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Thank you, SW Barratt

Stone cherub on memorial

Discover Memorial & Garden Stone Ideas

Published: March 1, 2024

Stone cherub in bushes

There are lots of ways to honour those who have passed away. One highly used or applied way is to create memorial or garden stones.

Garden stones can be placed at grave sites, along paths, or even inside homes. They can also decorate gardens, patios, or other outdoor spaces.

Memorial garden stones come in various sizes, shapes, colours, and materials. Some designs resemble natural rocks, while others are sculpted to form abstract designs. There are also decorative stones that feature images of loved ones.

Memorial garden stones can be created using different types of stone. The type of material is dependant on what the customer chooses.

Stone jesus on memorial

The placement of a monument, including its style and design, should match the needs and desires of the family. Ideally, this will include things that were important to the deceased.

Memorial stone history

The history of memorial stones goes back thousands of years ago. As early civilisations started building structures like pyramids and temples, people created tombstones for their departed loved ones. It wasn’t until later, when these stone monuments became commonplaces, that people began using them for more than just grave sites. Nowadays, memorials can be used for any remembrances, such as funerals, anniversaries, and birthdays.

The three images below show old, grand designs in stone statues and a granite memorial.

Elegant stone woman on stone bed
Elegant stone woman on stone bed with book
Granite memorial stone

Garden stone ideas

Choose an appropriate location. When choosing a spot for a stone, look for a level surface that contains soil with good drainage. Avoid areas with heavy traffic or strong winds because these can damage monuments.

If you plan to install several stones, consider placing them around the perimeter of a patio, lawn, or flower bed. You could also put them in the centre of a circle, an oval, or a square by filling the interior with plants or flowers. Another option is to integrate small mementos, such as photos, personal objects, ashes, lockets, or jewellery, into each one. This can be carried out by immersing the objects in a two part fibreglass resin and hardener compound and then bonding to the stone. This way any objects will be well protected from the weather.

In general keep the number of stones low. Too many garden stones can overwhelm a landscape. A single sculpture may be enough, or a couple together.

Memorials carved out of a section from a tree trunk, like many wooden sculptures, can create a softer look compared to stone.

Keep stones simple. Try not to make your garden stones too ornate – keep things neat and clean. You want people to appreciate the beauty of the garden stone rather than focus on how intricate the carving looks. Allowing visitors to touch and interact with the stones is why some families often opt for simpler, more straightforward designs.

Garden hope stone

Consider the inscription. The phrase or verse you choose to engrave onto a larger stone, tombstone or monument should be thought out and personal to the deceased. If there’s room left over, use it for something else. Just stick to the facts and write about the deceased’s life and achievements.

Include details. Some other requisite things you might want to include are dates, names, birth date, age at death, date of death, date of funeral or memorial service, title or status held at the time of death, military honours rendered, and quotes.

For instance, if you were looking to honour someone who died while serving overseas, you wouldn’t only put their name on the grave marker; you’d also have “serviceman, servicewoman” or “veteran” added to the dedication, along with the date they died. You might include additional information such as a photo and quote.

Be sure to use the right terms when referring to the dead, both when talking about them and writing about them. For example it is common to draft the inscription in the mind of a third person, so that the inscription is open to all.

It’s indispensable to pay attention to the type and size of language used because some languages allow certain words to be read differently. So if you choose to use a particular font, know precisely how it appears. Your chosen stone mason will be able to advise you.

Always use proper grammar. Although the final decision regarding spelling and punctuation rests with the client, it’s always best to follow established grammatical conventions. Spell Checkers will help catch misspelt words, so don’t overlook this vital step. The person’s title should also be spelt correctly, for example, Mr, Mrs, Ms, Dr, or Prof.

Granite memorial with inlaid lettering

Be careful with abbreviations. It’s acceptable to abbreviate standard terms that aren’t used excessively within a sentence (i.e., “AJ” instead of Aaron John). 

You may prefer to avoid abbreviated forms altogether by writing out the full name. In either case, use your judgement and be sure to include any necessary explanations when needed.

If the deceased lived before the era of or without formal education, then your selection should reflect more personal preferences than strict adherence to standard guidelines. You should consider whether or not you should use capitals for first and last names. 

Georgian headstone

The main rule for gravestones

It may sound obvious but don’t leave the stone blank, unless there is a very good reason to do so. It does not look good when walking through a cemetery and having your eye drawn to the spot where you’re supposed to see an engraved headstone.

Memorial garden stones for pets

Memorial garden stones for pets are loving tributes to pets that have passed on. When choosing these loving tributes, you have several factors to keep in mind. These include:

1. Shape

When looking at memorial garden stones for pets, two shapes are primarily available: rectangles and squares. Rectangular stones usually come with the most extensive range of options for customisation. Because of their relatively simple form, these memorials can be made into almost anything.

Whether you want a heart, flower, sunburst, cross, star, flag, or other symbols, with a rectangular tombstone, you can create just about any custom symbol you’d like.

Two memorial stones for dogs

2. Portrait/Image

Most pet memorials incorporate an image of your pet alongside the engraving. This feature gives mourners a visual reference for your lost pet and allows the family and friends to connect with the memory of your loved one.

An abstract portrait could work very well if it emphasises the beauty of the animal rather than its personality. Remember, though, depending upon the size of the engraved area; it might take up most of the space of the stone itself!

Two large wooden horse models

3. Wording

Memorial gardens tend to fall into three categories: short obituaries, more extended biographies, and epitaphs. A short obituary is commonly enough room for a brief description, including dates. 

4. Customisation

If you have extra room on your memorial garden stone, then you may feel inclined to add some customisations, such as customising the fonts used in the text.

5. Location

To ensure maximum visibility for your personalised pet memorial garden stones, consider placing them close to the front of the burial site. Keep in mind that some cemeteries will not allow you to put your items directly within the grave. If you choose to include a pet memorial garden stone, ensure that you have permission from the cemetery.

Memorial stones for Dad or male

If your father or son has passed away, you probably have many questions about dads’ memorial garden stones. Below are some requisite suggestions to consider when selecting memorial garden stones:

1. Traditional men’s graveside engravings

Generally, these will be more traditional designs and follow the standard “male silhouette” theme. However, over the years it has become more common practice to have a photograph embedded in resin and attached to the headstone. Often a simple yet elegant font style is chosen. Stone carvings such as can be seen in the image below are also a good choice.

Stone jesus with wings set into headstone

2. Funerary art designs

Funeral art memorials aren’t limited to men. These designs feature realistic male silhouettes that appear to be wearing clothing similar to what the deceased was known for wearing.. They are less formal in style than portraits.

3. Personalised men’s graveyards

This memorial contains a portrait of the deceased person alongside a quote or saying showing their personality. Personalisation features include monograms, family names, a nickname, favourite phrases, religious slogans, or quotes.

Memorial stones for Mum or female

If your mum or daughter has passed away, you probably have many questions about memorial garden stones for moms or daughters. Below are some requisite suggestions to consider when selecting memorial garden stones for a daughter:

Two cherubs on tombstone

1. Traditional Women’s gravesite engravings

Women gravesites tend to come with floral wall sculptures and often include a small angel statue.. That said, there are still plenty of requisite options available if you’re looking for different styles.

Stone mary on grave
Stone angel set into headstone
Two biblical stone figures

2. Funerary art designs

As with men, funeral art memorials are not only reserved for females. While they typically depict a lady with long flowing hair, they also feature other feminine aspects such as flowers, decorative pieces, angels, children, etc.

3. Personalised female graveyards

With a portrait of your mum, this would be among the top picks. It features a beautiful image of her, and it includes a quote that represents who she was.


In general, memorial and garden stones come in various shapes, sizes, colours, and materials. When designing your own, keep in mind that you can choose from several finishes, fonts, and personalization options. Also, remember with garden stones to consider how large the surface area of your garden is before deciding which choice is right for you. For more information on lower cost memorials & headstones please visit the link.

If you would like to learn more about locating low-cost funerals, low-cost headstones, natural burials, DIY funerals, free financial help from the Government and charities as well as bereavement support, then please visit Save Funeral Costs™

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SW Barratt
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