Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!

A neat and tidy grave is a "must" in this country. However, the effort often exceeds the time budget. With gravel and mulch, the grave design is durable and easy to care for.

In a nutshell

  • Gravel and mulch make the grave easy to maintain
  • various grits and colors are commercially available
  • not every cemetery administration allows the materials on the grave area
  • pay attention to the height of the plants
  • Ground covers and/or perennials are particularly easy to care for

mulch and pebbles

A fully planted grave may look pretty, but it also requires the appropriate care. On the one hand, the grave must be freed from weeds, on the other hand, the plants need regular watering when the rain fails. For the bereaved, this means an enormous amount of time and care. When the graveyard is further away, keeping a fully planted grave tidy seems almost impossible.

One way to reduce the maintenance effort and still have a well-groomed grave is bark mulch and gravel. Because both materials have the property of drastically reducing the growth of weeds. A layer of mulch also protects the soil from drying out quickly. So less watering is required. In addition, both materials are durable.

colors and size

You can find decorative gravel or decorative split in various sizes and colors in specialist shops. White stones are considered very noble. Gray gravel is less noticeable. But there are also brightly colored stones or decorative gravel in natural brown tones. With mulch, the choice of colors is significantly smaller. Although there are also differences here, these are always lighter or darker (red) brown tones. The grain varies. Coarser mulch has a grain size of 0 to 8 centimeters, finer bark mulch between 0 and 3 centimeters. The latter is also known as decompression. However, this does not affect the properties.

grave design

When designing the grave with gravel and bark mulch, you basically have three options:

  • cover the entire grave area with one of the two materials
  • Cover parts of the grave area with decorative gravel or bark mulch
  • a combination of both materials for different areas on the grave

Notice: Before you start designing the grave, you should inquire with the cemetery administration whether gravel and/or bark mulch are permitted on the grave surface.

complete coverage

Covering the entire grave area is only recommended for decorative gravel. Because the grave can be designed well with different grain sizes and colors. Bowls with plants that can be designed according to the season provide splashes of color. However, you should note that plants that are placed in bowls require regular care. Therefore, this solution can by no means be described as easy-care.

partial coverage

To ensure that the grave is actually easy to care for, partial coverage is recommended. When designing the grave, parts of the area are covered with decorative gravel, gravel split or mulch and others are planted. In order to use the positive properties of the bark mulch, you can also apply a layer of bark mulch to the planted areas. Then there is a combination of ornamental gravel, bark mulch and plants.

Plan, prepare and invest

The design of the grave area requires a certain amount of planning, because once the gravel has been spread, it is difficult to “collect” it or replace it. Ideally, you create several sketches for the grave design. Sample graves as examples can serve as templates or ideas. You are free to choose the shape of the gravel areas, unless the cemetery administration has given specifications. They can be round, square or wavy.
Before you can deploy either or both materials, the grave must be prepared. Since the earth sinks after the burial, you should not start preparing until six months after the burial. So that the grave does not look unkempt during this waiting period, you can put fresh flowers or arrangements on it. If the waiting time ends in winter, wait until the ground is no longer frozen before preparing. This makes work easier. Follow these steps:

  • Dig out about 25 centimeters of grave area
  • Remove weeds, (old) roots and stones
  • dig well
  • Undermine sand or gravel (drainage function)

Now you can create the grave according to your sketch.

  • Lay out gravel areas with plant fleece (against weeds)
  • alternatively: cover the entire grave area with fleece, cut in crosses for plants
  • Fill in gravel or earth areas
  • put plants
  • water plants
  • Cover soil areas with mulch

Tip: If the earth areas are planned in the middle of the grave, then you should finish them first and only then spread the gravel.

grave plants

Since ornamental gravel and bark mulch ensure that the grave is easy to care for, you should plant easy-care plants to keep it that way. It is important that the plants tolerate drought so that the watering effort is limited. With regard to the growth height, you should inquire in advance with the cemetery administration which heights are permitted.

ground cover

Because ground covers are long-lived and discourage weed growth, they're ideal for a low-maintenance grave. Many groundcovers are suitable for grave design, such as:

  • Stonecrop (Sedum): winter or evergreen, sun to semi-shade, different colored flowers
  • Yellow-colored goose cress (Arabis ferdinandi-coburgii "Old Gold"): evergreen, sun (prefers) to shade, white flowers, yellow-green leaves
  • Cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus "Mount Vernon"): evergreen, sun to semi-shade, white flowers (rare)
  • Dull green feather pad (lye flower (Cotula dioica): evergreen, sun to semi-shade, yolk-yellow flowers
  • Japanese Azalea (Rhododendron obtusum): pure white to ruby red, large flowers characterize the Japanese azalea from the end of May to mid-June. It is particularly suitable for grave design, as its growth rate is only a few centimeters per year. The winter or evergreen plants grow in sunny to partially shaded locations and are up to 30 centimeters high.
fat chicken

Perennial perennials

There is a wide range of perennials. In addition, there are different growth heights within the individual species. Therefore, you should pay attention to the variety. Examples are:

  • True lavender (Lavendula angustifolia): white or violet flowers from July to August, height of growth up to 30 centimeters (e.g.: "Blue Scent", "Ellagance Purple", "Nana Alba"), sunny location
  • Lady's mantle (Alchemilla alpina): greenish-yellow, rather inconspicuous flowers from June to September, up to 15 centimeters high, sunny location
  • Glowing Coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida): golden yellow flowers from August to October, height of growth up to 50 centimetres, sunny location
  • Coneflowers (mock coneflowers, hedgehog heads; Echinacea): white to purple flowers from July to September, up to 50 centimeters tall, sunny location
  • Anemone (Anemone nemorosa, A. ranunculoides, A. sylvestris): white, golden-yellow, crimson to light violet-blue in spring, up to 30 centimeters tall, semi-shade to full sun

Tip: In order to set colorful accents from spring to autumn, you should combine early and late flowering perennials.

frequently asked Questions

Can I use bark mulch from the garden center to decorate the grave?

Yes. The different shades of color are purely visual and do not affect the function of quality goods.

Can I cover entire grave areas with bark mulch without planting?

Provided that the cemetery administration allows it, you can also cover individual parts of the grave area with bark mulch.

Can I put plants in a gravel surface?

Basically yes, but in this case you have to cut the plant protection fleece crosswise at the appropriate points so that the plants can take root in the soil.

Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!