Ideas for graveside flower arrangements

Updated February 21, 2017

Paying your respects at a grave site can be done by leaving a beautiful plant or floral arrangement. Sometimes people close to the deceased choose in-ground plants as a more permanent offering. There are many kinds of floral arrangements that can be left at the grave site, including seasonal arrangements, birthday honours and simple I-miss-you sentiments.


Baskets provide a sturdy container that will not be blown away on an outdoor tombstone. For an arrangement being placed on the grave site at Christmas time, for example, paint a sleigh basket red and place red and white flowers and greenery into floral foam. When remembering a mother on Mother's Day, use a pink basket and secure the woman's favourite flowers into the floral foam. Place taller flowers in the back and work forward with shorter ones. Finish with a pretty ribbon. Baskets will not block the tombstone and they are a festive way to honour the person on a holiday.

Balloons and Stuffed Animals

Flowers at a child's grave site should be indicative of the young life lost. Place marbles in the bottom of a short, wide vase and fill with water. Add primary-coloured flowers, such as button poms, freesia and gerbera daisies, and then tie brightly coloured balloons with hearts and childlike images around the vase. Or lay a headstone spray of flowers on the grave site and attach a teddy bear or stuffed animal onto the arrangement. If the child was older, add significant objects in the flower arrangement, like small pom poms for a cheerleader or a tiny surf board for someone who loved the ocean. These tokens signify a part of the child's life that will always be remembered.

Bushes and In-Ground Plants

Instead of leaving a small bush next to a grave site, consider planting it. Bushes look pretty on either side of a grave and act as a frame for the tombstone. Drought-tough annuals, such as zinnias, are a good choice and only need to be watered often in the beginning. Succulents and plants with a thick outer wax coating do well, as do rose bushes. These long-lasting plant choices signify eternal life from the people who plant them. A picture of the person, such as a hiker I his gear, is a beautiful addition to simple greenery around a grave site.


Use a saddle mount on top of a tombstone and fill it with fresh flowers that signify peace, such as soft-coloured roses. Consider flowers with sweet smells to evoke images of loving memories. Or purchase a wreath holder and change out the arrangement based on the holidays. Carnations are popular because they last long and come in white, a colour that signifies eternal life. An evergreen wreath works best in most climates and can be hung with a wreath holder or attached with wire to a stake in the ground. Fill the wreath with significant colours, such as red, white and blue, for a woman who served her country, for example.

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About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Lisa Finn has been writing professionally for 20 years. Her print and online articles appear in magazines and websites such as "Spa Magazine," "L.A. Parent," "Business," the Famous Footwear blog and many others. She also ghostwrites for mompreneurs and business owners who appear regularly on shows such as Ricki Lake, HGTV, Carson Daly and The Today Show.