Tuesday, May 22, 2007

cemeteries as gardens

Reconsidering cemeteries as public gardens | ScrippsNews: "A movement is afoot to go beyond one day a year of decoration. As cities become more crowded, urban graveyards across America are reevaluated. Their potential as public gardens capable of inviting life to come and dwell amidst the slabs, fences and monuments cannot be denied. They are also vital sources of local history, many of which are disintegrating beyond recognition.

Why not return to the idea of decorating graves all year round with living plants? Those who long to cultivate floral beauty but lack their own space or funds may find these public places an ideal opportunity to gather, plant and socialize in the process. Certainly those Southern ladies decorating fresh Civil War graves found some mutual solace followed by fried chicken and sweet iced tea.

In many of these sites, some dating to the dawn of the 19th century, there still exist some of our most outstanding local monuments and plants. They mark the history of the famous and the infamous, heroes and villains, and the soldiers of a dozen wars who lie side by side, all but forgotten.

There are a lot of folks worried about that they call 'Endangered Cemeteries.' Many are being taken over by forest or urbanization. The gravestone markers are wearing down so their chiseled faces no longer record names and dates. For history and genealogy buffs -- or anyone going back to the old hometown to look up the resting places of ancestors -- this loss can be devastating. Many believe it is a tragic loss of American history."

And in UK, or worse in Denmark after 30 years memorials are removed unless fees are paid or the persons are famous.


Blogger Myrt said...

Same problem in Germany, I discovered to my dismay in my 1995 trip.

4:09 am  
Blogger Hugh W said...

in Denmark if bones are found they are handled with respect and moved to a common burial ground at the back of the church yard.

If the plot has not been reassigned it is possible to pay for another lease and get the grave reestablished

memorial stones now tend to survive in a group at the back of many church yards

many were recycled or crushed for road fill

the regular income enables the danish church yards to be very well maintained by professional gardeners

10:41 am  

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