Grave Garden

2016 brought a new gardening opportunity at the Woodlands Cemetery near my home in West Philly. The visionary staff of the Woodlands launched a program pairing garden volunteers with cradle graves in need of tending. John and Evaline Miller Wiler are my charges. Our goal is to illustrate the Victorian practice of gardening the burial plots of one’s family while adding blooms the Woodlands’ already beautiful landscape.

My garden peaked in late June and early July with Alcea ‘Blacknight’ and Papaver rhoeas. The Digitalis was unhappy in such an exposed location this hot dry summer.  For next year I will add some spring bulbs, late season perennials, and a few annuals with a long bloom period to bridge the gaps.

Grave Garden

6/25 Longwood


Longwood boasts several large groves of Aesculus parviflora. This visit was timed perfectly to see the bottle brush flowers glowing.

Invariably, a visit to a public garden sheds light on a plant identification mystery or two.

Tree scabiosa (pale yellow pompoms floating in the photos below) stumped me at Chanticleer yesterday. I love when a plant mystery is quickly resolved!

Longwood’s vegetable garden always has excellent structures.

Clematis texensis ‘Zoprika’


6/25 Longwood