Spring grave planting

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Hi, I'm hoping for some advice on the types of plants that would be good for me to use. My daughter passed away in 2019 and we have kept the grave as soil topped with purple slate and planted directly into the ground. I'm going to be re planting soon and changing the slate to give her a freshen up for the spring/summer. She was only young so its a half size grave, and i would like pretty colourful flowers along with some greenery/silvery plants. Its quite hard clay like soil and a sunny spot with partial shade due to a large tree behind. I do regularly water the flowers and deadhead but would like something that is fairly slow growing/doesn't take over.

Thank you for any advice.
 
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Greetings, welcome to the Forums.

My condolences for your loss. There are many ways to honor and remember the dead with plants. Renewing the plot with seasonally flowering annuals is an excellent idea. This can be done twice a year, once in Fall (or early Spring in colder climates) and again at the end of Spring for Summer flowers. Winter-Spring annuals to consider might include Pansies & Violas (Viola spp.) and Primroses (Primula spp.), both of which can continue to bloom over a long season. For tones of green and silver, consider variegated Dead-nettles (Lamium maculatum cultivars) and Snow-in-Summer (Cerastium tomentosum). Accent with other annuals or small perennials as desired.

Break up the hard clay and add compost or other organic soil amendments to improve drainage and otherwise enrich the soil. I realize this is a grave but only the top six inches to twelve inches would need to be dug and amended. By the way, is this grave in a public cemetary? I know there are many rules at such places about what can be planted and altered, but I shall presume all is permitted, unless told otherwise.

For a sense of continuity and renewal, consider also planting one or more long-persistent plants, such as a small rose bush and exceptionally perennial bulbs such as Narcissus and Snowdrops (Galanthus spp. and cvs.).
 

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