in November.

Choisya sundance is a lovely,yellow evergreen shrub that looks good in November and produces scenfed flowers in spring

Daphne Odora aureomarginataIas a lovely evergreen shrub that looks good all year round and has late winter beautifully scented flowers

What sort of shrub would YOU ideally like to remember your son by?  Evergreen? Scent? Winter flowering heathers are full of buds and flowers over autumn and winter.  Maybe a little plaque too with his name on it?  




Hello Catherine

An acer sounds nice, something in a pot, so if you ever do move home, you could take it with you.

Does it have to be a plant? What about a nice bird table or bird bath?



Hi Catherine. It's hard making suggestions in these circumstances but Verd has made some great ones. Can I also suggest an apple tree as they bear fruit at this time of year. Also, like the Camellia, Rhododendrons have their buds forming just now. The one under my front window is covered. Most Mahonias will be getting their flower buds in November ready to flower in wintertime and the flowers are scented as well. 

star gaze lily

So sorry to hear of your loss. Not sure how you would feel about this, but what about a garden statue,  they do ones of little boys and as tina says if you move you can take it with you. I've got one of a little boy with a watering can, you could place him amongst your flowers. They are on the web, just type it in. Hope you find something that is just right and is special to you. With best wishes. 


I'm sorry to read about your son.

You could try a Callicarpa. It has glorious purple berries from October and they last until after the shrub has shed it's leaves. Eventually the birds will eat the berries but then you know that has helped them to start the winter. Here is a link to click on for photos and description.

Otherwise a small tree with wonderful autumn colour is Liquidamber.

Having lost child myself at a similar age, I know how difficult this must be for you.You could try Euonymous europeaus Red Cascade. It is winter flowering and is very good all year round.


Nice suggestion Dave. 

And of course, the other lovely Euonymous - alatus - the spindle tree. Grown for its glorious autumn colour.

Would second Callicarpa, lovely little pearl like lilac berries

Or Schizostylus would probably flower then.

Would be concerned a acer might have lost it's leaves by november.

A small slow growing tree. fagus sylvatica 'purpurea pendula' 

Schizostlis (Kaffir Lily) looks great in November.


?Pyracantha - sounds odd maybe, but at this time of year they are covered to the hilt with deep red, orange or yellow berries depending upon type.  The birds love them, so they give life to future generations of them - maybe a fit memorial for your so sad loss?   In the spring they are thick with white blossom, giving beauty and hope to a new year. 


The pyracantha in my front gardendoes look amazing at the moment.



That is a lovely way to remember your son Catherine.

Does it have to be leaf?,dogwood has glorious red stems in winter,a real bright spot in the winter garden.

Depending on what you decide,I would consider planting in a pot that can be taken with you if you ever decide to move .


Catherine, I'm sorry to hear about your son.

It's just an idea, but my thought is to plant a patch of colchicums (autumn crocus), sometimes known as Naked Boys - leafless flowers popping up briefly each autumn to make the world beautiful for a short while before they disappear again. 

You can get white ones as well as the usual lilac. 

Hi all

Many thanks for your lovely replies.

I like the sound of the callicarpa, the Red Cascade and the colchicums. 

We've recently moved to our forever house (and garden) hence the wait to plant something.  I feel the need to plant something in the ground to mark him permanently with us (the psychology of bereavement is a strange thing), and I really, really hope we won't be moving again, ever!

Now I just need to find the best spot in the garden for your suggestions to make the final choice.

Hiya catherine

Hope the plants help the healing process.  As you say, the psychology of bereavement  is a strange thing.

star gaze lily

I'm sure you will find the perfect place that is special to you. And I hope the flowers  you have chosen bring you comfort, they sound just perfect. My best wishes to you and your family. I hope you all enjoy your new home.