4/11/10

Old City Cemetery

I was in Sacramento this weekend with Carri from Read Between the Limes. We visited the Old City Cemetery. Do you remember our last visit 3 years ago? I have longed to return.

To recap: 25,000 people (including many notable, early Californians) have their final resting place in these 44 acres. In the 1980s, concerned citizens organized to save the cemetery from neglect. Today, volunteers adopt cemetery plots as plant them as garden beds.

From the website:
The Cemetery has been refurbished with plants, flowers, and bushes and now also includes three major dedicated garden areas - Historic Gold Rush era roses (Historic Rose Garden, Bruner and Cadwalder areas); Perennial Plants (Hamilton Square Garden); and Native Plants (Native Plant Demonstration Garden).

The mission of the Old City Cemetery Committee is:

To join hands with the community to restore, beautify, preserve and protect the Historic City Cemetery, while maintaining access by descendants of the deceased, and to provide educational services to all visitors to the Historic City Cemetery of Sacramento.
You have to visit the Deep South to find a cemetery as beautiful, and even then...

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This Rosa Banksiae 'Lutea' at its annual peak, climbing yews, stopped us in our tracks.

Rosa banksiae 'Lutea'

It was climbing two big yews.

Rosa banksiae 'Lutea'

Rosa banksiae 'Lutea'

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We were a couple weeks late for Ceanothus, but still!

Rosa Banksiae was far from the only showstopper.

Fremontodendron californicum

We were a couple weeks late for the peak of blue-flowered Ceanothus. Instead we enjoyed the much rarer sight of some rather enormous Fremontodendron californicum in full spring glory.

Fremontodendron

Fremontodendron

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Rarer still were these large specimens of endangered Berberis nevinii, planted in a dramatic sequence.

Berberis nevinii

Berberis nevinii

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"His life was gentle; and the elements
So mixed in him, that Nature might stand up,
And say to all the world, this was a man."
(Shakespeare)

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arctotis

14 comments:

cloverann said...

Wow, Chuck - Just amazing photos! I must check this place out. Your camera rocks ;-) Thanks (again) for taking us on a great trip.

Julie said...

Oh my God...this place is incredible!!! I want to go there too!!!!! My gosh, my gosh, my gosh!!!!!

Les said...

Now I have another reason to visit California. I love poking around old cemeteries and this one and your photos look great.

Christopher C. NC said...

It is unusual to see such a lushly planted cemetary these days. Now they are all easy to mow over headstones grass. If my carcass had to be parked somewhere I'd want a place like this.

Bonnie Story said...

This place is a treasure!!! Once again your photos are stunning. Your compositions are just beautiful. Lady Banks roses are a huge favorite of mine and that huge complex of them is a jaw-dropper. I will go through these pix again and again. Wonderful enlarged. Thank you so much! Bonnie

Carri said...

Thanks for visiting! I already want to go back next weekend to see what I missed the first time around!

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Wow. So much *life* in this old graveyard! The roses are spectacular!

Angela said...

What a beautiful cemetery! I love being able to follow along with your garden tours - even if it is online!

Town Mouse said...

Wow! That's amazing. Down here, the cemetery is mostly lawn (what a waste of water!) with a few plastic flowers thrown in. It's great to see the possibilities...

Dirt Guy said...

Thanks for taking us along on this absolutely gorgeous walk through the cemetery. What a fantastic way to honor the history and memories of those who reside there. WOW!

rebecca Sweet said...

I, too, absolutely love old cemeteries and could spend hours walking through them...this one has got the be the most beautiful I've seen! Thanks for the tour - I'll most definitely add it to my 'must see' list!

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Um... I don't even know what to say. Wow. And that Lady Banks rose? Gah!

I'll come back when I find a few actual words to describe my thoughts on this... :-P

Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

Beautiful cemetery, flowers and photos!

Pam/Digging said...

I love to visit old cemeteries, and this has to be one of the most beautifully landscaped I've ever seen. Wow, to see it in spring glory, while the cemetery stones themselves call to mind the dead of winter. Great contrast.

Also I enjoyed your veggie garden tour in the following post.