For Rebecca Glaser planting flowers and landscaping around the gravesites of relatives has been a family tradition. “I would say the idea was instilled by my parents, because every year my parents would plant flowers at their family members’ sites over in Poughkeepsie,” Rebecca said. “I took somewhat of a backseat to that initially. I would just help them out or see what they were doing.”
When she lost her father in 2005, she took over the plantings for her mom to uphold the tradition.
“I said we’ll do it — Leo and I will do it. So we stepped up and did the plantings at this one particular cemetery,” she said.
Rebecca and Leo Glaser ended up spending a lot of time at the graveyard working on plantings at three different graves for people in their family.
“One day I was just over there watering the plants, and I saw other people who had come and tried to plant flowers. A week later the flowers were dead, or this and that. So I just thought, you know this is really important,” she said. “Not everybody has that need to go to a site … So I just thought it’d be really nice to provide that service to people who weren’t able to do it.”
Leo and Rebecca, of Gardiner, are both educators with the summers off. So they took to the plantings as a summer job with their new company Angels ’n Earth.
There was some research to do. Cemeteries are usually run by non-profit boards. They have rules about what can or can’t be planted as a memorial. The Glasers do their plantings in raised bed boxes, using only annuals — not perennials.
“It was a little bit of a process to get people to accept what we did, because at first people were a little resistant. I think they thought we were just going to come in and make more of a mess,” Leo said. “So our niche is to actually just plant annuals. We go in at the end of May. We tend the beds through September.”
Angels ’n Earth offers gravestone cleaning as well, but they also give discounts to families or friends who’d like multiple grave plots landscaped.
You can find out more about what they offer by looking online at www.angelsnearth.com or by calling (914) 456-2368.