For the bereaved, a grave is much more than a place of remembrance and remembrance. The design and implementation of the grave planting represent an important part of the mourning work. It does not have to be laborious to give the resting place an individual appearance at any time of the year. In addition to the traditional grave planting of frames, ground cover and changing plants, more modern design ideas are also establishing themselves as a worthy expression of the zeitgeist.

Study the cemetery regulations before planning

For every cemetery, whether in the country or in the city, there is a cemetery order. Here basic guidelines for the design of the grave are laid down. Since this is a matter for the municipality or city administration, the regulations can be very different. In addition to the opening times, behavior in the cemetery and the burial regulations, the statutes also contain more or less specific regulations regarding the design of the grave. It is not uncommon for it to be forbidden to plant trees, to make fencing of all kinds, to lay out ornamental gravel and gravel or to set up certain vessels. Small mounds are usually not allowed to be higher than 10 cm and similar regulations. It is therefore advisable to read the local cemetery statutes before planning the grave planting,

Traditional grave planting in spring

A border of the grave with small hedge plants looks much more close to nature than a stone frame. In addition to the tombstone, the most permanent decision regarding the design of the grave is made with the border. It is worth investing some time in this consideration, because in addition to the typical, evergreen hedge plants, a border made of flowering perennials can be a very attractive alternative. Since spring is generally the best time to plant hedges, some decorative trees and shrubs are presented below:


  • suitable for almost any location
  • tolerates every shape cut
  • remains tight for years with good care
  • unfortunately prone to fungal diseases
  • hardy and evergreen

Japanese Palm – Green Luster

  • Dwarf form ideal as a grave border
  • partially shaded to shady location
  • small, green leaves
  • well tolerated by cutting
  • hardy and evergreen

Hedge myrtle

  • traditional Grabum edgeung
  • copes with any location
  • tolerates drought and acidic soils
  • beautiful, dark green, glossy foliage
  • something freezes back; then drives out again

Tree of Life – Thuja

  • many different varieties
  • perfect as a small, evergreen hedge
  • well tolerated by cutting
  • hardy
  • poisonous

If you want to make the place of mourning particularly colorful and colorful, plant a flowering hedge in spring, which then drives away the sadness with its flowers every year:

Forsythie ‚Spectabilis‘ – Goldglöckchen

  • bright yellow flowers in spring
  • is cut back after flowering
  • Plant spacing 20 cm


  • blue-violet flowers
  • Flowering period May to July
  • Wild species are hardy
  • well tolerated by cutting

Sun rose

  • golden yellow flowers
  • Flowering period May to June
  • Growth height 10 cm to 15 cm
  • cut compatible
  • hardy

Finger shrub ‘Kobold’

  • long flowering period from May to October
  • golden yellow flowers
  • sunny location
  • dark green, slightly shiny leaves
  • well tolerated by cutting

Once the grave border is planted, it will only be cut into shape, poured and fertilized over the next few years as required.

Ground cover for a well-tended grave

Another component of traditional grave planting is ground cover. They can only cover part of the area while the other part is planted alternately, or they cover the resting place completely. Those among the relatives who can invest little time in tending the grave or who live far away decide on the latter. The following ground covers have proven themselves in cemetery planting:

Evergreen ground cover

  • ivy
  • Ysander
  • Zwerg medlar
  • Ground cover heather ‘Ireland’
  • Sedum
  • Golderdbeere
  • Crawler

These species have the advantage that they also thrive in the shade under trees and hold back weeds. However, care must be taken to ensure that they are regularly cut back so that they do not grow beyond the grave area, which, according to most cemetery statutes, can be quite expensive because the administration then commissions specialist companies to do the cutting. If the evergreen planting is too monotonous for you, you can place flower bulbs in between, such as lilies of the valley, daffodils, tulips or assertive perennials such as the yellow chamois.

Cushion perennials as flowering ground cover

  • Blue pillows: varieties of different colors
  • red ground cover rose ‘Bassino’
  • white ground cover rose ‘Diamant’
  • yellow locust bush
  • Bartblume Petit Blau
  • Commemorative: blue flowers
  • Colorful stonecrop
  • Posterphlox with light blue flowers
  • Evening primrose with white flowers
  • yellow stone herb – gold basket
  • blue lobelia – loyal to men

Of course, nothing speaks against planting the upholstered perennials mixed, which ensures a particularly colorful look.

Grave planting in the change of the seasons

When designing a resting place, not only the site conditions and the soil quality play a role. When choosing plants, their symbolic character is also taken into account. Therefore, the following spring flowers are at the top of the popularity list:

Early bloomers in February and March:

  • Christrose
  • snowdrop
  • Crocus
  • Amur-Adonisröschen
  • Spring light flower
  • Horned violets
  • Pansy
  • Spring anemone

Spring flowers in April and May:

  • Commemorate
  • Elven flower
  • Heart flower
  • Vergissmeinnicht
  • Awesome
  • Daffodils
  • Tulips
  • Hyazinthen
  • Rhododendron
  • Wild species of chrysanthemums

The robust and tireless pansies in particular bring color to the cemetery early in the year, because they thrive – just like the small-flowered horned violets – in any place. If part of the burial site is occupied by an evergreen ground cover, a decorative contrast is created with the help of the spring flowers. It is important to note that the first flowers of the year are planted as densely as possible. If there is too much space between the plants with dark grave soil, the intense solar radiation heats the ground and the flowers overheat. Even the resilient pansy cannot take that. The combination of ground cover and dense alternating planting is also ideal for this reason, because the earth is adequately shaded, remains cool and does not dry out as quickly.

Nice summer planting

If the spring flowers have faded, the change to summer planting should be used to loosen up the grave area with the spade and to spread plenty of fresh grave or potting soil. In particular, if there are large trees and shrubs near the resting place, it is important to completely replace the potting soil on a regular basis. Regular watering literally attracts the roots of the large plants in the soil, where they remove the nutrients from it. If the potting soil is not replaced, the new alternating planting may either not flourish at all or only poorly. A moderate dose of fertilizer should always be combined with the fresh substrate. Some of the most beautiful summer flowers for a grave decoration are presented below:

For sunny to partially shaded locations

  • Standing geraniums in many colors
  • white floribunda rose ‘Aspirin’ – particularly heat-resistant
  • Umbelrose ‘Bad Birnbach’ – several times salmon pink blooming
  • Liver balm in white, pink or blue
  • Snapdragon in creamy white, hardy
  • Ice begonias – god eyes
  • Blue capaster ‘Felicitas’
  • Standing petunias: flowering tirelessly from May to October
  • Lily: a typical cemetery flower for centuries
  • Chrysanthemum hybrids bloom from August

For partially shaded to shady locations

  • Tuberous begonias in many colors
  • White Columbine with double flowers
  • Hard-working Lieschen: there are many colorful varieties
  • Fuchsia ‘Galadriel’: delicate growth ideal for the grave
  • Bleeding heart: traditional plant with a symbolic character
  • Silver leaf dead nettle with silvery-white foliage and pale pink flowers

By the way, all of these types of flowers are also suitable for planting a bowl. This brings additional variety to the grave design. The choice should fall on simple clay pots, which on the one hand accommodate the restrained, calm atmosphere of the site and on the other hand are uninteresting for busy thieves who unfortunately are up to mischief in almost every cemetery.

The grave in autumn

Autumn is also approaching the most important public holiday in the cemetery: All Saints’ Day. On this day, the bereaved put a lot of effort into designing the grave. But until then, there are numerous types of plants and flowers that will thrive even at low temperatures so that there is no desolation in the cemetery:

Suitable plants in autumn

  • Erika in many hardy varieties
  • Silver leaf
  • Cyclamen: many cold-resistant varieties
  • Chrysanthemums, like mist rose
  • Dahlias, especially the small ones
  • Winter asters, like Goldmarie
  • Autumn anemones
  • Tagetes
  • Heidekraut ‚Herrenhausen‘
  • Dark blue nettle with blue-violet pistons

In the past two decades, decorative grasses have become increasingly popular in cemeteries, helping to break the gloom of gray autumn days:

  • Sheep fescue, blue-ripe, low grass
  • Blue fescue with a silvery-blue eyrie
  • Calamus grass with curved stems
  • Feather grass with graceful wings
  • Pennisetum with feathery tips and yellow autumn colors

In the days and weeks before November 1st as All Saints ‘Day and November 2nd as All Souls’ Day, the resting place of the deceased is not only decorated for winter, but is also given traditional decorations in the form of flower arrangements. On this occasion, the grave soil should be replaced as far as possible. The areas not occupied by hardy plants or ground cover are covered with small branches of blue spruce or pine in a fan shape. With fastening pins they get additional hold on stormy days. If a funeral arrangement and a grave lamp with a flickering candle are placed on top of it, the grave planting will have a perfect finale for this year, in keeping with centuries of tradition.

Modern grave planting in the spirit of the times

Anyone who thinks about the design of a tomb will primarily strive for a shape in the sense of the deceased. If its attitude tended more towards a progressive style, nothing speaks against arranging the grave in an informal manner. If there is nothing in the cemetery statutes against working with decorative gravel, the middle area could, for example, be covered with gravel in the form of a triangle or a diamond, which is also colored black and white or subtly colored. In any case, a weed fleece should be spread out beforehand and a drainage system created to prevent waterlogging. These measures not only suppress unsightly weeds, but also prevent the stones from discolouring, especially if they are light. This is where planted bowls with flowers or perennials come into their own. The rest of the grave area is covered with extra dark grave soil and ground cover or seasonal flowers are planted. Currently, the trend in modern grave design is turning towards the center or sides of the area being mounded up and planted. This creates a three-dimensional look, which is underlined with the help of ornamental gravel and clearly structured plants, especially ornamental grasses. At this point it should be pointed out again to consult the cemetery statutes beforehand to determine the extent to which hillocks are accepted. which is underlined with the help of ornamental gravel and clearly structured plants, especially ornamental grasses. At this point it should be pointed out again to consult the cemetery statutes beforehand to determine the extent to which hillocks are accepted. which is underlined with the help of ornamental gravel and clearly structured plants, especially ornamental grasses. At this point it should be pointed out again to consult the cemetery statutes beforehand to determine the extent to which hillocks are accepted.

The resting place in the cemetery has been a place of mourning, loving memory and honoring remembrance for generations. With the grave planting, the bereaved express these emotions, whereby the planting and care work helps them to cope with grief. The options for designing and planting a grave are multi-faceted and can be tailored entirely to your private possibilities. Those who do not have a lot of time available or who live far away can use the decorative options of evergreen or blooming ground cover. Those who want to devote themselves more intensively to caring for the grave should alternate between planting the seasonal flowers, which are available in abundance. More and more often modern arranged graves can be found that creatively combine tradition and modernity.

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