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Spooky or what?

I am cat-feeding for my daughter at the moment. When I went to their house I found a bouquet of flowers laying on the grass in their front garden. No card or message, no cellophane wrap, flower food etc. It looked fresh, no dew or rain on the petals as if only just left.
It threw me a bit, I did not know whether to take it indoors and put the flowers in a vase or leave them where they were.
I decided to leave the flowers where they were and pondered why they had been left. The garden is shielded from the road and you cannot see into the garden from the road because of very tall hedges.
I have pondered on why the bouquet was left, and who put it there, a bit cheeky to go into someone's garden. I have messaged my daughter to see if this might be an annual occurrence, maybe the previous family is commemorating a special date.
When my daughter moved into the house there were ashes spread on the lawn, which she assumed were those of the elderly gentleman who had lived in the house. She was quite happy about it as he had obviously been a keen gardener from the shrubs etc. which we found growing in the garden. 
It is a growing cult down here in Cornwall for memorials to appear on verges where a fatal accident has occurred. There is one at the end of our lane where a family has now put a concrete elephant, a vase for flowers, a name welded from horseshoes, a snowglobe, balloons tied to the bushes, potted plants, a can of lager, etc. etc. I wouldn't mind too much if only they would remove the dead flowers, plants, dead balloons and wrapping paper, etc. instead of just leaving them.   
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  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,255
    Time to get CCTV installed….
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Interesting to know how the flowers got there, watching one of the many police programmes that are on television now they had pulled a car over on the slip road of a motorway exit when one of the cops picked up a bouquet of flowers complete with cellophane where it had come from was a mystery.
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 24,087
    I assume it was in memory of the previous owner. At least they removed the plastic.
    If people wish to leave a floral tribute for whatever reason, I wish they'd remove the plastic.
    Then there's the dead flowers tied to someone's favourite  bench. Who would want to sit there even when the flowers were alive? The bench is, in effect, rendered out of bounds to anyone else who would like to sit and enjoy the view.
    Put them there for a little while, if you must, and then have the decency to remove them.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 6,557
    It is an ancient tradition here in to mark the spot of someone’s death. Some are elaborate roadside stone shrines with a statue of the Virgin Mary and space for a candle which is lit by relatives on the anniversary. Others a simple wooden cross. Some of these are very old, lichen encrusted and rather moving, but modern-day shrines have here too morphed into ribbons, garish plastic bouquets, cuddly toys etc. Not so attractive. 

    A bouquet of flowers sans cellophane is not so bad, but yes a bit spooky when it’s your own/your daughter’s property. Perhaps prop them outside the gate? If the person responsible passes they might get a subtle message “I don’t mind you putting these here but please don’t enter my private property”
  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 4,050
    I think the ashes are the clue here. I think it is highly likely that a loved one of the deceased former owner wanted to lay flowers on his last resting place. Maybe this was their first opportunity to visit the house since the death; maybe it was an anniversary of some kind.

    They rang the doorbell (I’m guessing) but no reply so they respectfully placed the flowers. Possibly a note through the door would have been wise but rarely do we walk around equipped with pen and paper. I expect the grieving relative, if that is what he/she was, expected to be able to discuss the intent and ask permission on the doorstep. Unable to do so, the flowers were left anyway. There is no handbook for saying how grief should manifest itself.

    I would leave the flowers in situ and give respect to the intention. 


  • I was planning to leave the flowers where they are until they die then move them to the compost heap. I am sure the old gentleman would approve if that is the story.
    The problem I have is my daughter has been living in the house for 18 years. She is traveling in New Zealand at the moment so I haven't heard back from her yet. 
    The sad thing is, a young motorcyclist was killed and his cousin was left with brain damage when they rode into a granite post opposite my daughter's gate. The family kept a shrine going on and around the post for several years, teddy bears., lanterns, and flowers. etc. A very elderly lady lived in the cottage so goodness knows how she felt as she must have heard the bang of the crash. The car driver killed at the end of my lane was related to the same family, how horrendous was that?
    I have no problem with shrines on verges in the middle of nowhere but I do not like it when they are put next to someone's gate, drive, or property where they have to pass it every time they go out or come home.I have always found the one at the end of our lane very unsettling. I sympathize with the family's loss and bereavement but feel it is an intrusion into my personal space.
    No one has ever asked permission to put a shrine there, it just appeared and has steadily increased in size and components.
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 8,886
    I litter-pick part of our local woods and the more remote corners of the local area where litter hangs around for years if I don't do it. I've come across a few shrines and they're always made up of plastic bits and bobs. I usually leave them unless the objects are likely to cause problems but I wish people would just use biodegrable things instead. In fairness a couple do get tidied up and refreshed now and then, I assume on the anniversary of the death. There's a beautiful waterfall up the road though and someone periodically dumps a bunch of plastic flowers or a picnic basket full of tat there as some kind of memorial. Within a day or two it's spread everywhere and someone has to clean it up. I'm sure it's very meaningful to them but it's a bit narcissistic to prioritise their memorial over everyone else's enjoyment of the place.
    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,166
    I think you're right be a bit annoyed @Joyce Goldenlily. I can understand people wanting to leave a memorial of some kind, but it isn't their property, so they shouldn't be doing it without the owners' permission, regardless of the circumstances, and they certainly shouldn't be anything but biodegradeable, as @wild edges says.
    The problem with a lot of these things is that they're also a distraction when they're at  the side of a road. There's a notorious hotspot near here, on the way back from Paisley. The fence/hedge is permanently adorned with various bits of crap. Of course, if folk drove sensibly, most of the time there wouldn't be a problem.

    Worst one I've ever seen is a 'shrine' including plastic flowers half way up Stuchd an Lochain in Perthshire [one of  my favourite hills] and it simply isn't acceptable.  :/

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Oh dear, everyone!
    My daughter has sent me an explanation that I had never thought of.

    My son gave his sister a bouquet in thanks for hosting him whilst on his visit from Canada. Because my daughter left for New Zealand 3 days after he left, rather than leave the flowers in the house to go rotten, she put them outside on the lawn, rather than bin a bunch of fresh flowers. It must have been a last-minute thought as they were leaving. I wish she had left me a note.
    So no shrine after all. I can calm down now and give my overactive imagination a rest!

    It has been interesting to hear other people's thoughts on shrines.
    I thought I might be a lonely voice objecting to some of them.
    There is someone who each year leaves a tribute on one of our local beaches. It is always in the same place and at the same time of year. I have no idea if someone's dog died there or if the beach was a favourite human walk. It is never interfered with although a great many dogs, including mine, "bless it" on their way past! The tide removes it at high tide. It is always a bouquet of flowers and a rough cross made from driftwood but I still feel it is an intrusion into other people's space.

    I agree with the anti-plastic thoughts. The shrine at the end of our lane has plastic flowers etc. that have been there for several years and are beginning to look faded and tatty. I did some time ago, collect together the dead balloons, tangled up in the hedge, the dead flowers, cellophane wrappers, etc., and put them in a neat pile to one side of the shrine. The not-so-subtle hint was taken. At least whoever supports the shrine has stopped leaving wrapping paper etc., to blow around on the road. The concrete elephant has recently been filled with neon pink, plastic roses which offend my senses really badly. Yuck. Who would want them on their grave? Each to his own.



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  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,453
    I'm glad the problem is resolved.

    There are shrines and flowers on roads in France too.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
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