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local authority crematoria garden

A lady digs up her rose bush from the garden of remembrance

local authority crematoria garden (c) Conwy Daily Post

The garden of remembrance at a crematoria was once a popular choice to place the ashes of a loved one whilst it is becoming less so, there are still many who use the facility it would appear mainly for practical and connection reasons. The usually gardens are first rate, however a story reported in the Conwy Daily Post where a widow was so incensed by the state of the garden she dug up the rose bush planted at Mochdre crematorium revive it and plant it elsewhere.

The Daughter of the lady said: “I have had experience with what’s going on at the crematorium. The people responsible for the state it’s in need to be named and shamed, it’s disgraceful.

“My father was cremated in 2000 and we were asked if we wanted him scattered in this rose garden – the apricot rose garden, that’s what they said it was called.

“Well, myself and my mother thought it was a good idea and we went to a nearby nursery and bought this beautiful rose. We came back and dug a hole and planted it.

“When the pair of us returned the following June it had been hacked – not cut, hacked – down to barely a foot tall, it wasn’t being allowed to bloom.”

Mrs Barnsdale explained: “My mother went to visit and she just tore out the rose bush and put it in a plastic bag to take home. It had been 13 years and it was looking more and more sickly and weak.

“She’s a gardener herself and she’s trying to rescue it, she keeps telling me how sickly it is, years of hacking away at this rose, planted where we scattered my father, have very nearly killed it.”

She added: “My mother wishes now she hadn’t scattered my father there. She wasn’t given adequate support, it was just, ‘scatter your ashes here’. There were no options for her. She regrets it so much now.”

Now that is sad story, and the councils response was splendidly bland – “We have a gardener at the crematorium and the memorial rose garden is maintained on a regular basis.

“The Cabinet Member has been made aware of these concerns and will discuss the matter with the service.”

Now I like gardening although I have to say I am not that good at it, but looking at the pictures it doesn’t look great, I know roses bushes need cutting back, but if the lady is a gardener and she has watched the bush over the years decline in health then her view must be respected. Local Authorities create an income form these services so they need to be top class – they are so important for their community real care must be taken.

Like many she expresses the feeling she was not properly supported on what options there were for her when deciding what to do with her late husband’s ashes. Hopefully this is changing. 

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