This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
It is a difficult task to advise as to what plants, etc., shall be planted in our rural cemeteries, so varied are the circumstances; yet one thing we must plead against, that is, planting large growing trees near or among the graves. If we must have them, let them be in some portion expressly devoted to them. Our views are decided in this respect, after having seen the effect on grave and tombstone where trees have stood to shade them. Stones are perishable, and where water drips from trees, together with the shade, the highest polish soon becomes dull, and in time the stone crumbles; and again, when the tree gets large, the branches often decay, fall, and frequent damage is done to stone, or other adornments. We appreciate the beauty and majesty of trees as highly as others, still we think that there are places where they may become out of place. Small shrubs and low growing plants are the most appropriate for gravo decorations. As a general thing the soil is too poor, and unless some improvement is made by adding fertilizers or better soil, the range of plants is quite restricted, which will succeed.
For shrubs we should prefer Deutsia gracilis, Pyrus Japonica, Syringas, Calycan-thus or sweet scented Spireas, Weigela, Rosea, etc. Flowering plants: The Bay Lily, which will grow on soil not very rich, and endure our winters, generally, without protection; the Pansy, White Iris, and Paeonies, for hardy perennials. In less hardy we would select from our house or pot plants. Ivies, Flowering Maple, Geranium, rose scented; Verbena, white; Coleus, etc.
We dislike a plant inclined to spread rapidly, or to crowd out other plants, for grave decoration. Of Roses we should select only the white flowered, for hardy, Tea-scented for summer decoration. Plants and shrubs with white flowers would suit our taste, still other colors are not to be entirely excluded where several varieties are planted. - N. E. Homestead.