Friday, March 26, 2010

Flowers on Friday ... Lynchburg's Old City Cemetery

Some of you already know this, and I'll tell the rest of you now ... I am one of the speakers at this year's Garden Symposium at the Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg, Virginia.  It was a complete surprise when they contacted me and asked me to do their rose program.  I already had a 'Roses 101' presentation in the works, so the timing couldn't have been more perfect.

If you've been around here at all, you already know how much I love cemeteries.  Lynchburg's cemetery is owned by the city, but maintained by a non-profit organization that cares for the plantings, runs a museum and gift shop, and puts on garden programs and other events throughout the year.  Their Rose Festival is one of their biggest events.

Baronne Prevost


Unlike the roses in many cemeteries, the roses in Lynchburg are well cared for by a volunteers and a small staff.  There are historic roses growing on the sunny side of the brick wall that borders the Confederate section of the cemetery.  There are also roses planted on graves ... many of which have roses carved on their headstones.

Old Blush

Old Blush

Autumn Damask

These photos were taken when I was visiting the cemetery with my husband in November 2007.  It was well after the first hard frost of the year, and I loved the look of the freeze-dried blossoms.

Roger Lambelin

Stanwell Perpetual

Old Blush

It was a chilly, clear day, with a bright blue sky and brilliant sunshine.

St. Francis

Chestnut Rose


The bees were working overtime on the asters, and they barely noticed our presence.

Whenever we are there, we have to visit with Arthur, the Cemetery's resident cat.

If you are interested in joining us, the presentations are Wednesday and Thursday, May 5th and 6th.  The annual rose sale is Saturday, May 8th.  Visit the Cemetery's web site for all the details, and a schedule of other activities this year.

This is the brochure for the Garden Symposium, that I just got today:
(click to enlarge)

(written by Hartwood Roses.  Hartwood Roses blog.)


  1. Oh so beautiful! I never thought to make photos of roses after the firt freeze. Thanks for the idea!

    Cemeteries are so fantastic for historical relevence...although reading some of the very old hand carved headstones can be so sad. I read of a lady who keeps a book of rubbings from headstones...but your photos allow the viewers to feel as if they are standing right beside you looking on with you.

    Thank you for sharing!


  2. What a wonderful perspective on the history of the cemetery and the roses. I'm sure you'll be a hit speaker with the audience.

    I love this kind of thing. My husband's great-great grandfather was John Jacob Frobel of Wilton Hill (Hall) near Alexandria. I have found old horticultural references that he bred camellias and had quite a flower garden.

    The photos of your greyhounds are so cute! Typical greyhound looks and poses!

  3. That would totally be up my alley - an historic cemetary and a talk on roses (not that I'm so knowledgeble but I'm always wanting to learn more and I did study botany at University). I wish I could join you, but it is a tad far to go. Good luck on your talk and enjoy your day.

  4. A trip to Lynchburg has been on my horizon for a while now. I want to see the cemetery, the Anne Spencer Garden and to see Poplar Forest.

  5. They are so lucky to have you as one of their speakers! And I loved seeing all of your beautiful pictures!

    Kat :)

  6. We have some lovely old cemeteries in my neck of the woods... right up the road there is a 1600's that I have taken some photos of, will share them in an upcoming post.

  7. Beautiful roses and I love the statue of St. Francis.



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