Roses forum→Spring 2019 Planting Day at The Elmwood Cemetery

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Name: Christopher
New Brunswick, NJ, USA (Zone 7a)
Apr 18, 2019 5:51 PM CST
If anyone in the central New Jersey (USA) neighborhood is interested in attending Planting Day, it will be held on Sunday, April 28 at 2pm. It will be a simple day -- you'll hear a little about the cemetery, my project idea, and and some general information about the types of roses being planted that day. Dress for garden work, bring your favorite shovel/trowel for digging, and wear gloves if you prefer. I'll demonstrate how to plant a rose, and then you'll set off to one of the beds and find a potted rose stuck in the ground where you'll plant it yourself. Eleanor (the president of the cemetery) is apparently getting more together for this than I expected, but I'll leave that as a surprise.

The whole day shouldn't take long -- basically, after the roses are planted, anyone interested in doing more can talk with me and Eleanor about what you'd like to do during the rest of the season. You're more than welcome to extend your stay and walk through the rest of the cemetery -- there's a lot to see.

Here's the website for the cemetery, with contact information, and where you can sign up with your email.

They also have a facebook page -- "like" their page and you can see the Planting Day Event and sign up there.

Or you can visit my page -- I also created a Planting Day event. But, I warn you -- I get post-happy sometimes. Ignore anything that you don't find appealing.

Here's a link to my Planting Day event post.

If you're interested in doing something for this project but can't attend Planting Day, contact the cemetery and let them know. I am already anticipating an Autumn Planting Day for bulbs, and maybe some more roses if need be.


Long Island, New York, USA (Zone 7a)
Region: New York Roses
Apr 19, 2019 7:32 AM CST
Looking forward to seeing how this progresses. Good luck and happy planting!
Name: Mike
Easton, PA (Zone 6b)
Orchids Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse
Oct 25, 2019 4:40 PM CST
@aquaeyes I was doing a search on cemetery and came across your post.
I live in Easton PA and am working with the Master Gardeners in my county on three projects at Historic Easton Cemetery.
There are many notable historic graves in the cemetery which was founded around 1848.
There are many French Graves or Cradle Graves which have been planted in the past few years and I'm working on an Antique Rose identification project there.
The third project is a "scatter" garden which is just getting off the ground, only a giant granite slab for those scattered is currently in place.
We are reaching out for volunteers and was wondering if you have any pointers for gathering these volunteers?
Does your group have any Antique Rose experts?
Do you have a deer problem there, if so how are you dealing with them?
Yeah, lots of questions there, I'll truly appreciate any suggestions you have.
OH, and the big question, where do you get funding, the Easton Cemetery has very little in the way of a budget.
Name: Christopher
New Brunswick, NJ, USA (Zone 7a)
Oct 28, 2019 5:18 PM CST

I'm sorry to be seeing this so late. Ellie -- the president of the Elmwood Cemetery -- has been to Easton, and we've talked about their cradle grave garden program.

I am not good at gathering people. I posted about this project as far and wide as I could easily do, and just let things happen. Ellie is more involved with posting events at the cemetery webpage and facebook page, and also sends out emails to anyone who gave contact information to keep in touch with cemetery events. I leave that to her.

Thus far, it's really just me getting this going, along with the people who came by for planting day, and two people who came again for some mulch moving. I've mentioned to Ellie several times that I think more people will get involved once there are lighter chores to do, such as planting and deadheading and weeding. It's hard to get people excited about moving mulch, but that's what we've been doing as three new beds (and one tree-well bed) were prepared this year.

The roses I put out have been my guinea pigs, and I've been holding back from tending them much so that I could see how well they fare with "tough-love". A few (maybe ten) died early on -- I noticed later that they were planted without being pressed into their sites, and that combined with being tiny just did them in. Others lingered a bit, but then found their way. And still others took off from the beginning. I made mental notes about what worked and what didn't. Any that died will be replaced, and moving forward, we're going to try a "foster a rose" program. I'll pot-up in my special mix any roses that I deem too small to go in the ground directly, and volunteers will be able to bring them home and get them growing. Then we'll put them in the ground once the hottest part of Summer has passed.

There are about four or five deer in the cemetery. They have 50 acres for browsing, and while a few roses have been nibbled, I'm doing some things to discourage it continuing. For one, I put down Milorganite in all the beds over the mulch to accelerate compost forming as a layer lower down. That has an odor that they find off-putting. I also made a "tea" of hot pepper flakes and used that as part of a spray. Two sprays of that kept things un-nibbled for months, and when I saw it resume, I sprayed again. We'll be trying some other repellents next year, and keep it up weekly. It's easier to keep them away when 1) there's plenty of easier things to eat elsewhere, and 2) I'll be putting in some companion plants that they don't like at all. It'll be an ongoing vigil, but not impossible.

Stephen Scanniello came by a year ago after my repeated prodding, and he presented some photos of my project at the Heritage Rose Foundation's meeting a few days later. The board voted to give me a $500 grant toward my efforts. We used that for tools, a backpack sprayer, Milorganite, ingredients for my potting mix for planting day, and some other things. Ellie insisted on paying for the bulbs we're putting in right now, taking it out of the cemetery budget. She said they've been wanting to add bulbs to areas for years but just never got around to it. I picked out one Narcissus and one "something small and early" for each bed, making sure they were cultivars or species that would have been available when the deceased were living, then also took into account site aspects. Otherwise, everything else I paid for myself.

We're trying to make activities out of this garden, so when I said I wanted to get as many of the companion plants as seed and winter-sow them, we got the idea to have that as an event in January. Anyone interested can come down and set some seeds in the trays, bundle them out, and put them out in the beds where the plants will be growing. Then we just leave them and let them germinate and grow when it's natural for them, transplanting them when they're ready.

We do want to establish a non-profit status for the garden as it gets going, and we've talked about fundraisers to support it moving forward, but someone's got to get things started.



P.S. I'm not sure if you saw my first post, with pics. I haven't been able to take pics since, owing to a badly outdated cell phone, but that'll be fixed very soon, and I'll be sure to post pics when the bulbs are blooming, if not earlier.

The thread "How to start a bed at a pictures" in Roses forum
[Last edited by AquaEyes - Oct 28, 2019 5:49 PM (+)]
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Plant Identifier Raises cows Roses Farmer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Oct 28, 2019 5:49 PM CST
Christopher, thank you for keeping us informed about your cemetery project. I admire your dedication and creative imagination. I only wish that I lived close enough to help out with such a worthy endeavor.
Name: Mike
Easton, PA (Zone 6b)
Orchids Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse
Oct 28, 2019 9:05 PM CST
@aquaeyes Sounds like a rewarding project you have going there.
Next Spring when I visit Duke Farms I'll have to look for your cemetery.
Enjoy the warm weather while it lasts.

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