The Cemetery Garden

One of my favorite places to visit are cemeteries and graveyards. They are truly an egalitarian and public garden. Each family is responsible for a small portion of the greater whole, creating a shared effort in the overall effect. And, I find the affect mesmerizing and sweet and sanguine all at once. The word cemetery, if given to philology, mutates from older dialects representing a place of sleeping. And, over many generations, families come and visit their loved one there and often plant a woody ornamental or herbaceous perennial as a gift to the sleeping generations creating a timeless garden that has a hushed and rare quality. In my family’s graveyard here in the Deep South, many camellias, azaleas, roses and live oaks mingle through names and epitaphs and 200 year old marble and granite. Many have masonry walls covered with ivies and ferns and spores that are left alone and not fussed over too much so as not to wake the sleeping, and, the plants are allowed to simply naturalize. I will often feature here photographs of some of my favorite cemetery gardens…


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