Welcome to the Hamilton Square Perennial Garden within the Historic City Cemetery in the city of Sacramento California.
The majority of the plants in Hamilton Square are from the five Mediterranean regions of the world including California, the Mediterranean Basin, Chile, South Africa and Southern Australia. This garden includes Roses donated from the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden, the City of Sacramento, Heirloom Old Fashioned Roses and Barbara Oliva, which are modern versions of “old fashioned” roses. These roses bloom almost continuously for eight months of the year. Their companions are comprised of six hundred-plus mostly mediterranean perennial species, their cultivars and a few annuals. The endeavor here is to add representatives of each into the All Things Plants database.
Restoration of several plots in the area was made possible through a grant from the T.S. and K.D. Glide Foundation and the Perennial Plant Club of Sacramento. Brick restoration was completed by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department Work Release Program. When restoration began in 1997, the only plants in Hamilton Square were a few roses and trees. Plant donations from Robert Hamm of Valley Perennials, Dr. Marla McClaren, Target, and Perennial Plant Club members have turned Hamilton Square into a perpetually blooming site.
Sacramento Perennial Plant Club members, Day Mar, Ruthanne Rankin and me, Leslie Hurlburt co-manage the garden for Sharon Patrician, founder and original designer of the garden. Together we manage all aspects of this one acre garden as volunteers for the city of Sacramento. The Perennial Plant Club sponsors the garden as a public educational resource and as such, tours both public and private are available.
There are other major gardens within this, approximately, thirty acre cemetery. The Sacramento Valley Chapter of California Native Plant Society have a Native Plants Demonstration Garden and there is also the Sacramento Historic Rose Garden composed mostly of old or antique roses collected from cemeteries, old home sites and along roadsides in northern California. It was conceived and established by Fred Boutin, an internationally recognized rosarian and authority on "found roses," and Jean Travis, a member of the Heritage Rose Group. Members are working to collect, plant, and maintain those roses which were popular from the Gold Rush era through the Victorian/Edwardian era (roughly 1850-1915). Many other areas have been planted through our adopt a plot program, with spectacular results from many volunteers for this most worthy endeavor.
Hamilton Square is located on the southwest side of Sacramento Historic City Cemetery, near the Old Mortuary Chapel. The garden is the burial site of William Stephen Hamilton, the youngest son of Alexander Hamilton, the first Treasurer of the United States.
William Stephen Hamilton came to California in 1849 and died in Sacramento in 1850. He is the cemetery’s most restless resident. He died once (1850), was exhumed twice (1877, 1889) and buried three times in three different locations.
The proceeds from tours and donations go to restoration and beautification of the Historic City Cemetery. The cemetery would still lanquish neglected and broken if not for a few civic minded citizens, those visionaries who founded the Old City Cemetery Comittee in 1986, which has been instrumental in the preservation of this cultural, historical and educational community resource.
Mr. Leslieray Hurlburt