“Most burial grounds are kept tidy, and can be rather depressing places. But in old churchyards and Victorian cemeteries it’s often a different story, and in this one in particular, tidy grass has given way to jubilant and joyful planting.”
It’s some thirty years ago when gardening writer Anna Pavord was taken around a churchyard:
Gardening: Pushing up daisies, lilies, poppies . . .: Anna Pavord visits a North Yorkshire churchyard where the dead can rest in peace beneath a herbaceous heaven on earth | The Independent | The Independent
This was a project undertaken by ‘no-dig gardener’ Roger Brook:
And it’s still very much underway:
The Cemetery Garden
The peaceful Cemetery Garden, which opened in 1861, is located across the road from the church.
A small group of volunteers meet each Monday evening between 6.00 and 7.30pm to work on the Cemetery Garden. Over the past few months they have diligently removed ivy from the grave stones and outer wall, dead-headed plants, cleared away debris and generally tidied the whole area. Some replanting has been carried out and this is an ongoing process throughout the autumn.
Click here to view a short video about the garden and the volunteers who assist Roger Brook to manage and maintain it.
Here’s another gardener who paid the churchyard a visit – this year at the height of summer:
The churchyard of All Saints, Bolton Percy, is somewhere I’ve been meaning to visit for years. Created by Roger Brook, it is well-known for its planting.
Most burial grounds are kept tidy, and can be rather depressing places. But in old churchyards and Victorian cemeteries it’s often a different story, and in this one in particular, tidy grass has given way to jubilant and joyful planting.
We visited in the middle of July – a month of record-breaking heat. Though many plants were struggling in the dry weather, these eryngiums were splendid…
Photo taken by Alan Swain, who also wrote the All Saint’s text – both of which have been used with permission.