Guess the flowers will have to be artificial this year

gandle(4 NE)May 29, 2011

Season is so late, won't have any peonies for at least 2 weeks, maybe more. Buds aren't as big as marbles. Only iris blooming are the smaller striped foliage blue flowered ones that smell like grapes but don't have many of that kind. Lilacs are trying to bloom but it is so cold that they are late, The only thing we have in full bloom is dames rocket and that just runs undisturbed in huge bunches near the hazel nuts across from the raspberry patch. Don't really consider dames rocket a suitable bloom to carry to the cemetery.

So when Leone gets home we will have to fall back on artificial flowers kept in reserve since this sure isn't the first year that cold has held back the flowers.

The pool opens tomorrow, not sure why. Little hard to swim wearing an overcoat or long underwear.

Just a typical Memorial day weekend in western NE. When you were small was it called Memorial day or Decoration day?

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mawheel

When I was a child, it was called Decoration Day, and I would go with my Mother to put flowers on her Father's grave in Arlington National Cemetery, and then to Mt. Olivet in D.C. (an old, old cemetery) to decorate other family members' graves. When my brother's body was brought back to the States after WW2, we'd visit his grave, too. He wasn't buried in Arlington, though he could have been. My parents had bought a plot in a cemetery just outside of D.C., and he was reburied, there; they are, too. Sadly, the area has changed to the point that I rarely visit them, anymore. First, b/c of distance, second, b/c it's not really a safe place, even in the daytime.

George, the peonies, irises, and lilacs in this area are now at their peak, plenty of flowers to put on graves. The weather is right, too--hot and humid. It's a typical summer day for the Mid-Atlantic, even though it won't be summer for three weeks.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 1:32PM
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calliope(6)

You just plucked some strings Gandle, as my DD and I just got back from making the cemetery run and placing fresh flowers on important graves. I often make fresh combination pots from the flowers I have in the greenhouse but not this year. Years ago, I did a huge business around Memorial Day in those pots for grave decorations, but every year the demand falls and there wasn't even one call this year to ask for any. I decided to do the decorating like I remember my folks doing it. I cut flowers from our property, and my DD from her property and we placed those out.

The peonies opened yesterday, like on cue. We got French lilacs as the old fashioned ones bloomed a month ago. And we have many species of iris in bloom and those got gathered as well as daisies, poppies and some branches from weigelia and rhodies.

The cemeteries don't even bother to turn on the water anymore, whereas there used to be spigots in each section for use when putting flowers on graves. I think the fresh arrangements we placed were the only ones I saw today...........all the rest of them were artificial. Pretty, but somehow it just doesn't do it for us.

Yes.........my parents called it Decoration Day and I still do sometimes.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 2:35PM
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anneliese_32(6)

On Friday we had the heater going, yesterday everything was off and now the A/C is on, 91 degrees. Crazy.
The iris drowned, the Sweet Williams from last year made it and the old hydrangea bush has some flowers, everything else is either washed out, did not bloom much in all the rain or is still trying to recover.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 5:03PM
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west_gardener

I'm not a cemetary kind of visitor. But I make sure our loved ones are buried in a dignified fashion and in a place that they love.By prior agreement, we paid to have the cemetary maintain the grave sites.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 7:18PM
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tibs(5/6 OH)

Dh and I managed to get to my dad's side of the family cemetary (a 45 min. drive) and clean up the graves. I had planted true geranimums a few years ago and they were doing quite will on 4 of the 5 family graves. Fortunately I had brought a few annuals with me to put on that grave. If any family member visits, and there are very few of us left, they will wonder who on earth was putting flowers on Tommy and Edith's grave?! They had no children.

My mother was happy that we got them tiddied before memorial day. I did not take her along, she is getting frail.

I remember hearing it called decoration day. Iris were always called flags, because they bloomed at just the right time. Never a tradition to put bouquets of live flowers on the grave, just plant a row in front of the tombstone. When I am gone I do not think any of my cnildren will plant flowers. Decorating graves not a big thing in dh's family. Since his parents passed, his one sister gets those grave saddles that are changed out seasonally. I cannot stand them.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 7:49AM
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calliope(6)

I used to do plantings on the graves as well, Tibs....both annuals and perennials, but now the cemeteries in town don't allow it anymore. They're even getting strict on how long an artificial arrangement can be placed and what can be used. The budget has been cut so badly, many sections looked like a hay field this year. I noticed some soul had brought their own lawn mower and mowed on grave lot. That's sad.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 10:42AM
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frogged

In my area the cemeteries decoration day is later in the summer. And I can remember in the past it there was always local people who sold glads. They stood up well and looked nice. The last number of years I have noticed that there are fewer places mostly the farmers markets that still sell them. It's my Mom and Grandma who think about and try to remember to decorate their relatives graves. The other Aunts can not be bothered. You are very restricted now about what can be placed at the grave site. I seem to remember Mom and Grandma saying that fresh flowers, and potted plants are thrown out by cemetery staff before they are dead and planting in the ground is not allowed. In the local paper recently there was a story of a family fighting with their cemetery over a memory book. The family had kept a diary type book for friends and family to write in when they visited their daughters grave. They said that they kept it in a plastic baggie and tucked under the allowed plastic flower arrangement. The cemetery staff told the family this was not allowed as it could become a danger to staff. There were rules that there were to be nothing on the grave site other then approved items plastic flower vases no glass or (ornaments) because they could become hazards for the maintenance staff when cutting the grass. Apparently they had an injury which is what led them to clamp down on the rules. They also mentioned the time it took to move objects left on each grave site. They stated that the land was not owned by the family, when you buy a plot you buy the right to bury someone in the cemetery, and you have to follow the rules laid out. I can understand some of their view on this I do imagine that there could be a lot of things left behind but the way the story was written it seems the staff did not have much compassion for the family.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 10:43PM
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