Greensprings Recommended Plants List
We offer two burial options: our standard or our sequential burial area. “Sequential burial” means that you purchase a site at Greensprings, but the actual site isn’t assigned until time of death, meaning trees could be planted in reasonably soon after death … though we do need a buffer of one new burial before a previous site is planted.
We maintain all other burial areas as open meadow. (Why? Our FAQs tell all.) Meanwhile, you can plant (or have us plant) trees in a memorial grove. Plantings on gravesites must be native wildflowers, grasses, or ferns.
Regardless which option you choose, bear in mind that we can’t guarantee that your plants will survive—even if planted by professionals. You could pay our caretaker or a professional to make those plantings. Remember that all plantings take care—proper planting, timely watering, etc.—to assure that they survive and thrive.
Planting native wildflowers on the grave itself can’t be done right away. Here’s why:
We return all soil to a grave. It takes time—perhaps several years or more—for that soil to subside, to become level again. But given the nature of our soil and the constraints of working with the backhoe, the soil doesn’t subside evenly. We will mulch over graves for upward of a year, keeping an eye on how they settle and periodically redistributing soil as needed, before they are replanted. Please plan to plant in October or November. Plants are more likely to survive if they don’t have to face summer heat within weeks of planting.
Filling a grave by hand could speed up that process. But filling by hand is difficult. The soil is dense, clayey, and rocky—very rocky. Please note that sometimes graves settle unevenly; sometimes even from one day to the next. If you visit a grave and find uneven settling, please don’t attempt to remedy it, and be assured that our caretaker will attend to it soon.
Meanwhile, we’re developing an ecological restoration plan for the land—one that takes topography, soil types, existing landscape conditions, and the needs of landscape communities and zones into account. We’re still in learn-by-doing mode; our approach may change.
Plant communities change over time and there’s no guarantee that your grave will maintain the same mix of species from one year to the next. If the planting on the grave itself fails and you don’t restore it, at our discretion we may revegetate the grave with sod plugs taken from nearby areas at Greensprings.
If you put in nonnative plants, we must remove them. Where possible we’ll repot them and you can come get them to replant in your garden at home.
An expert source of plants is The Plantsmen Nursery in Lansing, NY. (Mailing address is 482 Peruville Road, Groton, NY 13073) Owner Dan Segal specializes in native plants and is a member of Greensprings’ ecological insight committee.