Artificial Flower Rules for National Cemeteries

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), who maintains most of our national cemeteries, has several rules in place to maintain a nicely landscaped and attractive resting place for our fallen heroes. Many of these rules are blanket rules that cover all national cemeteries. However, the rules regarding placement of artificial flowers varies from cemetery to cemetery.

Two of the national cemeteries that aren't maintained by the VA, Arlington National Cemetery and the US Soldier's and Airmen's National Cemetery, are maintained by the Department Army. While each cemetery has its own rules regarding the placement of artificial flowers, most tend to follow the rules set by Arlington, which are as follows.

As a general rule, silk flowers and potted plants will be allowed on graves:

  • *For a period extending 10 days before Easter Sunday to 10 days after.
  • *For a period extending 10 days before Memorial Day to 10 days after.
  • *Christmas wreaths, potted poinsettias, and other seasonal adornments may be placed on graves from December 10th through January 10th.

National CemeteriesSome National cemeteries have slight variances in their artificial flower rules, such as Leavenworth National Cemetery, who's rules are as follows: "Artificial flowers and potted plants will be permitted on graves during periods when their presence will not interfere with grounds maintenance. As a general rule, artificial flowers and potted plants will be allowed on graves for a period extending seven days before through seven days after Easter Sunday and Memorial Day. Christmas wreaths, grave blankets and other seasonal adornments may be placed on graves from Dec. 1 through Jan. 20. They may not be secured to headstones or markers."

Fort Snelling National Cemetery has a more open policy towards artificial flowers, allowing them to be placed on graves anytime outside of mowing season, which they consider to be October 1st through April 1st.

Some other rules that should be adhered to are:

  • *Floral items should be placed at the side of headstones in line with the headstone row. This allows for equipment operations and prevents damage to floral items.
  • *Floral items should not be secured to headstones or markers.
  • *Permanent plantings, statues, vigil lights, breakable objects, pinwheels, balloons, toys and stuffed animals and similar commemorative items are not permitted on the graves at any time.
  • *Don't place any items that are considered offensive, inconsistent with the dignity of the cemetery, or considered hazardous to cemetery personnel.

There are also some national cemeteries that are maintained by the National Parks Service. The flower rules at these sites can be vague and arbitrary.  According to the Parks Service website, "The placement on a grave of fresh cut or artificial flowers in or on a metal or other non-breakable rod or container designated by the superintendent is allowed at times designated by the superintendent."

If you're unsure of the rules for artificial flowers at a particular national cemetery, your best option is to either call the cemetery office and ask about their policies, or search online for them. Below are links to flower rules for some national cemeteries. For most cemeteries, any of the products found on our vases and hoop basket collection page will be allowed.

*Graveside Flowers can deliver orders directly to national cemeteries (or any other cemetery that maintains an office) however, you will need to make arrangements to have the flowers placed at the grave site.

Links to National Cemeteries Artificial Flower Policies:

City Point National Cemetery

Chattanooga National Cemetery

Calverton National Cemetery

 

June 24, 2018 by Chuck Clark

Proper Maintenance of a Grave Site

 

When we lay a loved one to rest, we always do our best to honor the deceased with an attractive looking headstone and burial plot. However, what was once as beautiful grave site can start to look neglected over time. Properly maintaining a grave site isn't something that requires a lot of time or effort, but if done on a fairly regular basis, will keep your loved one's memorial looking the way it did when they were first laid to rest.


We often assume the cemetery will provide all the maintenance necessary to keep a grave site in pristine condition, but that isn't always the case.  Most cemeteries only provide maintenance of common areas and general cleanup and mowing around individual graves. If your loved one is buried in a cemetery that has fallen on tough financial times, or is no longer being actively managed, it can be in a complete state of disrepair.


Before embarking on any cleanup or decorating work, be sure to check the rules for your cemetery. Some are very specific about what type of work you're allowed to do, and what types of decorations can be left on graves. Once you're familiar with the protocols, here are some items you should consider for the grave site:


Headstone Repair and Maintenance


Headstones don't stay perfect and don't last forever. Weather and freeze/thaw cycles will stain, deteriorate, and in some cases, even break headstones.


Depending upon how old the headstone is and how long it's been since the last cleaning, this can be easy or difficult. If the headstone is in pretty good shape , the best cleaning option is water and a soft bristled brush. Never use a wire brush, steel wool, or any type of scouring pad. These items will damage the stone.


If water and a soft brush doesn't do the job and a detergent is required, you need to make sure you use a non-ionic detergent. Most household cleaners are NOT a good choice. Non-ionic detergents can be found at janitorial supply stores and some farm and home stores. Don't ever use bleach or other harsh detergents. You'll do more harm to the stone than good. We always recommend the use of D/2 Biologics for headstone cleaning.


If the stone is chipped or broken, modern epoxies make it possible to put the stone back together and look good (assuming you can find all of the pieces and it hasn't actually crumbled). Below is a video demonstrating how to do this:


Landscaping and Planting


Since most cemeteries provide mowing and overall landscape work, there isn't typically a lot to do in this area, but often times, a little effort can make a grave site look that much better. There are often weeds that need to be pulled trimming that needs to be done to the grass that's right next to the grave marker. These jobs can easily be done by hand.


If you're considering planting flowers or a small bush, you should definitely check the cemetery rules first. Otherwise, your efforts could be wasted.  Since flowers require extra maintenance and have a limited life span, you may want to consider artificial flowers. Today's artificial flowers looks very realistic, stay looking good for extended periods of time, and don't cost much more than real flowers.


Decorations and Memorials


This is the area you need to be most concerned with when it comes to rules and regulations of the cemetery. It's natural to want to leave mementos, flowers, stuffed animals, notes, etc. However, it's important to keep in mind that one man's touching memorial is another man's eyesore.


Generally speaking, when it comes to decorating a grave, less is more. Before leaving anything at a memorial site, think about what weather might do to it. Will it blow away? Will it break, etc. You definitely don't want to create a mess or hazard that as maintenance worker will have to deal with later.


Grave site maintenance shouldn't take you more than an hour, if you do it twice a year. That isn't a very big commitment for something that memorializes the life of somebody you loved.

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June 20, 2018 by Chuck Clark

Choosing the Right Flowers to Put on a Grave

Leaving flowers at the grave or memorial site for somebody who has passed away is something many of us feel the need to do. However, we want to make sure we do it in a way that will properly reflect upon, and honor, the life of our late loved one. This sometimes makes it difficult to choose just the right flowers. Should the flowers be bright and festive, or should they be more subtle and understated? Should we buy a wreath, a bouquet, a pillow, or a spray? How many flowers should we place on the grave?


All of these questions really boil down to what your instincts tell you to do. There is no right or wrong. However, we'd like to give you some general thoughts that might help you follow your instincts to the perfect graveside flowers.


Flower Meanings
Flowers carry a lot of symbolism, which is very important for remembrances. Listed below are some of the artificial silk flowers we sell here, and what each one symbolizes:flowers for cemeteries

 


More Symbolism
Wreaths are customary at funerals as symbols of life, death and the immortality of the soul. A wreath may be used at a grave site as a symbol of hope that the spirit as moved on and surpassed the death of the body.

Final Thoughts
When choosing flowers to leave at a grave, let your heart be your guide. If your memories of the deceased make you think of a field of daisies, leave a bouquet of daisies. If you have a special memory of the person where a vase of roses was present, leave a vase of roses. In these situations, more often than not, your heart will lead you in the right direction.

 

 

 

 

 

June 07, 2018 by Chuck Clark

Mother's Day Ideas for Grave Flowers and Decorations

If you've lost your mother, or you would like to honor somebody else's mother who was dear to you, we have several great ideas for sprucing up their grave sites on Mother's Day. In addition to beautiful artificial flower arrangements designed specifically for cemeteries, we also carry several wonderful grave decorations.

Flower Arrangements that Say "Mom"

cemetery wreath for mother's dayThe arrangements we have that actually say "Mom" fit into three different groups. We have flowered wreaths, pillow arrangements, and wire stands for mothers.

For wreaths, we have a line of 16 inch diameter wreaths made from colorful flower combinations that include matching bows and a ribbon that says, "Mom". You can find them here.

Our Mom pillow arrangements come in several different colors, and are made with silk carnations. Mom is written using white carnations. These pillows are inexpensive and make a great memorial. You can find them here.

We also have Mom wire stands. They stand 22" tall and are easily inserted into the ground next to the memorial site. These are available in red, and a pink/cream blend.

Flower Arrangements that Moms Love

headstone spray for momThese flower arrangements don't have "Mom" written anywhere on them, but they are our most popular purchases for Mother's Day.

If the grave marker is a standard upright style, a beautiful headstone spray would be a great way to honor your mother. GSF's Finest headstone sprays are 30" wide and create a beautiful, full mound of flowers on top of the headstone. To see this extraordinary hand made headstone spray, click here.

Ceramic Headstone Photos


If you want a beautiful tribute to your special mom, consider adding a permanent photo of her to her headstone or crypt. These ceramic photos are guaranteed against weathering or fading for life! Keep in mind that these photos are each custom mad by hand, and the process takes about 3 weeks to complete, so they are not a good idea for last minute purchases. To learn more about our ceramic photos, click here.

If none of the above idea are of particular interest to you, please visit our Seasonal Collection Page to see what other alternatives we have to offer. We're certain you'll find something that Mom would love!

**As always, we offer free shipping on orders over $59. Order by the first Sunday in May to ensure timely delivery.

April 07, 2018 by Chuck Clark

Easter Flower Ideas for Graves and Memorials

As Winter starts to thaw, it's a great time to tend to the graves of loved ones that may have been neglected during the frozen months. This is a great time to add or replace flower arrangements on grave sites, especially since we are heading into the Easter season. We receive many questions regarding the perfect flower arrangement for Easter, so we thought we would high light some of our most popular items here.

Since Easter is a Spring holiday, we typically recommend using brighter colors and pastels, such as pink, yellow and blue. White is also a very popular and traditional color for Easter. Also, certain flowers, such as Lilies and daisies, are considered traditional for Easter celebrations. The white lily is held as the traditional Easter Flower and represents love and hope. The single flower stem originating from a bulb represents the resurrection of Christ. Daisies symbolize purity... one qualities highlighted by the spirit of the Holiday.

With this in mind, here are some of our most popular Easter flower arrangements:

Premium Mixed Dahlia Headstone Spray

Easter Headstone Saddle ArrangementThis 34 inch wide headstone spray arrangement is a beautiful display of white and light green dahlias, white daffodils, and other small accent flowers. The arrangement is filled our with palm fronds, and other greenery to complete the look.  The arrangement stands about 9 inches tall and looks stunning atop any tombstone. The spray comes with a saddle for easy installation.

Click here to buy.


Yellow Lily Cross

Easter Lily crossThis is a 22 inch tall cross completely covered in beautiful yellow Lilies.  The cross includes a coordinating bow, some accent greenery, and an easel for easy display.  The combination of Lilies and the cross makes this a quintessential Easter arrangement.  Lilies symbolize the resurrection of Jesus Christ and hope of life everlasting.

Click here to buy.


 Calla Lily Cemetery Vase with Orchids

Easter Lily Cemetery VaseThis bouquet stands 27 inches tall and features white calla lilies, light green orchids, accent flowers, as well as palm fronds to fill it out.  The bouquet comes in a plastic, granite colored vase that easily sticks into the ground by the grave site.  It also includes a floral foam insert to hold the arrangement firmly in place...even in bad weather conditions.

Click here to buy.


 Rosebud Wreath with Spring Colors

Easter cemetery wreathThis silk floral wreath is adorned with bright pink, fuchsia, and lavender rosebuds.  The wreath also include complementary greenery, two coordinating bows, and a easel in case you would rather display the wreath next to the headstone, rather than on it.  The wreath is a healthy 18 inches in diameter.

Click here to buy.

 To see our entire collection of Easter and Spring artificial flower arrangements, click here.

February 24, 2018 by Chuck Clark

Spring Gravesite Maintenance Tips and Ideas

Early Spring is the best time of the year to spruce up the grave sites of your loved ones. A little work this the year can keep a memorial site looking great for months to come. If you only have the time, or the ability to tend to a grave site once a year, Spring is definitely the time you should do it.


If you can't tend to the graves on your own because you're physically unable, or you live far away from the cemetery, there are grave tending service providers around the country who you can hire to do it for a small fee. They will even send you a picture of the grave once the work is complete so you can see how nice it looks. If you don't know of a service in your area, consult our Grave Tending Service Provider Directory for options.


Before starting any maintenance or decorating, be sure to check with cemetery about their rules. Some have very restrictive rules that could end up wasting your time and money if you don't abide by them.


spring cemetery arrangementSpring is obviously a great time to take care of any landscaping issue the site may have. Pick up any debris around the grave and even give the grass a good raking. If there are bare spots in the grass, now's a great time to spread some seed to fill them in. Not only will this look better, but it will prevent weeds from filling in those spots. When it comes to grass seed, buy the kind that comes encased in its own fertilizer and growing material, such as Scott's EZ Seed. That way you don't have to worry about coming back every day to water. Make sure you spread the seed evenly around the site.


The next thing is to clean the headstone. The most effective, safest, and easiest way to clean a headstone is to use D/2 Biological Solution. Tested and used by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Park Service, D/2 is a biodegradable cleaner that is PH neutral and contains no salts, bleach or acids. It is highly effective for removing stains caused by mold, mildew, algae, lichens and air pollutants. The product works, won't harm the stone, and best of all, makes future cleaning easier by preventing new build up.


Spring is also a great time to add some flower arrangements or other decorations to brighten up the site. This is an area you definitely need to know the rules and regulations for your cemetery. In the way of decorations, some people will place stuffed animal or balloons, especially on the grave of a child. Other great decoration ideas include banners and solar powered lights.


If you're interested in flowers, we recommend going with artificial flowers. Not only will you save a lot of money as compared to fresh flowers, but they will stand up to harsh weather conditions and continue to look beautiful for months and even years to come. We have a great selection of artificial flower arrangements that are perfect for both Spring and the Easter seasons. To view our seasonal flower selections, click here: http://www.gravesideflowers.com/collections/seasonal-holiday

February 23, 2018 by Chuck Clark

How to Choose the Best Christmas Grave Decorations

 

Christmas holiday season is a time when many of us are remembering our loved ones who have passed away. There is a natural inclination to want to remember loved ones during this religious time of year, but for many it's not just about remembering it's about connecting. It's about involving our late loved ones in our holiday celebration. Many will go to visit cemeteries and graves during the holidays, but many more want to expand the celebration by decorating the graves.


Christmas headstone flower arrangementDecorating a grave at any time of year can be difficult. On the one hand, we want to be able to decorate in a fashion that is highly personalized, on the other hand we don't want to do anything that may be offensive, considered tacky, or unsightly two others. So the question is, what should we do in the way of decorations that will honor our loved ones and help us celebrate Christmas time with them but will also look nice and not offend?

At graveside flowers.com we offer a variety of artificial silk flower arrangements that are specifically designed for the Christmas holiday season. All of these products are attractive, are reasonably priced, starting as low as $7.99, and easy to place at a grave site. The Christmas products offered are made in traditional red green and white colors, and are made with traditional poinsettias, hollies, and other greenery.

You can find all of our Christmas wreaths, bouquets, headstone sprays, and crosses, here.

Symbolic Meanings of Plants and Flowers for Christmas


Holly - The prickly leaves represent the crown of thorns that Jesus wore when he was crucified. The berries are the drops of blood that were shed by Jesus because of the thorns.

Wreath - The wreath has significant meaning for the season. It's circular shape represents eternity, for it has no beginning and no end. From a christian religious perspective, it represents an unending circle of life. The evergreen, most frequently used in making wreathes, symbolizes growth and everlasting life.

Poinsettia - The shape of the poinsettia flower and leaves are sometimes thought as a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem which led the Wise Men to Jesus. The red colored leaves symbolize the blood of Christ. The white leaves represent his purity.Christmas Cemetery Flowers

Poinsettias are native to Central American and were originally brought to the United States by the first US Ambassador to Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett.

The connection of the Poinsettia to Christmas stems from an old Mexican legend that said there was once a poor Mexican girl named Pepita who had no present to give the the baby Jesus at the Christmas Eve Services. As Pepita walked to the chapel, sadly, her cousin Pedro tried to cheer her up. "Pepita", he said. "I'm sure that even the smallest gift, given by someone who loves him will make Jesus Happy."

Pepita didn't know what she could give, so she picked a small handful of weeds from the roadside and made them into a a small bouquet. She felt embarrassed because she could only give this small present to Jesus. As she walked through the chapel to the altar, she remembered what Pedro had said. She began to feel better, knelt down and put the bouquet at the bottom of the nativity scene. Suddenly, the bouquet of weeds burst into bright red flowers, and everyone who saw them were sure they had seen a miracle. From that day on, the bright red flowers were known as the "Flores de Noche Buena", or "Flowers of the Holy Night".

 

Merry Christmas from GravesideFlowers.com!

 

October 28, 2017 by Chuck Clark

Decorating Grave Sites During the Winter

Many people don't think about decorating the graves of loved ones during the winter months. Most prefer to wait until spring. Sometimes this is simply because it's cold outside, but often, it's because they aren't sure how to make a grave look nice during this dreary time of the year. Here are a few ideas that can spruce up a grave site when it's cold a gray outside. The best part is none of them require you to be outside for very long!

Winter Grave Decorating in Snowy Areas

winter headstone sprayIn areas of the Country that are prone to snow, decorating graves during the winter can be a bit more difficult. Flower arrangements can become buried in snow, and sometimes even destroyed by its weight.

If the headstone you are decorating is an upright stone, a headstone spray arrangement is by far your best option for flowers. Since sprays are made on metal saddles that sit on top of the stone, they will stay out of the snow, as long as accumulations aren't so deep as to bury the stone itself. (If you live in an area where snow accumulations do bury the headstone, you should just wait until spring.)

The flowers on the spray arrangement will catch an hold some of the snow, but it will blow off and melt off quicker than ground level arrangements. Additionally, you can lift the spray off the stone, turn it upside down, and give it a gentle shake to remove the snow.

Should your flowers (assuming they're artificial) be flattened by the weight of a heavy, wet snow, they can usually be fluffed back up to look good as new.

We also recommend buying flower arrangements that have bold colors so they stand out against the snow and show up well in gloomy skies.

Winter Grave Decorating Where There is Little or No Snow

winter cemetery vase arrangementIf you live in an area that has little or no snow during the winter, we recommend using white and lighter colored arrangements because they will contrast better when the background is brown grass, leafless trees, or gray skies.

You also have more options, such as vase arrangements, since you don't need to worry about them being buried in snow.

Regardless of what part of the Country you live in, artificial flower arrangements will look better for a much longer period of time than fresh flowers...especially in harsh weather conditions. For headstone sprays, we always recommend the use of a flower anchor to keep your arrangement secured to the through windy periods.

All of the products sold at Graveside Flowers are designed to withstand the elements, and bounce back from winter weather!

May 01, 2017 by Chuck Clark

The Best Way to Attach Flowers to a Headstone

Placing an elegant flower arrangement on top of a headstone is a beautiful way to memorialize a loved one who has passed.  But how do you attach the flowers so they don't blow away in the first wind that rolls through the cemetery after you've place them?  You obviously don't want to have your flowers lost, but you also don't want to attach them in a fashion that looks bad or might damage the stone.


The headstone spray, which is a very popular style of grave site floral arrangement, can be placed on the ground atop the grave, on an easel next to the grave stone, or perched on top of the stone.  Of the three options, having the spray on top of the stone looks the best, and is how the arrangement was really intended to be displayed.


Most sprays are sold with a saddle that is made of coat hanger-like wire that is bent to fit over the top of the stone and hold it in place.  These saddles do a decent job of holding the flowers in place, but they can still be blown away if the wind gets strong.  The other issues with saddles is often times they look cheap, and if they're made from low-cost materials, can rust and leave rusty streaks running down the face of the stone.


We've also seen other strategies for attaching flowers that are quite crude, ineffective, and unattractive, such as the use of plastic wrap, duct tape, wire, zip ties, and fishing line.  While some of these strategies are quite creative and border on engineering marvels, they typically don't look very good.  Especially when you get close!

The Best Solution

 

Graveside Flowers sells a product that will anchor your flowers to a headstone in a way that is completely hidden from view, won't damage the stone, will hold up to a strong wind, is made from aluminum, so it won't rust...and doesn't cost that much more than a roll of duct tape. This innovative headstone flower arrangement anchor (pictured to the right) retails for just $14.99 and makes a perfect, and permanent, solution to the problem of securing flowers on top of a grave marker.

 

 

To buy one for yourself, click on the following link:  http://www.gravesideflowers.com/collections/accessories/products/headstone-anchor 

 

July 07, 2016 by Chuck Clark

Father's Day Cemetery Flower Arrangement Recommendations

Choosing flower arrangements to leave on Dad's grave for Father's Day isn't always an easy task.  After all, we don't normally associate Dad with flowers, and are unlikely to know what kind of flowers he would've preferred.

In these situations, we think it's always best to defer to the flower choice that you prefer.  Normally, customers look towards colors that are more masculine, such as dark reds, purple, oranges, yellows, and blues.

Below are a few cemetery flower arrangement ideas from Graveside Flowers that we think any Dad would appreciate.

Premium Flower Garden Headstone Spray

Father's Day Headstone Spray ArrangementThis beautiful headstone spray is made with a wide array of masculine colors and various flower types.  It has deep red mums, dark purple peonies, strong yellow lilies, smaller accent flowers, and lush greens to fill out the arrangement.

The spray is 36" wide, 18" deep, and stands about 8" tall.  The arrangement includes a saddle to keep it secured to the top of the gravestone.

Dad Flower Wreath with Blue Roses

Father's Day Cemetery WreathThis 18" diameter wreath is constructed of dark blue roses, and lighter blue accent flowers.  It's accented with fern leaves, a pair of blue bows, and has a blue ribbon through the middle that says, "Dad".  If the blue doesn't really suit your tastes, this wreath is also available in a red/white combination or a purple/yellow version.

Dad Pillow Arrangements and Wire Stands

Father's Day Wire StandWe carry Dad pillow arrangements and wire stands, each of which come in 3 different masculine colors.  These are very popular arrangements because they're low in cost, and very easy to install at the grave site.  Too see all of our pillows and wire stands, click here.

We have many more great Father's Day memorial flower arrangements to choose from with prices as low as $7.99. We're sure that you'll find something that fits your budget, Dad would appreciate, and will make you happy, as well.

As always, Graveside Flowers provides free shipping on all orders over $49.  To see the entire collection, click here.

May 28, 2016 by Chuck Clark