June 13, 2017
I would like to introduce Violet’s Garden to you. Violet’s Garden is a children’s Memorial Garden located within the existing cemetery grounds of Lichfield & District Crematorium in remembrance of Violet Mornington who tragically passed away at only 5 years old.
The garden was the brainchild of Ivan and Kerry Mornington (Violets parents) who wanted to create a unique space away from the traditional crematorium memorials where parents could grieve privately but also provide a place where siblings could visit without being overawed by their surroundings. Working closely with our affiliate Landscape Architectural Practice Clews Landscape Architecture a concept design was produced and agreed with the Violets in Bloom Charity and Dignity PLC.
Losing a child is a grief that no parent would ever wish to experience. When their daughter, Violet, passed away at just five years of age, Ivan and Kerry Mornington decided to turn their grief into positivity by starting a charity – Violets in Bloom. Finding traditional memorials at their local crematorium somewhat melancholy they undertook to create a child-friendly space to commemorate their daughter’s short life, where parents and siblings alike would be comfortable to visit, grieve or celebrate their lost children in their own way.
The Morningtons, friends and family tirelessly fundraised for two and a half years to raise the required £82,000 to fund their dream garden for Violet. Ivan had a clear idea of what he wanted within the garden and produced several detailed sketches of his ideas which were given to the then owners of the crematorium – Co-Operative Funeral Services, who instructed their nominated contractor to start work on the garden in May 2016. The build was a disaster – Kerry & Ivan`s plans and ideas dismissed and a cold, austere structure was built instead of the playful, comfortable space that Ivan and Kerry had envisaged. They were left devastated when the contractors pulled off site halfway through the build which was later condemned and had to demolished, leaving Ivan and Kerry’s faith, dreams and funds in the rubble.
Dignity PLC took ownership of the Crematorium and the project in late 2016 and fought hard to recoup the Morningtons’ losses and get the memorial garden back on track. Warwick Taylor Landscapes were instructed on 30th March, 2017 to work with Kerry and Ivan to finally make their ideas come to fruition. Wanting to incorporate places of solace and contemplation where parents could grieve but also areas of vibrancy where children could play, laugh and remember their siblings, but overall they wanted to keep the spirit of childhood alive in Violet’s garden. The couple had commissioned a granite sculpture of their ‘Little Superhero’ which has now been relocated at the entrance to the garden.
Warwick Taylor Landscapes considered both the practical and emotional aspects of this project within their design, creating a ‘tunneled’ walkway into the garden, multi-space areas for peace and solace, scatter lawns, child-centred memorials which are playful rather than austere, play areas for siblings and areas directly connected to Violet herself including her Superhero statue, ‘V’- shaped resin bound path ways, tribute books to Violet and predominantly violet coloured planting schemes. Mature yew hedging and archways offer privacy within Violets Garden itself.
Working to a deadline of June 3rd (Violet’s ninth birthday) and having received approval from all relevant parties, Warwick Taylor Landscapes turned this project around in just three weeks. Working closely with Kerry and Ivan, our design incorporated all the elements of Ivan’s sketches and created the perfect blend of grief and celebration that the couple had envisaged at the infancy of their idea.
Material Change were the suppliers of the Bark Mulch and Soil Improver used by Warwick Taylor Landscapes for this project. 10 metres cube of Contract Ornamental and 20 metres cube of Soil Improver was used to transform soil and garden area. We have a good working relation with Chris Taylor of Warwick Taylor Landscapes and although Lichfield & District Crematorium is over 150 miles from our Creeting site, we made sure that the products were delivered in time for the opening of the garden.
The garden design is absolutely beautiful as the photos show.
Request a Call BackRequest a Call Back
If you would like to talk to one of the team please use the below contact form