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Planting and Ornaments

Article 14 of the by-laws of the North Weymouth Cemetery


No tree or hedges shall ever be set anywhere in the grounds without the consent of the Superintendent.


Article 26, adopted March 25, 1997.


The placement of all plants or other forms of ornamentation shall be confined within the bounds of an owners lot and shall not protrude, overlap or encroach, on another lot.  Where a headstone is present on a lot, plants and other ornamentation shall be no more than one foot from the front of the headstone, where there is sufficient space, and one foot from the side of the headstone. Bushes, shrubs, and ornaments shall not exceed three feet in height. No plants or other ornamentation shall be place behind the headstone. In any situation where there is a question about the placement of flowers or ornaments on a grave, consult he caretaker.


The care and maintenance of any plants or ornaments placed on the lot, including flowers, shrubs, statues, and the headstone itself, are the responsibility of the lot owner. If said plants or other ornamentation become unsightly or impede the maintenance or operation of the cemetery, or should they become intrusive in or upon another owners lot, or upon a walkway or road, the Association may order the removal of said plants or ornaments without the consent of the lot owner.




The cemetery has always considered itself fairly liberal in what it allows for plantings and decoration on graves. We did feel it was necessary to put in place some rules to serve as a guideline for what we would like to see as far as plantings go.


Some recommendation we would like to make regarding plantings:


Do NOT plant bushes. All shrubs grow, no matter if they are "dwarf" or not. Dwarf Alberta spruce will not only grow to an average of 8 feet high, but they will also revert to their natural state if not kept trim, at which time they put out a different branch and will then grow to @ 40 feet high. They also do not trim well if they get out of hand. All bushes, yew, spruce, boxwood, rose bushes, hydrangea, need to be pruned back at least once a year. Don't count on someone else to come by every year once you are gone to prune your shrubs. After you've spent a thousand dollars on a headstone, why would you want to hide it behind a $40 dollar bush?


A better alternative to bushes is perennial plants. hosta, iris, and day lilies are good alternatives for beside the headstone. They die back every year, and bring flowers and greenery in the summer.


We discourage the use of edging. It only makes more to trim, whereas the mower can usually get right up to an un-edged garden. Do not use rocks for edges or in gardens. They are a hazard to the mowers and if they get caught up in the mower, they can damage the blades and become projectiles, which is a hazard to the person mowing and to visitors and their headstones. We stay well away from borders with rocks.

For this reason, we also do not recommend any wood chunks or stone chips in flower beds. Regular wood mulch is fine. Please NO RUBBER MULCH! It makes a mess, and does not work any better than regular mulch.


DO NOT PLANT BEHIND THE HEADSTONE.  In general, you do not own behind the headstone. There are exceptions to this, but in general, keep the garden in front of the stone. We are perpetually getting complaints from people who feel their lots are being infringed upon by people who are planting behind the stone. This also interferes with access down the rows for the truck and machine. Plants behind the stone may be removed or mowed over.


Do not leave trash behind the headstone. There are collection points, usually with barrels, where you can leave trash.  


Don't leave anything on the grave you can't afford to lose. There are no guarantees that anything you leave will not be taken. This is a sad but true fact.  If you leave plants in a pot, consider putting your name on the pot. We sadly have had people steal potted plants.


Sheppard’s hooks are not recommended. People do put them up, but plants that are not planted will die without someone to water them regularly. Plant your plants in the ground if you want them to last the summer.




In some areas of the cemetery, the grass grows very well. In others, it does not. A large part of this is because of white grubs in the ground, and shade. Even with the application of grub killer, we cannot eradicate the grubs that are everywhere in the soil. These grubs put added stress on the grass by eating the roots. In places where there is some shade, the grass seems to be able to survive. But in places where there is strong sunlight all day, the added stress of dry ground along with the grubs has led to barren patches. We are aware of this and are trying to correct it. We now use a more hardy grass seed mix in new graves and put down periodic applications of grub killer, but it's an ongoing battle. If you have a grave that needs grass, please let us know and we will try to do something about getting the grass to come in better. If you want to put grass seed down yourself, we recommend a good FESCUE variety, a light application of STARTER fertilizer only,  a sprinkle of grub-x, and after roughing it in (a garden weasel works great) a coating of peat  to keep the moisture in while the grass seed takes root. And unless you can come by and water a few times a week, early spring and fall are the best times to put in grass.