Make grave decoration yourself - ideas with gravel and stones

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grave decoration

By arranging a grave on their own, survivors enter into an active phase of mourning work. The focus is on stones, as sacred symbols of eternity. While the grave stone manifests the permanent appearance of a resting place, the design of the grave area underscores the individual optics in the course of the seasons. Gravel and stones simultaneously fulfill prosaic functions by making an important contribution to undemanding care. Immerse yourself in creative ideas that may serve as inspirations to make a grave decoration yourself.
Selection of stones according to their symbolic character
Soberly, a grave area does not differ from a garden bed. If you want to decorate with gravel and stones, you should basically follow the same rules as for a classic pebble bed. In order to include the spiritual character of a resting place in the design, in addition to the aesthetics, the metaphorical meaning should be included as a selection criterion. In the following overview of recommended stone types the respective symbol character is added:
  • Agate: the protection stone for the living and the dead
  • Aventurine (Variety of Quartz): demonstrates hope and optimism
  • Rock Crystal, Clear (Variety of Quartz): symbol of the harmonious alignment to a higher self
  • Carrara marble: simple elegance, testifies to exquisite taste
  • Dolomite: gives emotional stability
  • Iron pebbles (variety of quartz): symbolizes energy and courage
  • Granite: embodies power and energy
  • Rose Quartz: healing stone for the tortured heart
These ornamental gravel varieties are all very valuable stone species, some of which are gemstones and semi-precious stones. Given the small area that is decorated with it, the purchase price is within manageable limits. So Aventurine is available for 3.95 euros per kilogram or rose quartz for 4.30 euros, plus shipping costs.
Ideas for the flat grave design
Unless it is contrary to the current cemetery statute, the covering of the entire grave area with gravel or stones is considered to be the most easy-care version. However, in this case a certain amount of creativity is needed so that no stereotypical look is created. The following ideas aim to create small islands of geometric shapes. Inserted loosening in the form of boulders, statues or planted bowls reflect the vicissitudes of life with their eternal ups and downs.
  • Make circles, ovals, diamonds, pyramids or rectangles out of stones
  • Fill them with smaller grained stones, gravel or grit in a different shade
  • Alternatively, place a regional boulder in the stone frame
  • Optionally, first create small earth embankments, which are decorated with gravel or grit


A grave surface uniformly covered with white or gray marble gravel, although on the one hand peeled like from the egg, but at the same time a little monotonous. Accents set here with a planted bowl and matching grave lantern. Stone ornaments such as the open book with an inserted image of the deceased create an individual framework.
Tip: The final decoration of a grave with stones should be started at the earliest 6 months after the funeral. Until then, the loosened earth will decrease repeatedly and would destroy any efforts at creative creation.
Composition of stones and plants
The surface design of a resting place with stones is especially appropriate if relatives can rarely visit the cemetery. Ideally, the time frame allows relatives to combine evergreen and flowering plants with stones and gravel to enrich the visual aura of a resting place with liveliness. If the temperature and weather conditions as well as the soil conditions on the site allow it, then again the symbolic character of the plants moves to the center of the search for ideas. In this way, the mourners have a unique opportunity to create the grave decorations so that it appears as an echo of the melody of a fulfilled life. The following overview presents traditional plants:
  • Lily: symbolizes the purity of the Mother of God
  • Forget-me-not: demonstrates tender memories
  • Bleeding heart: symbolizes deep sadness
  • Gedenkemein: symbol of eternal loyalty
  • Chrysanthemums: as a sign of immortality
  • Bed rose: symbol of eternal love
  • amaranth
  • juniper
  • boxwood
  • Wermuth
If a tomb is decorated with symbol plants and spiritually influenced stone types, the viewer feels that the relatives are putting their effort far beyond functionality. The well-groomed appearance is emotionally enhanced with the memory of the deceased, whose philosophy of life is symbolized in a dignified frame.
Suggestions for grave decorations with stones and plants
With the use of stones and gravel, a modern component made its entrance into the decoration of resting places. These include asymmetrical shapes, as revealed, for example, in the design of gravestones. The unstoppable change of time is thus also expressed in the cemetery. So that the consolatory effect of symbolism and mythology does not fall by the wayside, the following suggestions for their preservation make a case for themselves, by considering the use of native plants.
  • A flat grave covering of ornamental gravel is framed by a hedge made of boxwood
  • The stone type of the border repeats itself in small stone islands, whereby the intermediate spaces are filled with ground covers
  • Evergreen, indigenous species, such as ivy or loquat, preserve the tradition
  • Deep black gravel creates an eye-catching contrast to stones, gravel and plants
  • Rippled rails create sectors differently filled with ornamental gravel and planted gravel
  • Stone statues, grave vases or lanterns serve as a visual resting place
  • A heart-shaped, gabion-shaped gabion forms the center, planted with the moss of the forest

Grave deco made of wood

Measure the relation between the stone area and the planted area according to the time capacity for the care work. Even with small beds you get a special naturalness with seasonal changes in the planting. In the spring daffodils, pansies or tulips join the granite and rose quartz. In summer geraniums, daisies and forget-me-nots take over the regiment. In the fall, the hour beats chrysanthemums and heather, followed by winter hardy house root. Let the memory of the deceased be included in the plant choice. If a special floral scent manifests itself as an anchor for the memory, this plant should be taken into account in the planting plan.
Tip: The currently valid cemetery statute should be studied in advance, because here are regional different regulations for the grave decoration.
Decorate urn grave
The decoration of an urn grave is considered a particular challenge due to the narrow dimensions of 1 m x 1 m. If the decision against a continuous stone slab, a special quality of creativity is in demand. The following ideas may serve the suggestion:
  • One corner is decorated with ornamental gravel, the other covered with gravel and planted
  • Alternatively, a planted shell is placed on the ornamental gravel and laid out on the ground a commemorative plate
  • More than two different colored sectors overload the small area
  • Small, native wild shrubs create authenticity, such as the meadow bellflower, the Bergaster or centaury
A stone edging oppresses an urn grave visually. In contrast, a framing of small hedge myrtle relaxes the appearance.
Tips for the practical implementation
So that the imaginative ideas for the design concept take on the desired form, the following practical tips should be heeded:
  • Do not start work until the earth has settled completely
  • Dig the soil 20-25 cm deep to remove weeds, stones and roots
  • If a planting is planned, the soil is dug up and enriched with humus
  • Guide rails made of rubber or metal stuck in the ground to limit the sectors
  • Spread out stable weed fleece
  • Cut the fleece crosswise at the positions of the plants
  • Distribute gravel or stones in the last step
The inclusion of gravel and stones in the design of a resting place goes beyond pure aesthetics, if the sacred and spiritual symbolism of individual types of stone is consciously taken into account. At the same time, a cover made of ornamental gravel keeps weeds in check so that the maintenance effort is noticeably reduced. The search for ideas thus turns into an active mourning work, which ends in a grave decoration that expresses the fulfilled life of the deceased. This is especially true when stones, gravel and plants create an individual composition.

Video Board: How to Lay Out Gravel Landscaping : Landscaping Basics.

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