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Enhancing a cemetery location

I'm looking for advice. The subject is sensitive so please, understand. I recently lost my wife. She is resting next to my parents in a family burial section of four lairs of which two are occupied now. Both headstones are identical and I want to plant a selection of plants giving the grounds a garden appearance. My thinking is that I want to flood the area with snowdrops to bloom early in the year, followed my bluebells and purple hyacinths. Shortly after that miniature daffodils for a couple of months. Behind the headstones I want to plant a lightly growing climbing plant of white and lilac flowers to eventually surround the rear and edges of the headstones.


  • ....... Sorry, that's meant to read 'grape hyacinths', the small dinky kind.

  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,810

    Some useful advice here As covered in the article each cemetery will have set regulations on what is allowed. You can imagine that they will be keen to avoid any rampampt growers or invasive species so the first step should be to talk to the organisation responsible for running the cemetery. 

  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,685

    Yes, wise to check first. My OH travelled a long way to visit a grave he had found after a long search. Took lots of plants that had sentimental significance and planted them. Went back the next year to check on things only to find that everything had been removed.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,495

    Don't get the bog standard grape hyacinths, their leaves get very untidy. Try something like two-tone Muscari latifolia, or even the white ones as they are smaller and better behaved but still increase well.

  • LynLyn Posts: 23,047

    Please bear in mind that you could plant and then go back to find the whole lot mowed or strimmed flat.

    It depends whether you are talking about a cemetery or a churchyard, the council maintain the cemetery, the churchyards usually by anyone they can get to cut the grass.

    In our area, in the churchyards, planting is not allowed more than 9inches from the stone, so that is the base or foundation, which will probably include a metal flower pot.

    Cemeteries are a bit more lenient, but it depends on the contractors. They have to get the job of grass cutting done quickly and sometimes they just mow over it all.

    Would you not consider just taking flowers weekly and planting a nice shrub in the garden for rememberance.

    Also, if you wish to put a Christmas wreath there, only ever use a foam base, never the wired moss type. The wire will rust and that will absorb into the stone.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,869

    Wild violets image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Hi everyone. I'm very grateful for all your advice. It has given me much to think about. The local authority (Aberdeen City) are very tolerant and actively encourage maintenance and enhancement of burial sites and lairs - possibly due to the previous successes Aberdeen have enjoyed in the 'Britain In Bloom Contest'. I dont intend planting a garden, just and range of delicate and attractive plants that are cycled throughout the year. Your input is appreciated, further advice is also welcomed. Thank you all again.

  • Could lilac sweetpeas be an option?  Please bear in mind I am not a gardener. I know precious little about gardening, and whatever the final plantings are they will be attended to and kept under control once a week when I visit. They will not be left to overgrow and consume the area.  The plan is that they will not all be in bloom at the same time but will provide a small but constant, seasonal floral display throughout the year.  Thanks again so far, please keep your suggestions coming, its cathartic in a way.

  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,495

    Ordinary sweet peas would be too big, but there is a variety called Cupid that is very dwarf and could be grown in a pot or in the soil. It comes in two-tone pinks and a pretty two-tone lilac. Sorry for the long reponse time, internet issues!

  • DaintinessDaintiness Posts: 988

    I am sorry for your loss.

    A graveyard near me has placed sedum mats on the graves and it has created the most beautiful effect. Very low growing, different colours and flowering times - bulbs could also push through too.

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