Sunday, March 19, 2017 time is wasted when you're with roses & friends in a cemetery...

“It is the time you have wasted for your rose
that makes your rose so important.”
~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Little Prince

Monroe's restored grave site, Hollywood Cemetery
Saturday was the 5th Annual Rose Pruning and Maintenance Day at Hollywood Cemetery. This year, on the way there, I heard (Nothing but) Flowers by the Talking Heads. I see signs, not coincidences. 

I wrote about my first year volunteering here; and, last year, I wrote about my experience here. This year I had a larger group made up of the River City Cemetarians, a Meetup group that I started last year. I also had some of the same roses as I did last year, including the Burkholder rose. Overall, Saturday's event felt like a reunion. Some of the volunteers are "friends" I only see once a year now but during the lunch portion of the volunteer event we get to catch up. 

The weather was absolutely perfect. It started out in the high 40s with rain clouds and ended in the low 60s with this beautiful blue sky.
View of the James River from Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, VA
One rosebush that I helped care for is on the grave of Emma Trainer Burkholder. Last year I did some research after rose day and learned a little bit about the individuals buried in the plots with roses.

Last year I wrote,

“I learned that Mrs. Burkholder, who was born in Illinois and somehow made her way to Richmond, VA, was a member of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Her ancestor who fought in the American Revolution came from Switzerland. I also learned that the Virginia Historical Society actually has a collection of records including a death certificate and a family Bible that belonged to her family. I’d like to investigate some more to find out more about her inscription, “Music is born of love.” But we don’t find out everything about a person on the first encounter so I have a bit of work to do to learn more.”

But, I haven’t made time to learn more so I am adding this to my to-do list. Now that I have been taking a course on Historic Collections and Archives, I feel much more confident going through these records.  Also, her rose was weedwacked by a member of the landscaping crew so this year I want to try to give it some extra care. Last year I went by to water it a few times during the hottest days of summer. This year I might need to add a bit of fertilizer, or something! If you look at the pictures from last year (see last year's post) compared to those from this post, well, that rosebush is looking sad.

Again, I have to add that the Friends of Hollywood Cemetery are great hosts. The Executive Director Kelly Wilbanks shows up and just as I noted last year, she is gracious and makes sure that volunteers have water and boxed lunches from Sally Bell’s, a family-owned establishment that has been serving homemade sandwiches and baked goods nine decades. This year, my Sally Bell’s boxed lunch included an egg salad sandwich, a deviled egg, a pecan & cheese wafer, potato salad, and a pineapple cake. My *Southern* is showing when I pick the egg salad and deviled egg combo but they really are different!
Connie showing me how to properly tie a rose to a fence.

Connie over at Hartwood Roses is our fearless leader, and she has done an amazing job organizing this rose-saving-volunteer effort. It also makes me realize that Connie and I have known each for two years now. In some ways, I can’t believe it has only been two years; in other ways, I’m surprised it has been two years. It’s not often we get to acknowledge our actual Friend-iversaries. I remember when I started this blog that an acquaintance said that one cannot make true friends on the internet. As I meet and befriend more of you dear readers, I prove her wrong every day. Sometimes we come together over roses and gardening; sometimes it is cemeteries; sometimes, it’s this great online goth community. Now my little black heart is feeling all full of love. I love you all! 


  1. I love how you describe it as a reunion ... it is!!! It really was a wonderful day. With four previous year's worth of experience coordinating this event, I may I have worked most of the bugs out of the system and I can relax a bit more about it. (I think you have the only photo of me working! I'm going to steal it.)

  2. What a fantastic post and thank you for all of the photos! Hope you can attend our Heritage Rose Foundation Conference when we visit Hollywood and plant some roses!

    1. Sharon and I are working together to organize the conference day at Hollywood Cemetery. I'm so excited!

  3. It sounds like a fantastic day. It's lovely when you can meet blogger in real life. Despite, never meeting each other I feel the amount of love energy, support and friendship has been amazing. Like your relationship with Franny, I develop and amazing friendship with Jane from Breaking the Angel. I love the

    I am awe with gothic revival Manroe's memorial, swoon.

  4. Love you too! :D Yes, that person was wrong, sure we may not ever be able to meet our Computer Friends outside the internet but that doesn't mean we don't feel for them, look for them, write them when they seem sad. Much of my time on the computer is spend with friends. They are just different friends that IRL friends. Beautiful pictures!

  5. What a lovely cemetery! You are lucky to be so close.

    I agree, you CAN indeed make incredible friends over the internet! I've got several that I've 'known' for years, although we've never met in person. They have helped me through many obstacles and celebrated with me in many triumphs, and I've tried to do the same for them.