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Cremation is an increasingly popular memorialization option. In fact, the National Funeral Directors Association projects the rate of cremation to increase from 50.2% of memorialization now, to 55.8 percent in 2020 and 70.6 percent in 2030.
Cremation typically costs less and is more environmentally friendly than a standard burial. It also allows for more memorialization options, including keeping an urn in a loved one’s house, leaving ashes at a meaningful location such as under a tree, burying the urn at a cemetery to comply with Christian and other religious doctrines, and scattering gardens.
If you or a loved one choose to be cremated as part of your burial plan, a cremation scattering garden — also known as a scatter garden or scattering area — is an important option to consider when deciding what to do with the ashes.
A scattering garden is a beautifully decorated area with the express purpose of having ashes scattered upon it, providing a natural, eternal fertilizer for the flowers and plants, and serving as a cemetery of sorts for those who wish to be cremated but for whom loved ones still want a tranquil and solemn setting to visit.
Cremation scattering gardens often have seating areas to allow for peaceful reflection and remembrance, and benches, plaques and markers provide opportunities to memorialize the deceased.
Both cremation and a scattering garden give individuals and their families more flexibility compared to a traditional burial. For one, cremation tends to be less costly in general. And scatter areas also aren’t as rigid as cemeteries, where you need to select and be buried in a specific plot, and if all the plots are filled in your preferred cemetery, you have no choice but to choose a different cemetery.
Some families elect to hold a post-cremation service, which can accommodate those with busy schedules or who live far away. You could actually, if necessary, have multiple cemeteries for the deceased, scattering only a bit at a time.
Additionally, while the act of cremation is more environmentally friendly than a traditional burial with embalming fluid, the ashes from cremation can have a negative impact on the area. Scattering gardens allow those who have passed to remain a part of nature, one with a beautiful setting, as many who wish to be cremated prefer, but in an environment where the ashes help to sustain the natural beauty.
Finally, many find scatter gardens more inviting than standard cemeteries with their tombstones and monuments. They are, after all, gardens, and everyone can find peace in the middle of a lush garden.
For an in-depth explanation of all burial options, download our free burial planning guide.
If you'd like to know which cemeteries near you offer cremation and/or scattering gardens, use our handy cemetery locator.
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