Two nights ago I lost my beloved dog, Heidi. I buried her in my backyard, and plan to get a plaque to mark the location, and plant some flowers. It was suggested to me today that I plant a small plant that might not grow very big, and will be easy to transplant in the future. That way if I ever sell my house, I can take the plant with me, and it will be like I'm taking the plant that she gave life to.

I think it's a really good idea, so I would like to try it. Can anyone give me suggestions on a plant? I don't know the first thing about gardening. I'd like something small that preferably is very pretty.

I live on Long Island in NY, so whatever is planted would need to be able to survive winters with snow.

Is there such a thing as a red fern? I read the book "Where the Red Fern Grows" as a child and I would love the idea of planting such a plant for her, if one exists. I searched Amazon and didn't find anything though.

Thank you in advance for any suggestions

2 Answers 2


This is kind of weird but I just lost a beloved dog 2 nights ago, Reacher. Part of the richness our animal family members add to our lives we pay for when they leave us. It is a trade I think is so worth the time and memories and pain. Ouch.

The problem with a plant to take with you when you move is that that most plants have less than 50/50 of surviving just transplanting, causing you even more heartache. How long do you think it will be if and when you might move?

I would suggest Day Lily. Easy to transplant. They multiply giving you more success almost 100% during transplanting. Necessary to break up the mother plant after a couple of years to promote the health your original Day Lilies: Hemerocallis..(do you have cats? All Lilies are poisonous to cats, just fyi).

Day Lily is extremely tough...spiky, grassy looking. Easy care and predictable for success. Looks spectacular as a grouping. Each flower is but one day long, thus the name. To pluck the flowers each day helps the other flowers grow and have a day. You'd have far more success with transplanting Day Lilies, and you could always go back to get more from this patch honoring Heidi's resting place, permission from new owners of course.

I can honestly say I know what you are feeling. Honoring her like this is the best way I've found to heal. Sure hurts. But they were worth every tear. Huggs. day lily

  • FYI - Daylilies aren't actually lilies, they're in a different family.
    – Jurp
    Dec 22, 2017 at 22:52
  • 1
    You are correct but all Lilies of all genera are poisonous to cats. Cats for some reason are attracted to these plants; Siberian Lilies, Iris, Day Lily, Calla Lily are poisonous. Canna Lily not poisonous. But thanks for pointing that out! I am trying to be a little more concise, grins.
    – stormy
    Dec 23, 2017 at 2:13
  • According to the American Hemerocallis Society, the toxin in question affects some, but not all, cats and no one knows why. An interesting topic - here's a link if you're interested. daylilynetwork.org/blogpost/660039/132589/…
    – Jurp
    Dec 23, 2017 at 17:34
  • Thanks, Jurp. I only learned about this cat toxin 10 years ago. The big deal was I saw ALL 'Lilies' except Canna were toxic and also attractive to cats. I have had many many cats in my life and grew all kinds of 'Lilies' and not once have I lost one via poisoning but...important everyone knows about this fact. For cats. Even puppies. Thanks, I'll check your site out for sure.
    – stormy
    Dec 23, 2017 at 22:18

Sorry to hear about your loss - anyone who's lost a pet knows how that feels, I still haven't forgotten the grief of burying my cats.

Provided the area isn't in deep shade, then consider Yucca flaccida 'Golden Sword'; it only gets about 1.5 feet tall, produces offsets which might be easier to dig up and move than the whole plant, but they don't have a massive root system anyway if you did want to move the whole thing later, they're pretty tough and resilient as plants go. Evergreen, hardy in your area, details here https://www.shootgardening.co.uk/plant/yucca-flaccida-golden-sword. The ones I've planted throw up long flower stems every year, even in the UK, though they're grown more for their evergreen leaf colour and architectural growth habit than their flowers.

I'd plant a couple, and group 3 Berberis 'bagatelle' in front if there's sufficient room - these are spiny, deciduous shrubs that have bright to dark red leaves during the growing season, only get about a foot tall and wide over time with a globular habit, again don't have a huge root system and will be easy to move, hardy in your area, and they will contrast well with the Yucca, making an attractive grouping, see here http://www.greatplantpicks.org/plantlists/view/227.

If, though, the area is very shady, the Berberis won't work, they need a reasonable amount of sunlight to achieve good leaf colour.

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