August 2021
Gardens of Honor By Teresa McPherson

Never Forget Gardens are a new nationwide garden initiative intended to honor U.S. veterans and their families.

As the centennial anniversary of the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier approaches on Nov. 11, Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (SHGTUS) is encouraging homeowners to consider installing a Never Forget Garden and Marker to honor U.S. veterans and their families.

The marker is intended to recognize and remember those who have and will serve and sacrifice for our country, and can act as a proxy not only for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier but to keep the memory alive of all we have lost.

Marker with a Message

The Never Forget Garden Marker (NFG Marker) was designed in collaboration with the artists at Carruth Studio Inc., Waterville, Ohio.

Never Forget Garden Marker“Carruth Studio was initially contacted by Jackson & Perkins in 2019,” says Terence Langenderfer, president. “J&P were aware of Carruth Studio through our involvement with the garden center community over the past 25 years. J&P apparently had previous discussions with SHGTUS. J&P recommended we work directly with SHGTUS, specifically project director Richard Azzaro, to design and create the NFG Marker.”

The 10 by 17-inch stone/concrete marker is approximately 1 1/2 inches thick and can withstand temperatures throughout North America and Europe (crushed Indiana limestone and Portland cement are the primary ingredients). The stone is tinted white with a gray patina applied to highlight the detail in the sculpting. Total weight is 14 pounds.

Garden centers can purchase the NFG Marker directly from Carruth Studio. “Due to the unique nature of this project, we will sell the NFG Marker to garden centers even if they are not an established dealer of Carruth Studio,” Langenderfer says. “We are working closely with the SHGTUS to make this project known throughout America and make it as easy as possible to establish a Never Forget Garden. Garden centers are a great place for people to first encounter a NFG.”

Designing a Never Forget Garden

The White Rose is the official flower of the (SHGTUS). In 1921, white roses were used in the bouquet that was placed on the casket, thus designating the Unknown Soldier.

Robert B. Martin, Jr., American Rose Society president, has expressed the national rose organization’s support for the Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier’s Centennial Commemoration of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

“The Society of the Honor Guard has made the white rose its official flower and encourages the planting of white roses, with special emphasis upon ‘Niphetos’, the rose which played a prominent role in the selection of the World War I Unknown Soldier,” he said in a statement. “The planting of the rose, America’s National Floral Emblem, is a major feature of the society’s Never Forget Garden project, and an important element of their centennial plans.

“We have dedicated a special place within America’s Rose Garden at our national headquarters and gardens as our Never Forget Garden, and we are encouraging our thousands of members across the country to create their own Never Forget Gardens.”

In addition, the Centennial planning team recommends the use of other flowers, including roses of all colors, which have a language all their own in expressing the emotions of patriotism, remembrance, love, and more. Newly planted or existing trees can also symbolize values, such as the Holly symbolizes peace and good will.

A number of resources for designing a Never Forget Garden, including choosing plants, herbs and trees, as well as design templates, are available at

For additional information on the NFG Marker contact Carruth Studio at  418.878.3060 or email [email protected].

Teresa McPherson

Teresa McPherson is the managing editor of Lawn & Garden Retailer. Contact her at [email protected].