Category: Grounds

Winter Interest Trees & Shrubs at Mount Auburn

December 29, 2018

Mount Auburn Cemetery attracts over 200,000 visitors per year, and they visit for many different reasons. Families and friends come to pay tribute to loved ones every day, as we continue to do about 500 new burials per year. Others come to enjoy the beautiful landscape, the magnificent trees, the birds and other wildlife, or the amazing collection of funerary art and architecture. Many attend our educational programs and tours, and still others come to study history and learn about the notable residents of Mount Auburn. Some do all of the above. (more…)

Babes in the Woods

October 31, 2018

By Volunteer Docent Robin Hazard Ray

The expression “babes in the woods” is used today to describe people who get in over their heads in situations they do not fully understand. But originally Babes in the Woods was a folktale, then a ballad,[1] then a stock script for pantomimes (English theatricals done for the kiddies at Christmastime), as familiar to people of the nineteenth century as Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella. As we shall see, it had resonance for several notable people buried at or affiliated with Mount Auburn. (more…)

Asa Gray Garden

July 5, 2018

And all rare blossoms from every clime

Grew in that garden in perfect prime.

            -Percy Bysshe Shelley

We encourage all to visit our newly renovated Asa Gray Garden. In collaboration with the award-winning Halvorson Design Partnership and R. P. Marzilli Landscape Contractor, this garden includes a diverse mix of 130 taxa of trees, shrubs, perennials, grasses, annuals and bulbs which will provide four-seasons of color, texture and interest. An enlarged central water feature and reflecting pool help create a sense of calm within this newly re-designed meditative landscape.

made him feel as if the fountain were an immortal spirit

that sung its song unceasingly

and without heeding the vicissitudes around it…

-Nathaniel Hawthorne

In lieu of specific plant discussion, we recall this garden’s namesake, the preeminent nineteenth century botanist, Asa Gray (1810-1888). The eldest of eight siblings of a farmer/tanner in Sauquoit, New York, he graduated from Fairfield Medical College in 1831. Lynn Barber in The Heyday of Natural History 1820-1870 states, “At the beginning of the nineteenth century, all laymen and most scientists believed that the earth and all the species on it had been created by God in six days towards the end of October in the year 4004 B.C.” Gray eschewed an incipient medical practice for a botanical life that led to decades of research and publishing. Later botanical renown positioned him to become the foremost American advocate of Charles Darwin (1809-1882), when in 1859, Origin of Species revealed the then heretical theory of evolution and the process of natural selection. (more…)

Angels of Mount Auburn

December 27, 2017

Images of celestial beings are found throughout the Cemetery, proudly posing on pedestals or tucked into the decorations of many monuments.  The brochures below include some of the many angels and cherubs found at Mount Auburn.

Join Rosemarie Smurzynski for a tour of Angels & Cherubs at a future date to be announced!

A Guide to Angels in Mount Auburn Cemetery
and their Role in Consoling the Human Heart

The word angel derives from the Greek “angelos” which means messenger.

In Islam the word for angel is “mala” which also means messenger. (more…)