Cemetery Gardens | Living the Country Life
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Cemetery Gardens

Planting perennial flowers or shrubs next to the gravestone of a loved one invites years of blooms. Pick sturdy, old-fashioned varieties of iris, roses, peonies, daffodils, hydrangeas, lilies, or even winterberry holly—whatever plants they cherished. For more meaningful, plant divisions or cuttings from your own garden or theirs. Before planting, make sure to get the permission of the cemetery manager. Or, help out a local historic cemetery by joining a preservation group to beautify and revive cemetery gardens, which draws visitors to come and trace the inscriptions on the tombstones with their fingers, enjoy the birds, smell the roses, and sit for a spell under the trees.
  • Photo by Rob Cardillo

    Roses and Angels

    A magnificent kneeling angel keeps watch over the grave surrounded by a pink cloud of ‘Banshee’ rose.

    Date Published: April 10, 2017
    Date Updated: April 10, 2017
  • Photo by Rob Cardillo

    Perennial Peonies

    A stalwart old peony blooms at the end of May, in time for Memorial Day. Divide a peony from the garden of the departed or bring a division from your own to plant at the graveside. Peonies also pair well with aged tombstones—they might have been planted by families around graves in the 19th century.

    Date Published: April 10, 2017
    Date Updated: April 10, 2017
  • photo by Rob Cardillo

    Sturdy Iris

    Take a cue from the plants with which 19th-century families decorated cemetery plots. They often were easy to divide from a home garden and they are sturdy survivors. A cutting from a favorite garden rose, a handsome bearded iris, or a tough and reliable old peony tucked into the soil around a headstone would grow and bloom with little care. Even if the plants remained untended for long periods, the graves of the departed need never be entirely forlorn.

    Date Published: April 10, 2017
    Date Updated: April 10, 2017
  • Photo by Rob Cardillo

    Bushy roses

    A bushy ‘Grootendorst’ rose has small, ruffled pink petals and reinforces the image of a rose on the tombstone. 

    Date Published: April 10, 2017
    Date Updated: April 10, 2017
  • Photo by Rob Cardillo

    Blooming Trees

    If space allows, blooming trees such as magnolia or crabapples extend a canopy of color and scent to a cemetery and welcomes wildlife. Make sure to get permission from the cemetery manager or local parks department before planting.

    Date Published: April 10, 2017
    Date Updated: April 10, 2017

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