Symbolic Flowers to Plant to a Grave

Throughout the Victorian age in the 1800s, with its emphasis on flower gardens and all things horticultural, the English established an elaborate system of floral symbolism. Every flower carried one or more significance when presented to some other person. A number of this symbolic nonverbal communication survives now. In a graveside setting, flowers can communicate grief and love, as well as hopes for the departed.


Astonishingly, the glowing, cheerful-looking marigold (Tagetes spp.) signifies grief. Observing the flower, you may observe that, with the setting of the sun, it folds up tight and lets its head droop. The long-lasting annuals will bloom from early summer until the first frost, if spent flowers are picked. A massive marigold variety (T. cempazuchitl) was correlated with Mexico’s celebration of the Day of the Dead as well as similar celebrations because the Aztecs’ time. Families plant and tend the flowers, thinking of the loved ones they’ve lost. The brilliant orange flowers serve as beacons to guide the deceased’s soul house, and for this special day, Mexicans believe the spirits of their loved ones are using them once more.


Especially for a girl’s grave, the pansy (Viola spp.) Conveys the Victorian values of tender attachment, concern and compassion. In cemetery symbolism, the pansy has begun to portray remembrance and humility. The pansy never needs attention, instead conveying thoughts like think of me, and keep me on your thoughts. These annuals provide multicolored flowers from winter through spring, or longer, in mild-winter places. Establish nursery plants out in the fall.


Dwarf periwinkles (Vinca minor) attribute 1-inch, five-petaled, lavender-blue flowers growing in a pinwheel shape. The simplicity of the blossom fits the logo of the periwinkle: tender recollections. Victorians planted it near memorial urns and graves and sometimes wound it to funeral wreaths. The perennial blossoms in summer, recalling the freshness of spring that’s gone. Plant the dwarf variety, as bigger periwinkles (V. major) are invasive plants. Miniature periwinkles flourish in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 to 10.


In cemeteries, the poppy (Papaver spp.) Denotes peace and perpetual sleep for the departed. Poppies’ large flowers make a powerful statement in spring and summer in colours like orange, yellow, salmon, pink, cream, white, red, purple and deep plum that’s virtually black. A frequent variety of the yearly is called “Flanders Field,” and the blossoms have been linked to Veterans Day, when memorial poppies are offered.

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