Landscaping items such as blocks, bricks, borders (concrete/plastic/wood), edging, stones, and tile are prohibited in all Municipal cemeteries.
They create obstacles for burials, become
abandoned/unmaintained, and even present safety concerns in some cases. They
also increase the cost of grass cutting to the Municipality, because the
efficiency of the trimming is diminished due to extra items on lots.
Non-permitted landscaping also adversely encourages others to erect
similar (or larger) gardens on lots. While landscaping is not allowed, by-laws
do allow interment rights holders to install a flower bed not to exceed the
width of the monument base, with a maximum depth of 1 foot. Beds can be filled
with fresh mulch and annuals (no artificial flowers in the ground from April
1-November 1). Flower beds within the parameters of the by-law do not create
This by-law has been in place for many years, but new
signage has been posted since 2016 to discourage continued landscaping and
clearly indicate what is considered a prohibited item. Should a garden become a
hazard, obstacle to a burial, or become grossly neglected, we will remove it
without notice. Additionally, if landscaping materials are damaged during
routine cemetery business, or damaged when snow is present because they cannot be seen, the Municipality
will not be held responsible.
This matter was also raised in Council recently when a
Councillor inquired why individuals were permitted to erect elaborate gardens
on cemetery lots. We are
appealing to the community to help us to clean up the cemetery and remove items
that should not be there as we do not have the staff resources to constantly
remove things that should be left at home. There are very few cemeteries in the
Province that allow landscaping materials to be used for construction projects
on individual graves so this is standard practice for most cemetery operations.
A complete list of cemetery by-laws is available at the cemetery office. Inquiries about plantings or by-laws can be directed to the
Municipal Cemetery Office at 25 Creek Road, Chatham, or by calling