It shouldn’t surprise anyone to discover that the process of grave decorating varies significantly among different groups of people. Older people tend to take the task more seriously than younger people, and the types of decorations left at the graveside are also dependent upon the mourners’ culture.
Typically, graves are only decorated if someone lives nearby to take care of the task.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- 1. Artificial Flower Arrangements Placed in a Headstone’s Vase
- 2. Single Stem Artificial Flowers
- 3. Wreath with Artificial Flowers
- 4. Cone Vases with Artificial Flowers
- 5. Saddle Artificial Flower Arrangement
- 6. Holiday Floral Arrangements
- Where Can You Normally Buy Artificial Flowers for Graves?
Cemetery rules also play an important role in what items are left on a headstone. Some green burial places only allow fresh flower arrangements to be left behind.
But regardless of the age, culture, or geographic area of the mourners, the most popular item to leave at a grave is an artificial flower arrangement.
Here are the types of artificial flowers to leave at your loved one’s grave.
1. Artificial Flower Arrangements Placed in a Headstone’s Vase
If your loved one’s cemetery allows graves to be decorated with artificial flowers, consider purchasing a headstone with a built-in vase. If a vase is available, you may be able to buy an arrangement of silk flowers that includes several different types of flowers and accompanying greenery.
Since some of these arrangements can be pricey, make sure you understand how to secure your arrangement in a cemetery vase. Otherwise, they will blow away the first time there is a gust of wind.
2. Single Stem Artificial Flowers
Perhaps you enjoy arranging flowers. If you have the skill and the time, you may consider purchasing single stem artificial flowers to be arranged to your preference. Some people use styrofoam inserts to ensure that each bud is secure in the arrangement.
You may consider this type of decoration if a specific kind of flower was important to your loved one.
3. Wreath with Artificial Flowers
Instead of purchasing an arrangement of silk flowers formed into a bouquet, you may choose to buy a wreath of artificial flowers. Even though wreaths are typical decorations during the holidays, you can purchase them in various styles and colors that would be appropriate to decorate a grave any time of the year.
Consider the cemetery rules before purchasing a wreath that hangs on a headstone or requires a stand. This type of decoration may not be allowed as they may slow down the grounds crew.
Hanging wreaths on headstones may also obstruct the names on the graves, making it difficult for others to find your loved one’s final resting place.
4. Cone Vases with Artificial Flowers
If your loved one’s headstone does not have a built-in vase, you may have to get creative in displaying flowers at the gravesite.
One option is purchasing artificial flowers that are arranged in a plastic, cone-shaped vase. These vases typically have pointed ends that can easily poke into the ground.
5. Saddle Artificial Flower Arrangement
Some floral arrangements are designed to sit on the top of a headstone. These arrangements are secured by metal “saddles” (also called casket that wrap around the width of the stone.
Again, some cemeteries may not allow for such arrangements. These types of arrangements may be difficult to find.
6. Holiday Floral Arrangements
All of the styles that we have mentioned so far can be purchased to match the season. For example, was your loved one proud to be an American? You may consider decorating their grave with red, white, and blue stems on the 4th of July. Fall decor is popular in some areas of the country, and when the leaves change colors so may the decorations in the cemetery. Of course, many people visit the graves of their loved ones during the holidays and choose red, green, blue, or white arrangements for decorating the headstone.
Before purchasing these sometimes expensive arrangements, make sure you are familiar with what type of cemetery flower holder is available.
How Do You Arrange Artificial Flowers for Graves?
As we mentioned earlier, you can purchase pre-arranged artificial flowers for your loved one’s grave. Each stem is cut at an appropriate length and bound together to look pleasing to the eye.
If you can’t find an arrangement that you are happy with, you can also choose to create your own. A wide variety of artificial flowers are available at most craft stores, and they come in stems, sprays, branches, floral bushes, drop-ins, and cuttings. With so many options available, you are only limited by your creativity, budget, and skill.
Some people create the arrangement at home before visiting the cemetery. This may be risky if you are unsure about the size of the headstone vase. Others bring their wire cutters, styrofoam, and other supplies to the cemetery to create the arrangement on site.
Consult crafting sites to get specific ideas on how to design an arrangement. You should not feel limited on what types of flowers you use for your design, but you may be interested in learning more about the meaning of specific flowers and plants. Most people know that the red rose symbolizes passionate love, but did you know that a daisy represents innocence and a pink carnation expresses gratitude?
If you are not the only one decorating a loved one’s grave, you may need a lesson in grave flower etiquette. Removing the arrangement that another family left may cause hurt feelings. Your display may have to share the vase with another family member’s floral arrangement.
Where Can You Normally Buy Artificial Flowers for Graves?
If you are new to the process of buying artificial flowers to decorate graves, you may not know where you can purchase the items.
We would like to help you learn where to go, but keep in mind that not all of these retailers have a presence in every area of the country. Type “artificial flowers near me” in your internet search bar to see what retailers in your local area sell this product.
You may be able to buy artificial flowers through a local florist. Typically, florists specialize in live plants, but you may be able to find some that have a selection of artificial ones as well.
Big box stores
It shouldn’t be a surprise that you can purchase artificial flowers from big box stores. After all, you can buy shoes, groceries, and paint there, so why wouldn’t you be able to buy artificial flowers there as well?
Most of the time, artificial flowers can be found in the craft areas, but you may find special displays of “cemetery flowers” near the front of the store around Memorial Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day.
Most craft stores have a large section of artificial flowers, but they may or may not have displays designed explicitly for a cemetery.
Look for online coupons if the floral stems are not currently on sale.
Discount or dollar stores
Some of the “dollar” stores also sell cemetery flowers. Even though each stem may only cost a buck, you may need to buy several to have enough for an arrangement. You may also look for artificial flowers at Dollar General and Family Dollar.
Other Ways to Remember a Loved One
While many people feel comfort when putting flowers on a loved one’s grave, some mourners do not have that option. Some live too far away from the cemetery where their loved ones are buried. Others have family members who were cremated and chose not to have a headstone in a cemetery. And some cemeteries have rules against leaving artificial floral arrangements at graves.
If you cannot leave flowers at a headstone of someone you love, consider these other memorial methods.
Share memories of your loved one with others. Even if the stories have been often repeated, they must be shared to keep the memories alive.
Listen to your loved one’s favorite music or watch their favorite movie.
Share your favorite photos of your deceased family member on social media. Share pictures on your loved one’s birthday, on the anniversary of your loved one’s death, or anytime you feel sad that they are no longer with you.
Donate your time or money in the name of your deceased family member. Choose a charity or non-profit that was important to your loved one.
If you feel the urge to purchase flowers, why not buy some to take to a local nursing home? Ask the staff to place the photos in the room of a resident who doesn’t get many visitors.