Evergreens and Ornamental Grasses For Cemetery Planting

Date Published: 
August, 1908
Original Author: 
H. Wilson Ross
Original Publication: 
AACS Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Convention

The laying out of the grounds in a modern cemetery is quite a serious problem to secure the best landscape effects, after the monumental work has been erected. A beautiful section of newly developed land present's quite a changed appearance after the different monumental workers have erected various designs in marble and granite, oftentimes destroying some landscape effect which may have been in the mind of the cemetery superintendent when arranging his grading and planting.

To secure satisfactory results it is often necessary to change the original scheme of planting and the planting areas are quite often restricted to small spaces. In such places as these many times the desired results may be obtained by using the dwarfer growing evergreens and ornamental grasses.

The evergreens give a pleasing winter effect as well as summer; and as many of them can be pruned and confined to small size, their usefulness may be readily realized.

The ornamental grasses can be planted even in the narrow spaces around lots or between headstones as they are a perennial, coming into form early in the season and lasting well info the winter. As they die back to the ground each year and can easily be subdivided, they never need become objectionable to the lot owners and yet we are able to hide many undesirable features by their use.

Among the most useful evergreens for use in our locality the following varieties have proved the most hardy: Colorado blue Fir, common and golden varieties of the prostrate Juniper, Irish Juniper, Swedish Juniper, Norway white and blue Spruce, Mountain Pine, White Pine, if kept nipped back closely, Retinosporas, filifera and plumosa, American Arbor Vitae in varieties such as George Peabody, Hoveyii, globosa and pyramidalis, the Siberian Arbor Vitae, Hemlock, Taxus Canadensis and cuspidata, Rhododendrons in variety, Andromeda floribunda and arborescence, Mahonia aquifolia, Kalmia and Euonymus radicans and radicans variegata.

These varieties would vary in hardiness according to location, but are quite satisfactory around Boston. Many more varieties can be used a little farther south, and probably many of the above named would not live if exposed to the cold winds only a short distance north.

Among the most satisfactory ornamental grasses are the Eulalias in variety, Gracillima univitata, Japonica, Japonica variegata, Japonica zebrina, the striped ribbon grass, Phalaris arundinacea variegata, the hardy and some of the half hardy Bamboos.

These grasses make graceful, pleasing effects which can be taken advantage of in many crowded sections and have the further recommendation of standing transplanting at almost any season should they be located where a stone is to be placed or an interment made.
The above-named evergreens and grasses are probably only a few of the many varieties that can be used to advantage, but those which I have mentioned have proved very satisfactory in our own grounds. 

From the publication:
AACS - Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Convention
Held at Kansas City, MO
August 11, 12 and 13, 1908