Thursday, March 26, 2015

... Hollywood Cemetery's 3rd Annual Rose Maintenance Day...


I'm still catching up on blog posts from my spring break and the weekend... that's what happens when you're out having fun and not sitting in front of the computer.

Saturday was the 3rd Hollywood Cemetery's annual Rose Pruning and Maintenance Day. Connie from Hartwood Roses suggested that we really should come up with a more catchy title for the event so if you can think of anything please leave a comment!

http://hartwoodroses.blogspot.com/
Picture taken from Hartwood Roses
Saturday was such an amazing day. Since some of the volunteers were former Rose day volunteers and wanted to work with the same roses, all of us newbies were placed in groups. I was super psyched to be in Connie’s group because I knew that I was going to end up working with some amazing historic roses. In fact, our group began working on the Crenshaw Rose which is one of my favorites and one that I wrote about in my guest blogger post. The Rosa Moschata has fragrant musky scent and a fascinating story. This is a very old rose introduced in 1540, and because it isn’t on the walkway this isn’t one that visitors simply run into. This rose was thought to be extinct until it was discovered in Hollywood Cemetery.  It blooms in late summer but while I was there last October, there were still a few roses on the bush. On Saturday, we pruned the bush to about a quarter of its original size. While we forgot to take a before picture, you can see some of the after piles. The picture isn’t great because of the angle of the sun. And honestly, by the end of the day (I think we worked from 10 to a little after 4pm), I was way too tired to make sure that my pictures turned out. We worked on the Crenshaw Rose for nearly two hours. What an honor it was to be trusted enough especially as a newbie to work on this rosebush and to take part in the tradition.
 
The Friends of Hollywood Cemetery  provided volunteers with lunch from Sally Bell’s (circa 1926), which is a Richmond tradition in itself. I was thrilled to have a deviled egg in my boxed lunch and an egg salad sandwich. And no, the double egg items are not over-kill in my world.

By the end of the day, I had scratches all over my forearms, cemetery dirt all over my clothes, and I was exhausted... the good kind of exhausted when you just can't stop smiling. When I arrived home, I even found a twig in my hair. That’s the best kind of happiness right there. The day was sunny; the people were friendly. I’ll certainly be volunteering again.



At the end of the event, I spoke with Connie who I’ve been trying to persuade in writing a book about the Hollywood Cemetery Historic Roses. I’m documenting this here because Connie agreed to this if we work together. I think it would be an amazing endeavor and could be even more of a Win-Win-Win if we donated the proceeds to The Friends of Hollywood Cemetery.
 
 Of course, there aren't any roses in season just yet but fortunately the cemetery has plenty of lovely stone roses. And, I can't talk about Hollywood without noting the trees. This little guy is starting to bloom.

There are over 2,000 trees in the cemetery today; some predate the cemetery.

16 comments:

  1. What a good idea to have volunteers pruning in cemeteries, as you will have seen from my blogs some of our cemeteries that are not maintained by the council can be pretty run down and overgrown. In fact when I found my grandparents grave it took me quite a while to clear it, luckily I had all the gear with me.

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    1. App'y, I'm pretty sure the annual event was Connie's idea. I think it is such a wonderful idea because so many of us would be willing to help out but it looks a little weird to walk through a cemetery with all of one's gardening equipment without permission... Especially a shovel :p

      I need to read back through your old posts :) I was stalking you earlier and then ending up getting distracted by having a Skeletal Family listening spree :)

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  2. What a good way to give something back to this world. And I'd love to smell those roses, they are probably a great "relict" from former times...

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    1. It really is magical to think how long they're been around.

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  3. What a lovely event!! Of course this is far better than being in front of the computor scrolling pages :-D.
    Wow I understand your humbleness over the task of the old cemetary rose. There are so many good old kind of roses that have dissapeared throught the times.

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    1. It was so nice to be out with like-minded lovers of nature.

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  4. Did you ever stop to think that I may have put you in my group so I could keep an eye on you? ;)

    The annual work day was my idea. Friends of Hollywood and the management of the cemetery know that the roses there are a valuable resource. The roses had gone years without skilled care, and I am honored that they trust me and give me free rein with their management.

    You are at least the fourth person who has leaned on me about writing a book. We will definitely talk.

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    1. Ha ha ha you did need to keep an eye on me!

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  5. Aw, that sounds great! And I loved the carved roses. I was just reading yesterday about something called an immortal which was carved flowers under a glass dome on a grave.

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    1. Hmmm, now I'm curious what you were reading.

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  6. sounds like a really interesting event! :-)

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  7. You look so happy and lovely in those pictures! You know, I am still puzzled what are those flower buds on that tree in the last picture. They are not cherry blossoms, but what are they? :D

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    1. Awww, thanks!

      I think it could be a maple. It was just starting to bud and I thought it looked pretty... but I was walking and not paying much attention.

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  8. This looks like a thoroughly enjoyable day! I love beautiful historic cemeteries and the gorgeous foliage and old roses one finds there. As a teenager I used to ride my horse out to our little Kansas country cemetery, where my parents now rest, because it was so lovely and peaceful. I now live near an old historic cemetery on the Mississippi River, called Chippiannock. Here are some photos of the wonderful stones if you are interested. http://peggy-w.hubpages.com/hub/Fall-Foliage-in-a-Dead-Zone

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    1. Thanks for sharing and welcome to my blog :)

      That cradle tombstone at Chippiannock is pretty amazing. I love the details and craftsmanship of the old stones. Thanks for sharing!

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