Mixing cremation ashes with soil

Hi there!

my Nan recently passed away and when she was alive she absolutely loved gardening so as a memorial I would love to incorporate her with the garden somehow!

we are still in our first house and likely to move in a few years so I don't want to plant her ashes directly into the garden and instead was hoping to purchase a nice big pot that I could place the ashes in along with some compost and grow something beautiful, this leaves me with two problems...

1. I've done a bit of research and have seen that cremation ashes generaly arent good for plants especially with it being in such a concentrated area as a pot.

2. I need to find a plant that will flurish in a pot, grow back every year and not need replanting in the earth.

does anybody have any suggestions for me as to how I can achieve this or perhaps another way I have effectively use my nans ashes as a memorial in the garden that I can take with me when I move?

thank you :) 

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  • There are two ways I can think of to help you:  first, you could sprinkle just a few of the ashes to mix with compost and plant a rose (I have done that, and the rose, "For Your Eyes Only" is lovely and has flourished) and keep the balance of the ashes for another pot/another garden.  Or second idea is that you could decant the ashes from the (probably) large urn in which they were given to you into a smaller, jar (something like a small ginger jar, for example) and bury the pot under the roots of your chosen plant.  Should the plant need to be re-potted in the future, the ashes could be retrieved and planted again.

    Hope this helps. 

  • CeresCeres Posts: 1,498

    Could you incorporate the ashes into a paving slab with an engraving to your Nan?

  • The jar idea is amazing! Thank you so much!! Xx

  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 23,012

    Hi moniquejacklyn. What my family and I have done with my Mum and Dad's ashes are similar to what Shrinking Violet talks about. All my brothers and sisters - apart from brother in Australia - took a small amount of their ashes and we just put them in our gardens - mixed in with the soil and I planted a tree for my Dad (who passed away first) so Mum went in alongside him. If I ever moved again I would just take some of the soil from this garden with me. The tree I planted back in the 90's was a Cercidiphyllum japonicum and I have mentioned this before in another forum post as it was the tree Geoff Hamilton loved and had planted by his grave (which I saw when I visited Barnsdale). Dad was a great gardener - being from the North East originally his forte was vegetables - and I often have a moan to him when my arthritis kicks off and I cannot get a particularly stubborn weed out. Never sad in my garden - lifes too short. I do hope this helps you.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • As an aside:  when father-in-law was cremated we had his ashes returned in a large plastic urn.  (We scattered his ashes on his much-loved Quantocks btw).  Within a short space of time, our beloved cat was cremated;  her ashes were returned in a beautiful, carved, wooden casket.  I wonder about our (society's) priorities! 

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 13,012

    My dads arrived in a plastic bag inside a cardboard box. !!

    They sat in the wardrobe for 15 months while we decided what to do with them.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • AuntyRachAuntyRach Posts: 2,399

    Love people's ideas. 

    I was too scared to plant a rose or tree in memory of my Mum - in case it failed so we dedicated a little patch of Dad's garden to her with a few pots of colourful plants and her old "Mum's Garden" sign. 

    When I see a lovely plant or flower and think that my Mum would have liked that - instead of feeling sad I try to feel happy - as she has passed her love of plants to me plus I can still tend to her garden so her memory lives on, in so many ways.

    I hope you find something suitable moniquejacklyn - I'm sure it will help you heal a bit after the loss of your loved one.

    My garden and I live in South Wales. 
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 3,318

    I have a rose - Iceburg - in my garden. It's the same variety as my Mum had in her garden because that's the variety she planted on her father's grave. I used to have a sweet myrtle but sadly have lost it to the cold wind here. It was grown from a cutting of a cutting of a cutting Mum took of the myrtle on my grandmother's grave. I will try to find another sweet myrtle plant at some point when I have made a place suitable for it.

    My Mum doesn't have a grave, but I did bury just a few of her ashes in her garden and planted some Lily of the Valley on the spot. I knew I'd be selling the house, but felt I should leave a little of her in the place she loved so much. I then planted some of the same Lily of the Valley in my own garden.

    Whenever I go into that part of the garden and see the rose, I think of my grandfather. When I sit on the bench next to the little clump of Lily of the Valley, I talk to my Mum. When I find a myrtle I'll plant it somewhere that I can walk to and sit and remember my gran. Remembrance can work without a direct physical connection.

    You should plant the rose that you think is right and take cuttings from it if you move, or get another one of the same type for your new house. I've left sweet myrtle plants growing in every garden I've ever owned before this one. The new residents may not know it's for my gran, but I do image

    To search for perfection is all very well, but to look for heaven is to live here in hell
  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 23,012

    raisingirl, what lovely plants to choose as your 'living memories'.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
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