Fri. Mar 31st, 2023

Thoughts in a Garden


SANTA ANA, Calif. – April 30, 2013 – Fairhaven Memorial Park & Mortuary became the first memorial park to participate in the historic Southern California Spring Garden Show at South Coast Plaza. To honor the show’s 2013 theme “The Garden as Art,” Fairhaven’s entry is a tribute to Andrew Marvell’s famous 17th Century poem Thoughts in a Garden.

“We selected this work based on its use of the garden as a metaphor for life in all of its depth and complexity,” said Fairhaven Grounds Manager and project designer Jay Rodriguez. “Our goal for this display was to enable viewers to experience life’s many emotions, including peace, conflict, love and loss.”

Jay Rodriguez, the project designer

The 13×26 foot display employs a broad array of natural components to depict Marvell’s poem, including:

· Branches aligning the perimeter taken from trees at Fairhaven Memorial Park that are more than 100 years old.

· A wooden bench placed next to a 6-foot tall wooden obelisk tower with grape vines to create a place of peace and reflection.

· A flowing water feature, illuminated brightly at the fountainhead to represent the vibrancy of birth and slowly fading to a glowing golden hue to demonstrate the life’s full progression.

· Seven demonstration cremation boulders placed throughout the Garden representing rest and finality.

“As the first organization outside of the landscape industry to participate in the Spring Garden Show in many years, we are honored to showcase Fairhaven’s longstanding history as a place of natural beauty,” said Fairhaven President Marla Noel.

According to Noel, elements from the display will also be featured in Eternal Springs, an expansion of Fairhaven’s Santa Ana memorial park designed as a peaceful, contemporary environment for families to visit and find comfort. The project, which is slated to break ground in May 2013, will use elements such as a running stream, cremation boulders and lush landscaping to create a unique and peaceful setting.

Further details on the Spring Garden Show entry are available below in Fairhaven’s Statement of Intent.

Fairhaven’s 2013 Spring Garden Show Statement of Intent

17th century poet Andrew Marvell’s masterpiece, Thoughts in a Garden, is a heartfelt ode to the artistic brilliance and life-affirming splendor of the garden. A man of unshakable integrity, Marvell invokes the garden as a metaphor for life in all of its depth and complexity.

Marvell begins by showcasing the garden as a place of peace and innocence amid the cacophony of life.

Fair quiet, have I found thee here,
And Innocence thy sister dear?
Mistaken long, I sought you then
In busy companies of men

Rest and reprieve can be experienced here upon a simple wooden park bench, where the world-weary citizen can sit among the wandering grapevines and contemplate the sweet wine yet to be produced from their fruit.

As the worries of life melt away, Marvell reflects on how the trees of the garden provide a remarkable canvas upon which to showcase the beauty and complexity of love.

No white nor red was ever seen
So amorous as this lovely green.
Fond lovers, cruel as their flame,
Cut in these trees their mistress’ name.

The branches that reinforce the perimeter of the garden were taken from trees at Fairhaven Memorial Park that are more than a century old; noble and formidable trees upon which lovers can rest in their shade and gaze upon the lovely green before them.

Finally, Marvell portrays the garden as a living symbol of our transition from the physical state into another dimension; a place of eternal peace and beauty.

Here at the fountain’s sliding foot,
Or at some fruit-tree’s mossy root,
Casting the body’s vest aside,
My soul into the boughs does glide

This transition is represented by a flowing water feature, illuminated brightly at the fountainhead to represent the vibrancy of birth and slowly fading to a glowing golden hue as life meanders to a close. Seven cremation boulders are placed throughout the garden as a symbol of rest and finality. Within these stones, the remains of those in our care are interred into the future, so they may rest in the garden forever.

The garden stands before us as a celebration of life in all of its temporality, richness and abundant beauty. As seasons melt into years, the garden paints an enduring portrait of nature’s triumph and life’s long journey to eternal peace.

About Fairhaven

Founded in 1911 by Oliver Halsell to provide a peaceful and comforting place for families to honor their loved ones, Fairhaven Memorial Park & Mortuary is Orange County’s most beautiful independently-owned and operated full-service mortuary, crematory and cemetery. With the memorial park and mortuary in Central Orange County and an elegantly appointed mortuary in South Orange County, Fairhaven offers a wide range of pre-need and at-need services provided with care and compassion. Fairhaven is dedicated to celebrating the individual, providing services that are as unique and wide-ranging as the people they celebrate. Additional information is available at

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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