Friday, August 9, 2013

Flowers on Friday -- Hollywood Cemetery

We have had more rain than usual this summer, which is fueling unprecedented summer grass and weed growth.  The crew at Hollywood Cemetery have all they can do to keep up with the grass at the cemetery, and the rest of the landscaping has had to take a back seat to mowing ... sounds like what's happened here, too.  Our summers are usually hot and dry, and grass goes dormant, so there is ample time to do summer clean up on trees and shrubs and roses.  Not this summer.

It had been six weeks since I visited Hollywood Cemetery to check on the roses there.  We got the roses there off to a good start this year during our Volunteer Rose Day in March, and my own garden has needed as much of my attention as I can give it right now.  Yesterday seemed like a good day to hop into the Jeep and take a drive to Hollywood.

My first stop is always the Musk Rose in the Crenshaw plot.  Summer is this rose's best season (as it begins to bloom later than most other roses, and it does well in our hot weather.).  The sweet fragrance of this rose met me on the breeze even before I entered the fenced plot where it is planted.



It is not unusual for large, older examples of the Musk Rose like this one to have a few canes that revert to the original form of the species and begin to produce single flowers (flowers with only one row of petals).  This is a charming feature of the Crenshaw rose, and we are always very careful to remove as few canes as possible when pruning ... so we don't accidently remove the single-flowering ones.

See the single flowers on the left center of this photo?

I visited about forty of the 130+ roses at the cemetery yesterday, to check their condition, how well they are doing after their spring pruning, and making note of anything that may need attention right now.  One rose that needed some immediate help was the 'Duchesse de Brabant' on the Armistead plot.  I found that it was almost completely covered by a rogue wild grape vine.


All it took was a quick word with Donald, the grounds supervisor, and the problem was corrected right then.  Donald stopped what he was doing and went right over to take care of it.  He cut the vine off at the ground, pulled it off the rose, and made note to have a member of his crew dig the rest of the vine out of the ground as soon as he could.  The rose is pretty sad looking right now, but it will recover fairly quickly.

I'm pretty sure that the rose on the Bland plot is 'Carefree Beauty'. 

The red China rose on the Dorsey-Cosby plot was hugely overgrown before volunteers worked on it in March.  To my eye, it is still way too tangled with old, unproductive growth and needs some more work.  Yesterday wasn't the day for this, so I made a note, took some photos, and moved on.

Our rainy spring and summer have not been kind to the China roses, which are struggling to keep their leaves in the wet conditions.


There were some roses of note in the far sections of the cemetery, over toward Jefferson Davis's grave.  The Lyons plot has two nice roses on it ... probably 'Champneys' Pink Cluster'.

Near the Lyons roses, there is a pink rose that was just starting a new cycle of bloom.  It looks a lot like "Natchitoches Noisette" to me, but I can't say for sure at this point.

It's not all good news today, I'm sorry to say.  Among the roses I visited, I found three with Rose Rosette Disease.  I told Donald about them, and he assured me that they would be removed either today or tomorrow.  As far as I know, none of these three are significant or rare ... I guess this is something to be thankful for.

Barnhart plot, Section K

Branford plot, Section D

Tompkins plot, Section D

Whenever I'm at Hollywood, I don't usually spend any time in the newer section of the cemetery.  I did yesterday, though, because I wanted to get some photos of the roses on the newer graves for the program about Hollywood and it's roses that I am working on for a conference in November.  The roses in this section are mostly Knock Out, which is appropriate for new graves I guess.  Yesterday, I saw a statue that I had never noticed before ... a sweet life-size concrete dog, wearing a collar with what I assume is his mama's inscription.  So touching.



By the time I finished for the day, I was tired and sweaty and slightly sunburned where I forgot to apply sunblock.  It was a good day, and I got a lot done ... it's always a good day when I'm at Hollywood!


  1. Thank you, Connie.

    This was a gift. :-)

    Jeri J.

  2. Thank you for all the work you do there Connie. I knew my great uncle was buried there, but as I research more of my ancestry, I'm finding out we are deeply rooted in Richmond, way more than I thought, so I'm sure other relatives are buried there as well. Having beautiful roses all around must make it a very peaceful place to be laid to rest.

    xo Kat

  3. I was going along just fine, until you hit me with the dog statue and collar. How deeply touching.

  4. Another great posting of the great work you do for such a fantastic place. Thank you so very much my sweet rosie friend! By the way you really "got me" as I imagine many of your followers will tell sweet of the family and the dog collar and the statue.

    Can't wait to see you in Nov.,

  5. Such a rewarding thing to do, making sure the roses are healthy and thriving. I admire anyone who can grow roses.

  6. wow, Connie- That is really something. You are a good soul to do that. Blessings to you-Those are GREAT pictures- xo Diana

  7. Such beautiful roses, and ugly RRD. The vine looks like muscadine, the bane of my existence. I am going to try to volunteer at Oakland Cemetary here in Atlanta in the spring for rose pruning. It is beautiful and they have a lot of old roses. I bought two roses that were made from cuttings there.

  8. Love the pink rose near the Lyon's plot ... and that dog monument made me cry. So many stories there.

  9. Such hard but gratifying work! A good friend of mine lives in Fredericksburg, I'm going to have to tell her about the cemetery, if she hasn't already been with her husband.

    Have a great weekend!

  10. Hi Connie, It's always good to hear about the roses at the cemetery. Thanks for the picture of the dog statue - what a sweet tribute.


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