"Ashes to Blooms" - Institute of Cemetery & Crematorium Management's Journal, September 2023

"Ashes to Blooms" - Institute of Cemetery & Crematorium Management's Journal, September 2023

Ashes to Blooms

Ashes to Blooms came about in early 2022 after the loss of my 12-year-old Netherland Dwarf rabbit, Lucy Rabbit. After losing Lucy Rabbit, I couldn't find any service or product that I felt would be an appropriate tribute to my beautiful & naughty girl, & so I went about setting up Ashes to Blooms.

I take the ashes of a loved one, whether a beloved person or a special pet & combine them with a unique combination of UK native wildflower seeds & other natural ingredients to create bespoke memorial seed balls, as unique as my clients’ loved ones. Clients can give these to friends & family to scatter in a special place, & they can then watch their wildflower memorial grow.

After the unexpected loss of my brother, last August, it was an honour to create seed balls alongside my parents, using my brother’s ashes. This summer we will all plant our seed balls in our gardens & on our balconies, & he will grow with us.

At the moment there is an incredible focus on the environment & this is at the heart of everything I do. All ingredients in the seed balls are natural & the wildflower seeds I use are all from varieties native to the UK. These flowers are ideal for attracting bees & butterflies to our gardens, & helping to restore their habitat, much of which has been lost as a result of development & chemical use. I use no artificial ingredients in my seed balls & I use recycled packaging & marketing materials, wherever possible.

All products are made by hand by my family business in the town of Worthing, in West Sussex. In 2022 I was shortlisted for the Adur & Worthing Business Awards’ Sustainable Business of the Year award. There is nothing similar in the world & I'm delighted to be able to offer clients an ecological alternative for remembering their loved one.


I was born in Worthing and have lived here all my life, apart from my time at University & a brief spell in Brighton. Growing up we had a full house with mum, dad, my two younger sisters, my older brother, foster children & myself. In addition, at one time or another we had every imaginable pet, including Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs, stick insects, dogs, cats, horses, chickens, ducks, bantams, fish, rats, mice, gerbils, Guineapigs, rabbits & more! As a result, I was raised as an animal lover & a house without animals has never felt like home.

After a relationship breakdown in 2009 I decided that it was the right time to find a companion animal. In the summer of 2010 I was at the South of England show at Ardingly, when I came across a beautiful Netherland Dwarf rabbit, later to become known as Lucy Rabbit. I instantly knew that she was the girl for me! She came home with me that afternoon & she was the best companion for almost 12 years. Lucy lived free in my lounge & made it entirely hers; we refer to it as ‘Lucy's Lounge’, as she was very much the boss of the domain. Lucy was full of love, enjoying strokes & cuddles, as well as being feisty & endlessly naughty.

By January 2022 Lucy Rabbit had really slowed down as a result of arthritis, & on the 27th of January 2022 I made the heart-rending decision to have her put down. I was distraught & there seemed like no way to do justice to the companion she had been & the incredible happiness & fun she brought to my life over the past almost 12 years. It was as a result of this loss that I set about creating Ashes to Blooms.

Since coming-up with the idea for Ashes to Blooms in March 2022, I have managed to build a website (battling endless ‘error’ messages) worked out a method of production, sent endless emails & samples to people who I hope can see the benefits of our service, started to learn marketing & have just secured trademark protection. I'm so grateful to my friends, partner & family for their endless advice, technical assistance, leaflet drops & social media ‘likes’, ‘shares’ & ‘follows’.

I now take pleasure in carefully fulfilling every order, creating seedballs which go on to create a beautiful wildflower memorial for each of our clients. This was not an option when I lost Lucy, but I'm delighted to be able to offer this to my clients. Please get in touch with David to discuss further, either by e-mail at info@ashestoblooms.com or on 07732 095 257.

David Holmes

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