No longer living in Edinburgh, can't visit your loved one's grave as much as you wish? We offer compassionate Grave Care Services for Mortonhall Cemetery and cemeteries throughout Edinburgh. Our Grave Tending Services include:
My interest in plants and gardening was sparked in my childhood garden which was where I spent most of my time amongst a large variety of flowers, trees, fruit and vegetables. I had my own little plot where my first project was sowing wildflowers to count towards the Brownies’ ‘Gardener’ badge (cringe).
As well as the plants, I was fascinated by all the creatures that lived in the garden; it was the perfect learning ground for a young nature lover, and helped develop my ambitions to become a botanist. ...
Yes! After completing a University degree in Plant Science, I went on to gain a Doctorate in Botany. During these years of my research I was very privileged to be based at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh. Studying and working with plants has been richly rewarding for me in many ways. Among my most inspiring experiences has been working on a number of Scotland’s rare wild plants, which grow in some of the most remote and beautiful parts of the country.
I have come back to gardening through the back door, as they say, using my knowledge as a botanist and naturalist to develop my own garden. Having started with a sterile plot, I have created in miniature several different habitats – a pond, a meadow, a rockery, a flower border and a small woodland. All of the gardening has been done on a budget, and the wildlife has arrived for free – foxes, birds, bees, butterflies, frogs, newts, and even a visiting otter.
As much as I can appreciate the grand gardens of a country house, I am much more at home gardening on a small scale where I know and tend each individual plant. Grave gardening allows me to combine this focus with a desire to evoke the same kind of childlike appreciation plants can inspire, whether it be colour or scent, or shape or some of the traditional uses or meanings associated with the plant. When my father died I took great comfort in seeing the snowdrops pushing up in the hospice garden, a sign of new life and great beauty which he shared with me in life. And so I hope to introduce people to the idea of having a miniature garden of life on their loved one’s grave.
We are a specialist grave tending company located in Edinburgh offering grave maintenance and other services for when you don’t live nearby. Our services can also offer you peace of mind when you cannot visit your loved one’s grave as often as you would like. We:
My Parents' Grave: 2019
In 2014, I had to heart-breakingly give up my Family home in Edinburgh. Thereafter, I could only bare coming up once a year for an annual visit to my family's (Mother & Father) cherished grave in Mortonhall Cemetery, Edinburgh.
Over the years I have tried SOOOOO hard to make the grave pretty with plantings, but, with annual trips I have been unable to frequently care for it and nurture seasonal foliage :( So, over the years, I have placed advertisements for a gardener to tend my parents' grave. Alas, gardeners, deemed the project too small / unappealing (apart from sweet Jill who had caringly looked after it before) :( Last year (2019), I cried when I visited the grave and saw that all my lovely plants (and I had spent so much over the years on them!) had ...
...disappeared, the plot was overrun by an awful unruly bush, and the pebble border was in disarray. It had never been as bad as that. I was... mortified, crying and haunted :( In previous visits I had got the cherished grave to look like, for example...
This year, by stellar luck, just as my Edinburgh ad was about to expire, Jen replied on... my Mother's birthday (March) and, during lockdown! Poor Jen, over a week I politely tested her so hard over her trustworthiness and integrity in offering to grave tend on my behalf (I'm a canny half-Scot and don't want to be done over!). Jen has been utterly brilliant - honest, knowledgeable, attentive, collaborative, compassionate and hard working.
In Spring 2020, the grave plant selection, planting and tending project began. Jen is still planting throughout the year and has left space for the plants to grow. We have planted, for example Edelweiss (one of Mummy's favourite plants), Fusilier Carnations, Flanders Poppies & Hesperantha coccinea 'Major' (Daddy was a Major in the the Royal Highland Fusiliers), Cyclamen, Dianthus, Anemone nemorosa, and Christmas rose to be in flower around the time of Daddy’s birthday.... All of the plants have some real special meaning for me and were chosen with Jen’s advice to be suitable for the plot.
As we have both worked so well together, I thought, Jen would be perfect for my back-burner idea of... setting up a grave tending service in Edinburgh, particularly for Mortonhall Cemetery mourners like myself who can not regularly tend their grave. Jen is the expert gardener and I (Trischi) am the web guru :)
P.S. I so miss my Mummy and my Edinburgh family home. Visting Edinburgh is so hard and visting the grave makes my heart miss beats at first, but then bizarrely, it is the the place I feel most tranquil at.
My Parents’ Grave: 2020, After Jen's First Planting
Our Grave Planting service will really make your grave extra special:
We offer a regular Grave Tending service which is highly flexible from four times a year or, as you wish:
We offer a one-off or an annual Grave Tidy Up service, particularly suitable to commemorate an anniversary or birthday:
We will care for your grave with respect as if it was our own loved one’s. Our prices exclude long distance travel costs to a grave.
To be honest, we don't have any reviews yet apart from my case study above. We've only just started. And we won't create fake reviews!
We do ensure a stellar and caring service and will add reviews here as when we receive them.
If you are happy with our service, please do give us a review so we can add it to the website.
And do come back, to read our reviews.
The most natural and safest way to clean a headstone is by cleaning it with water. Gravestones can contain cracks, particularly old headstones, that could be exacerbated by some cleaning methods. The following headstone cleaning methods could damage your headstone:
We will use only water and a soft cloth to wipe gently the grave’s headstone. Leaves, twigs will be removed by hand before cleaning. If we notice any damage / natural erosion to your headstone which has occurred between our grave tending visits we will notify you.
The environmental conditions of your grave plot affect what plants will grow there - soil, light/shade, exposure, aspect and drainage. We can recommend plants that should do well in the existing conditions and make some improvements to the soil to help new plants establish. We can also advise on the suitability of any plants you would like to have in memory of your loved one.
Most cemeteries have management rules relating to the size of plants that can be planted on a grave plot.
Plants will grow best where they can flourish in the conditions available without an unrealistic amount of intervention. Where the conditions might not be ideal for a plant of your choice, the plant must be responsive to appropriate care to encourage it to flourish. Without daily attention, such as you might give to plants in your garden, the most successful graveside plants will be those which are disease resistant, low growing and least prone to wind damage, frost hardy, and have reasonable tolerance of drought once established. Whilst this excludes some more tender plants, it still provides a great variety to choose from.
Factors to consider when selecting plants:
Did you know? The tradition of laying flowers at a grave originates from ancient Greeks who placed flowers on warriors’ graves. It was thought that if flowers grew on the grave, the warrior had moved on and found happiness in the next world and they were sending a message to say so.
One of the delights of having plants growing on a grave is seeing them come into flower as the seasons change. With carefully planned planting, even on a grave, different plants can provide colour throughout the seasons. And many plants can be encouraged to flower more than once or for a longer period. These are just a few examples of the best seasonal grave plants:
We have plenty more ideas for the best seasonal plants for your loved one's grave. Do check out our Grave Flowers & Plants Ideas below, and our Insta photographs showing Jen nurturing seeds and plants before they are planted on a grave and The Caring Grave Gardener's Pinterest pin boards with more graveside flowers and plants ideas.
There are no rules about what flowers can be placed on a grave. There might be flowers which were a favourite of your loved one or which have special meaning for you. Flowers can relay symbolism, which is very important for remembrance. When choosing flowers to leave at your grave, just let your heart be your guide.
Which flowers to lay on a grave, on days of remembrance and special occassions?
And grave flowers to perhaps avoid as they have negative meanings:
Here are some tips on how to keep your cut flowers last a bit longer on a grave:
You can have both - cut flowers and planted flowers on a grave! But there are some good reasons to consider having plants growing on your loved one’s grave.
Not sure whether to opt for a one-off grave care service or a regular grave tending service? We highlight the benefits of annual / one-off grave care vs regular grave tending services.
Annual / one-off grave tidy up benefits:
Regular grave care benefits:
We are here to make your loved one's grave a place of warm remembrance. Would you like to discuss our services?
Cemeteries are an important habitat for many wild creatures. Some, like rabbits, can be a pest if they eat your plants. However, rabbits would much rather have fresh cut flowers – that is like dinner on a plate! If rabbits are a problem, there are many plants which are less tasty to them and which they tend to avoid – including bulbous plants, herbs, plants with prickles and strongly scented garden or wild plants.
If your loved one was a nature lover, planting flowers which attract insects like bees and butterflies is a fitting way to nurture your memories and the native wildlife.
Apart from leaving customery flowers at a grave, other remembrance objects can be left at a grave, including a:
|Address:||30A Howdenhall Road, EH16 6TX, Edinburgh|
|Opening times:||8am to 6pm, daily|
|Office Closed:||Sundays & public holidays|
|Parking:||Parking is available and there are 4 disabled parking spaces (in front of the chapels and behind the main building).|
|Facilities:||Toilets & an outdoor tap beside them (BYO watering container)|
|Transport:||Lothian Buses No. 7, 37, 47 or 67 & First Bus No. 62.|
Waiver any liability for the: ...
- Natural Damage - we would never do anything to damage your grave.
- Gravestone - while every endeavour is made to clean your headstone and we will only use water, some natural wear and tear, staining and decay is impossible to clean.
- Plants - due to nature we can't guarantee the longevity of the plants planted.
What we won’t do:
- Use any chemicals (cleaning agents/herbicides/fungicides etc).
- Place artificial flowers at a grave.
- Move or handle grave ornaments unless agreed with you.
- Carry out any work which might impact on neighbouring graves.
- Planting which might infringe cemetery management rules.
What we will do:
- Care for your grave with respect as if it was our own loved one’s.
- Only do what has been agreed with you.
- Provide evidence of the work we have done.
- Contact you if we have any concerns about your grave.
We will be delighted to hear from you.