Commemorative Plantings

Native Plants

We encourage families to plant native perennials, grasses and ferns on their loved ones’ graves. If you’re visiting Greensprings, please check out our Demonstration Garden (two garden beds on the field side of the circle of trees surrounding our semicircular gravel driveway) to see examples of native plants that flourish at Greensprings. Our list of recommended plants was developed by Greensprings’ Ecological Advisory Committee.

Here’s a list what you can plant.

Before planting, you should wait several months for the soil on your loved one’s grave to settle, and for our caretaker to groom the gravesite, which is done during the spring, summer and early fall. We also recommend planting in the fall. Plants are more likely to survive if they don’t have to face summer heat within weeks of planting.

We can’t guarantee that your plants will survive. All plantings require care—proper planting, timely watering, and monitoring—to assure that they survive and thrive. If your plantings fail, you may wish to consult a native plants expert, such as Dan Segal, owner of The Plantsmen Nursery in Lansing, NY (mailing address is 482 Peruville Road, Groton, NY 13073). Dan has served on Greensprings’ Ecological Advisory Committee, and his recommendations are incorporated in our commemorative plants list.

If you put in non-native plants such as daffodils, we must remove them. (Please see our Rules and Regs.) If possible, we’ll contact you to get them to replant in your garden at home.

Planting Commemorative Trees at Greensprings

As of this writing (December, 2013), Greensprings is developing a policy that will allow for the planting of commemorative trees in selected parts of the West Meadow Burial Area. As part of this policy, we will require that all trees be planted by Greensprings staff.

The burial areas at Greensprings are maintained as mostly open meadow. We don’t allow the planting of trees on gravesites, since the roots of these trees could easily extend into neighboring grave lots that might not be “occupied” for many years. When our tree-planting policy is ready, we will allow commemorative trees to be planted in the Sequential Burial Area and in planned memorial groves.