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