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Will topsoild and manure solve the problem of stony soil?

My mother died 2 years ago and is buried in a woodland burial site. The soil is just stones and sand and any woodland flowers/plants have just died as they cannot put roots down. I am wondering if if I put some topsoild mixed with manure down to a depth of say 4 inches, will I be able to grow some woodland flowers/plants to make the grave look natural but pretty/




Answers

 

it wont do any harm but you'd better check with whoever runs the burial site.
what plants were you thinking of?

28 Mar, 2009

 

stony soil usually drains very well and if you plant things there, they could dry out if you don't water it in well. Flowers need regular attention, cause I think it is worse to see some spent and poor dead flowers drooping along a graveside. As you local nursery what kind of easy care plants will grow happily in gravelly or stony soil. I don't think topsoil is going to make any difference, as whatever puts their roots in will soon find no proper soil after 4 inches. 4 Inches of soil will dry out in no time. Have a look around graveyards and see what people are growing along their loved ones. Here I am afraid, the only things which will last are plastic flowers or plants, terrible, but from a distance not so bad. I have seen nice plants in glass containers, which are a sort of terrarium kind and the condensation runs as water drops on the inside of the glass into the soil, which makes for self watering. But you would need a shady spot or else the plant would burn inside. I can only think of cacti or succulents which hardly ever need watering, but they might not be the kinds you had in mind. Perhaps someone else has better ideas? Good luck. What a lovely idea anyway your mother was buried in a woodland burial site. Is it not a graveyard?

29 Mar, 2009

 

My understanding is that with a woodland burial site you do not put anything on the grave to mark it - that is the whole point of it being a woodland burial and not in a graveyard or cemetery. So before planting anything I'd check what the agreements are. We have a woodland burial site near us and they are very strict on the no planting rule.

29 Mar, 2009

 

You could put good fertile soil over the spot, 3 wheelbarrow loads will give you 9ft. by 3ft. Have 3 standard rolls of turf, cut one in half, put down one lengthways with a half at the top. The other from the top with the half on the bottom. The grass will not grow very well but will hold the soil together from digging animals. In the turf, you can plant Snowdrops, primroses, wood anenomes, blue bells and campians which will all look wild in the woods. As SBG and Moongrower say, you need to check that this is OK with the site management.

29 Mar, 2009

 

I think you are all missing the point that a woodland burial site does not have flowers etc. on the grave

http://www.uk-funerals.co.uk/green-funerals.html

29 Mar, 2009

 

Most woodland sites (though not all) do allow for some wild flowers to be planted.

29 Mar, 2009

 

Thanks so much to all of you who posted replies to my question about the burial site.

The woodland / meadow site is in Gerrards Cross and we are allowed to plant flowers. Some people have planted flowers which are not in keeping with woodland/meadowland, but I want it to look "wild" but not just rough turf. I am planning to plant blue geranium, aquilega, a sun-loving fern (as mum's site gets full sun for part of the day), maybe a dogrose, bluebells. I planted pulmonaria and that has survived well. I've researched all the woodland plants and will only use these. Each site has a tree planted by the local authority - we provided a baby cherry tree from mum's garden ... still quite small.

I will make sure it looks "natural" but just want to know about the soil as it really is just stones and sand.

29 Mar, 2009

 

We buried my dad in a woodland site two years ago - and shared all your desires for a 'natural' setting. However I agree with a lot of the contibutors - things will survive that can survive those conditions - which include dreadful soil, deer coming out and nibbling everything, drought and so on. Once you start trying to change it you create an ongoing maintenance need or an artificial pocket which won't benefit in the long term. I have found it tough but have to respect my mother's opinion that nature is boss - we have replaced his tree twice as it didn't survive - no one notices as the sites are untended. Anyway on our site most people choose oaks so in ten years of such close planting there are going to be a lot of victims, not just the plants but the trees themselves. Two plus years on, the site has not grown much and it makes me sad. I really hope that we see it start to flourish over the next few years, at the moment it is not a nice place to visit. sniff.

29 Mar, 2009

 

Many thanks to Lottie ... You really do understand how I feel, as you lost your dad at probably the same time as I lost mum.
A very kind friend (who my mum was close to) is coming to give me a hand. She is a fantastic gardener and she will make sure everything is in keeping with the site. Although I have kept my intentions quiet (we don't want lots of people going to the site - it should remain a quiet, peaceful place for families) but I have been inundated with wild flowers from people who really cared about my mum. She was loved by all who knew her. I will let you know how it goes
Thanks you so much for your kind and comforting words
;o)

29 Mar, 2009

 

I really do wish you good luck with trying to grow flowers on the grave. Or woodland burial site is in part of an old coniferous forest where the trees have been felled and it certainly isn't pretty. Snag is the reason the conifers were planted in the first place is there is very little soil - just sand the conifers hold this but it does not sustain anything else growing.

29 Mar, 2009

 

Thank you Moon grower.

I have had some really kind replies to the message I posted. We are fortunate in that mum's woodland burial site is in a beautiful location, with deer, rabbits, horses in the next field and red kites circling above. It is a peaceful place which inspires peace in all who visit. I have today been given some bluebells - they will spread and look really natural.

Thankis agian - I will post the results on the forum

;o)

29 Mar, 2009

How do I say thanks?

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