Naomi Milliner

Home » Jake’s Garden » Welcome to the Garden

Welcome to the Garden


Jake's Garden1

This past Sunday, Jake’s Garden was honored to be one of ten projects chosen for extra TLC.




We planted over 80 tulips bulbs, and assembled beautiful butterflies made of beads, pipe cleaners and large straws, which we also placed in the garden. Despite the frigid weather, I was warmed by the kindness of everyone who shared this special day with us. I can’t wait to IMG_1327see it, and show it to you all, in the spring!





Special thanks to Chieu Urban for the arts & crafts project, to Susan Brule for recording it for posterity, to Kristina & Pam Ackley for their continued friendship and support, to Maryana Hourani for providing the tulips and, as always, to my poor husband who had to go without gloves while taking these beautiful photographs.











“The butterfly of Jake’s earthly existence was borne on wings tattered by bodily struggles. The butterfly of Jake’s now is perfected in its freedom and all its splendors. Jake’s garden has become a place for laughter, for discovery and for reflection.”

–      Linda, Neighbor, friend, long-running candidate for sainthood… and the other key player in Jake’s Garden.


goodnight moonJake’s Garden has Good Night, Moon stepping stones, because that was the book his brother, Jesse, loved to read with him.   The original stepping stones, like the butterfly mosaic and handprint, were made by Kristina. In 2012, the library closed

for renovation, so we moved Jake’s Garden to its second, and permanent home. We kept much of the original parts – and added some new ones, too – including beautiful new stepping stones by mosaic artist Ali Mirsky.


“Jake’s message lives in this beautiful garden. When winter comes, and the flowers are gone, we will mourn the passing of a brave little boy. But when spring returns, and the flowers display their glorious colors in their moment of rebirth, we will think of a child who continues to teach us the most important things in life: love, joy, and smiling.”

–      Betty

“Jake is like a small pebble thrown into an endless pond – the ripples of his small, glorious life keep reaching out, spreading, touching each and every one of us.  And here in this garden, and in our lives, Jake brings smiles, and his gentle spirit, and the compassion he taught us.  When we’re stressed and sometimes don’t have the patience we need, he is there, in our hearts, reaching out and helping us be our better selves.”

–      Diana


The plaque with handprints of Jake, Jesse and Jeremy.



And, most of all, it has butterflies. Because Jake was so much like a butterfly himself….

The love Jake brought, and the lessons he taught, live on in the people he met, and even those who have not met him, but have heard, or read, about him. Who have been, and are, and will be, part of Jake’s Garden.

I hope that Jake will inspire all of us to make the most out of what we are given, just as he did. And I hope that now you, too, will be part of Jake’s Garden.



  1. bettymay2013 says:

    A message of love, hope, and joy.

  2. Lana Cole says:

    Having just read your book seeing this garden caught me off guard just instantly made me cry. Wow! So powerful and emotional. ❤️❤️❤️🤗🤗

  3. Lorie Barber says:

    I just finished your extraordinary book last night and, the entire time I was reading, I thought, “this is too poignant, too touching, too detailed and real not to be based on an actual family.” Then, our friend Laura pointed me here and I’m in tears. Happy ones for the pure joy and love you got to experience, and tremendous sad ones for your loss. I hope I get to meet you one day so I can hug you and tell you to your face what heroes you and your family are to me. Thank you for putting Jake, Jeremy, and Jesse’s story out into the world. The courage it must have taken to write it isn’t lost on me, and the world will be a better place for it.

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