Jess is in the Garden

Latest posts by Jess is in the Garden

Planting up my grandmother's abandoned grave

Posted: 18/10/2014 at 18:42

I love the idea if creeping thyme, Will. My gran or yaya', as I used to call her, was Greek and thyme featured heavily in her cooking and is found all over Greece, so that would be quite symbolic, as well as being tough and surviving the odd mower! 

I went yesterday and it was just the most beautiful, balmy day here in London. I ended up cleaning the headstone, removing the little metal cut flower reservoir which was all dented and ugly, then I stuck a pot of my own in the hole left behind into which I'd put some cyclamen, as I didn't like the idea of cut flowers that would die so soon. 

In front of her grave, all was covered in beautiful mown grass turf. Very tough, with some huge clods of clay underneath. I cut away a section (asked the groundsman and they said that was fine as long as I remained within the border of her plot), turned soil over as best I could, added a bit of compost and planted some yellow bulbs (she loved yellow): mini alliums toward the back so they wouldn't get mown in June, as well as some mini tulips, then closer to the front of the bare patch (about a foot and a half from the headstone) narcissi and crocuses.

i know it isn't much, but it's a start, and you've all inspired me, so I shall now go back with some creeping thyme from the garden too. There's an abandoned grave right next to hers, really close to it, so only about 30cm between the two headstones and no way for a mower to get in there, so I may plant something else in that little gap too, as long as it's small and respects the grave next to it.

it is a beautifully kept place, but no one said a word when I left my pot there. It is very small mind you and in the headstone itself.

i like the idea of sedums, Fairygirl. Very tough too.

sever all graves around my grandmas have the odd larger plant, like a rose, in between graves where there are gaps, plus an aucuba here and there...and one grave , though flush with the grass like ours and without any stone kerbs around it, was literally covered in bright pink begonias and cyclamen. Just beautiful. 

the grass cutters were there on the same day as me and I had a look - they did actually make an effort not to mow down obvious larger plants on graves, which I though was nice. 

I think I'll stick with buobs for now, though the turf was so heavy and tough that I wonder how much they'll be able to spread there where I didn't remove it! 

im glad I went and I'll pits some photos once it's done

thank you again for all your advice xx


Another caterpiller to ID

Posted: 16/10/2014 at 08:49

Planting up my grandmother's abandoned grave

Posted: 15/10/2014 at 18:45

Thanks Lyn, you're a star.

 It's  the old St.Marylebone cemetary in East End Rd, East Finchley, GardenM. Sounds lovely that the new graves were planted with perennials - what a lovely idea.

I'm now worrying that my narcissi and crocuses, plus any poppies that make it, will be destroyed 

I should have gone for snowdrops too....

Maybe I can try to plant as close as possible to the headstone? I like the stone pot idea too, though don't have time to get one before. Friday when I'm due to go. I'll get some cyclamen in a pot instead of cut flowers and put them adjacent to the headstone, I think.

thanks again all x

Planting up my grandmother's abandoned grave

Posted: 15/10/2014 at 16:39

Hi Pansy, no I think our cemetary, st marylebone in east finchley, is tended, grass mown etc. May leave the machete behind then  They've just told me that unless I have stone 'kerbs' around the grave to demarcate it (which we don't, I've found out), then it ought to be covered in grass By now, if it's abandoned. They look after that to some extent. They've said I'm allowed to remove any grass within the grave area if I want, to get my bulbs in, but that the grass mower man will go over in spring so not to plant and perennials. they actually suggested bulbs. I hope they won't mow my tulips etc when they're giving it the once over in April though 

Thanks everyone xx 

Planting up my grandmother's abandoned grave

Posted: 15/10/2014 at 15:29

Thank Lyn, very helpful. 

How old is your houseplant?

Posted: 15/10/2014 at 15:01

No house plants as such, but a rose belonging to my grandmother, which she had since the 60s, in a pot on her baking hot balcony in Milan. After she passed away, the rise was taken to the south of France, where it was planted out in the ground of our garden. It's very happy there now in its new home and grows to six feet every year, with the most amazing pink flowers 

Planting up my grandmother's abandoned grave

Posted: 15/10/2014 at 14:47

 Dove, that sounds idyllic, not fussy at all.


now primroses I like the idea of too...good cover with all their leaves, for when bulb leaves are dying back.

Planting up my grandmother's abandoned grave

Posted: 15/10/2014 at 14:46

Any thoughts on whether I'm ok to scatter poppy seeds now? Will they take next year if I do it this week?

Planting up my grandmother's abandoned grave

Posted: 15/10/2014 at 14:44

Thanks everyone for your ideas. I've been told over the phone that the plot is fairly open and exposed. It's in North London, so not too cold. Hadn't thought about geraniums obelixx, that's a good idea to cover bulb leaves. Wonder if it'll cope potentially being in bright sun with no watering...fuchsia a great idea. Hadn't realised they were so low maintenance wither.that's a lovely story Busy Lizzie 

Planting up my grandmother's abandoned grave

Posted: 15/10/2014 at 14:11

That's a good one pansy, thank you.

Manages with very little care or watering.

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