Commemorative Plantings


Native Plants
We encourage families to plant native perennials, grasses and ferns on their loved ones’ graves. When you visit Greensprings, please notice our Demonstration Garden (two garden beds on the field side of the circle of trees surrounding our semicircular gravel driveway) in which examples of recommended native plants that flourish at Greensprings have been planted. The list of recommended plants was developed by Greensprings’ Ecological Advisory Committee.

Here’s a list of what you can plant.

Planting on Graves
Before planting, you should wait several months for the soil to settle, and for our staff 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.

As beautiful as they may be, if you plant non-native plants such as daffodils, we must remove them. (Please see our Rules and Regs.)

Memorial Tree/Shrub Plantings
As of this writing (May, 2014), Greensprings is developing a policy that will allow for the planting of commemorative trees and shrubs in selected “memorial groves” in the West Meadow Burial Area. As part of this policy, and to ensure the survival of memorial plantings, we will require that all trees and shrubs be planted by Greensprings staff. A fee will be charged for this service.

The burial areas at Greensprings are maintained as mostly open meadow. We don’t allow the planting of trees or shrubs on most gravesites, since the roots of these plants could extend into neighboring grave lots that might not be “occupied” for many years. An exception is the Sequential Burial Area in the West Meadow. In this section, at the edge of our property, burials take place one after the next in a block, thus reducing the chance for roots to extend into unused gravesites. When our tree- and shrub-planting policy is ready, we will allow commemorative trees to be planted in the Sequential Burial Area as well as in the planned memorial groves.