Cemetery Decorations for Fall
Decorating headstones and gravesites is a great way to show your love for the dearly departed and help contribute to the ambiance of a modern cemetery. Memorial Day tends to showcase a cemetery awash in red, white, and blue—while the winter months favor Christmas red, green, and gold. From wreaths and crosses that can be placed on top of the grave to headstone flowers that can be draped over the top of larger monuments, there are many different ways to decorate for the holidays.
Some people prefer to do their decorating on a seasonal rotation, which works well if you aren’t always able to visit the cemetery during the peak times. These fall-themed cemetery decoration ideas make the most out of the season without going too far into the Halloween shtick.
- Fall Blooms: Sunflowers, carnations in red and orange, mums of all colors…a fall floral display makes the most out of rich, deep colors that match the changing of the leaves. These can be put out as cut flowers or silk ones (assuming cemetery regulations allow for it), and are especially lovely as the surrounding trees start to turn gold and red to match.
- Potted Plants: The traditional terracotta planter we associate with potted plants is an ideal color for fall. You can put in a leafy fern, a flowering plant, or take a more whimsical approach and decorate it with fall-themed miniatures like turkeys and pumpkins. These have the added advantage of being portable so you can reuse them or take them home after a few months of display.
- Harvest/Pumpkin Paraphernalia: Most types of fall decoration follow the same general style. Cornucopias, stalks of wheat, barrels of hay, ripe pumpkins…all of these things bring to mind the bounty of the harvest and the natural cycle of life. When artfully arranged, they can make a lovely decoration for the top of a grave or a columbarium niche.
- Halloween Decorations (in moderation): Even if the deceased loved the more macabre side of Halloween, it is probably not a good idea to pull out the witches and skeletons, or to stake a zombie hand rising up out of the grave. Cemeteries are meant to be places where all people feel welcome to visit and mourn—and to poke fun at death could be devastating to someone who recently experienced a painful loss. A few playful Halloween decorations are okay, but leave the gore and scary items for home.
You do not have to decorate a grave to show your respect (and some cemeteries prohibit excessive displays), but fall can be a great time to get out your creativity and spend some quality time thinking about your dearly departed.