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Plants for cemetery plot.

anniedtanniedt Posts: 85
I have adopted a tree in our local cemetery in memory of my son.  The tree is a Himalyan birch and I am looking for suitable plants to put with it.  The diamond shaped plot is about 3.75 m across from the opposite points.  I have read that the common dwarf juniper grows well with this tree which is ideal is two respects, in that it needs very little maintenance and is slim and upright  but I was thinking of having 4 perennial plants of the same kind, possibly also evergreen, and maybe adding summer bedding.  There are already daffodil bulbs in situ so maybe bedding is superfluous, but it depends what other plants I add. I should be grateful for any suggestions.  Thank you.


  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 10,535
    I am so sorry for the loss of your son.
     It's a lovely idea to grow plants. Did you have to get permission first? Some local councils/church councils are very fussy.

    We had heathers planted on MIL's grave in Bournemouth where the sandy and I think acidic soil suits them. She was very fond of them and grew lots in her garden. Whether they might suit, depends on the conditions where you are.
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,742
    As long as you don't plant anything too near to the tree, it should be fine, especially if it is a shrub.  I always assume that the roots of the tree will come out as far as the canopy of leaves, and try to avoid planting in that area.  Small bulbs under trees are less of a problem (Cyclamen, Snowdrops, Aconites, Anemones).  

    We planted some Arabis ferdinanii coburgii around the trunk of our Walnut tree, and it slowly spread to form a circular tree.  It was very pretty, and neither the Arabis or the tree seemed to mind being in such close proximity.  If you wanted more of a contrast with the white bark of the Birch, you could plant Ophiopogon nigrescens around the tree, it has black foliage, and can be left to it's own devices.

    Euonymus Green Spire is a lovely little evergreen shrub.  It needs minimal maintenance or pruning, and has a narrow, columnar habit.  Could be an alternative to the Juniper.

    Good luck with what must be a difficult task.
  • anniedtanniedt Posts: 85
    Thank you Lizzie for your kind comment.  Yes I have permission from our town council, in fact I have the tree next to the one the Mayor chose for his wife.  Thank you also for your suggestion but I am afraid that I do not like heather!  I am grateful for your interest. 
  • anniedtanniedt Posts: 85
    KeenOnGreen thank you for your interesting suggestions.  You have given me food for thought for which I am grateful.  I appreciate your interest, thank you.
  • granmagranma Posts: 1,929
    I'm so sorry about your loss.

    Is their a rabbit problem in your cemetery?
    It doesn't matter what is planted in ours the next day many nibbled right down.
    Hope you don't have the same.
  • anniedtanniedt Posts: 85
    Thank you Granma but no, we have no rabbit problem.
  • rachelQrtJHBjbrachelQrtJHBjb South BucksPosts: 814
    I am sorry for your loss. 

    I wonder if ground cover to set off the white stems of the birch would work? Thinking of evergreen Carex 'Everillo' partnered with bergenia and then interspersed with the other plants and bulbs you mentioned for seasonal interest.

    I have a good-sized cherry (Prunus avium plena) in my garden and it's underplanted with Lonicera nitida, which can be pruned to any shape you want. 

    I have Juniperus x pfitzeriana 'Carbery Gold' under another tree. It loves that spot but it is getting rather large now...

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,270
    What a lovely way to remember your son @anniedt :)

    Our amelanchier which (quite coincidentally, but really rather nicely) we planted just after my mother died, is underplanted with blue scillas, snowdrops and small native daffordils in the spring ... as they fade away the Forget me nots that selfseed there every year appear as a blue haze  around the tree ... in the autumn pink and white Cyclamen hederifolium spread around .   All I've got to do now is choose something for the summer after the forget me nots are over .......... 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • anniedtanniedt Posts: 85
    Thank you Rachel for your suggestions.  I now have some research to do and hope it won't be too hard to visualize how the plants might look.  Thank you for your interest.
  • anniedtanniedt Posts: 85
    Thank you Dovefromabove.  I like all the plants you mention and it must look a picture when they are in bloom.  It is kind of you, and everyone, to respond to my post.
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