Birmingham Lafayette Cemetery
1235 Birmingham Road, West Chester, Pennsylvania 19382
© Website designed by James W. Serum


BIRMINGHAM LAFAYETTE CEMETERY GUIDELINES FOR INDIVIDUAL LOT PLANTING AND DECORATING THE REGULATIONS OUTLINED IN THIS DOCUMENT ARE ADOPTED BY THE BIRMINGHAM LAFAYETTE CEMETERY BOARD OF DIRECTORS PURSUANT WITH THE BYLAWS OF THE BIRMINGHAM LAFAYETTE CEMETERY ASSOCIATION SECTIONS 15,16,17 AND 18 AS OF DECEMBER, 6, 1999. PREFACE The purpose of this manual is to clearly define in words and by pictures, the regulations governing individual gravesites. It is a clarification of the regulations that have been part of the Birmingham Lafayette Cemetery Association bylaws since February 23, 1891. No new regulations have been added. Understanding and abiding by the regulations is essential as the cemetery continues to grow and develop. A “partnership” effort of lot owners and cemetery staff is the most effective way to maintain the entire property one hundred percent. Birmingham Lafayette Cemetery Association has a strong commitment to maintaining the grounds and facilities through replanting of trees, reseeding, insect control and regular mowing and trimming. All that we request of you, our “partner” is to ask how you might improve your lot and let us help with advice about plants, soil improvement, herbicide for weed control and pruning. When we work together, we can accomplish great things. Thank you for reviewing this manual and abiding by the regulations herein. The Birmingham Lafayette Cemetery Association James W. Serum, President June 10, 2019 CONVENTIONAL LOTS I. STONES AND MONUMENTS A. One headstone per 4’X 8’ lot. B. Headstone may not exceed 4’ high or 2’ wide. C. Stones or monuments other than conventional style, shape or material must be approved by the cemetery board. D. Headstone must be placed in line as determined by cemetery superintendent. E. All stones must have poured concrete foundations. Birmingham Lafayette Cemetery installs the foundations and the fee is determined by size. F. Foot stones are allowed but MUST BE FLUSH WITH GRADE. G. No benches will be allowed on gravesites. H. If a stone must be moved, there may be a charge. If a stone must be relocated, it will require a new foundation. There will be a charge. II. OTHER HARDGOODS A. A. “Shepherd Hook” stakes for hanging baskets are allowed if placed in ground at end of headstone so hanging item is in line with stones, not in front of or behind stone. B. B. Brackets that are designed to hold decorations on top of gravestones are allowed provided they are secure. No part of container can be glass and the contents of container are secure. C. C. Candle holders are allowed if no part is glass and no candles are lit. They must be at the end of a gravestone with vegetation removed so that no string trimming is required. Units placed otherwise or in turf areas will be removed. D. D. Figurines, etc. must be durable, secured, no glass parts and within allowed planting space that is devoid of grass. E. E. Edging must be buried (flush with grade) and be anchored to prevent frost heave. Also, edging must be within the prescribed planting area. Material should be durable. F. F. Fencing of any sort is not allowed. G. Flag holders must be at end of gravestone and close as possible. III. SEASONAL PLANTINGS A. A. First and foremost, if for some reason planting on your lot within the prescribed boundaries looks like it will create a mowing problem, please consult with the grounds superintendent to determine an alternate planting. B. B. All planting beds must be in line with headstones. One foot in front of headstone and any space between stones. Planting behind a stone can create a maintenance problem in some areas and is therefore not permitted. C. C. Planting beds should be weed free. The cemetery will supply herbicide, mulch and written instructions. Composted leaf humus is also available for improving the planting site soil. There is no charge for the materials. Their proper and timely used will improve each lot and thereby improve the appearance of the entire cemetery. Follow up maintenance will be reduced, too. D. D. Select plants carefully for best results. Planting in front of a polished granite stone that faces due west has a problem of excessive heat. Just as critical is the due east side of a stone that gets only morning sun. Obviously, the same plant will not be comfortable in both exposures. Avoid plants that require constant attention to maintain an acceptable appearance, such as petunias that require regular “pinching back” to maintain season long bloom. Avoid plants that are known to have pest or disease problem such as powdery mildew on Phlox or Iris borer. E. E. No rose bushes (when mature, they are a maintenance issue) IV. TEMPORARY PLANTS AND FLOWER A. A. Potted flowers brought to the cemetery and set at a grave site usually in a grass area and not secured in any way. These plants are most often grown in what is known as a “light weight mix” - no soil. They dry out and wilt in a day or two. They fall over or are blown over and end up as a dead pot of flowers laying whom knows where. If you prefer potted plants, please remove the grass before sinking the pot at least half way into the ground to keep the plant where you put it and upright. Also, removing the plant from the pot and planting directly in the soil will extend its life. A. B. Temporary plants and flowers must be within the prescribed planting space. Any existing grass should be removed. B. C. Fresh cut flowers are fine if in a secured container – NOT GLASS – that is placed within the prescribed planting space that has had the grass removed. C. D. Plastic decorations must be secured. They blow away. When they fad or deteriorate, they will be removed. V. WINTER, CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS A. A. The staff needs time to get all of the leaves up before decorations are put on gravesites. Please wait until December before bringing them. Thank you. B. B. All Christmas decorations will be left in place until February 1. If you have reusable decorations, please retrieve them before Feb. 1. The Cremains Area Birmingham Lafayette Cemetery has reserved a special section for interring ashes of those who choose cremation. Given the very small size of these lots, there must be absolute guidelines understood before purchasing a lot in this section. First and foremost, only flat, ground level markers of granite or cast bronze are allowed. This requirement is necessary to allow for mowing. For the same reason, there can be no planting, flags or other items above grade.