Category: Landscape

The Beech/Central Avenues Corridor

August 8, 2016

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Good landscape design weighs the different functional and aesthetic variables in play, whether the challenge is an historic landscape or a rooftop garden. Mount Auburn’s stewardship of its historic landscape relies on a careful mix of guidelines, policies, and strategic initiatives. It also utilizes archival reports and correspondence held by our Historical Collections Department. Occasionally, something more is called for. A recent project to renovate the “Beech/Central Avenues Corridor” illustrates the kind of extra steps we sometimes take in the design process. (more…)

Horticulture Highlight: Wildflower Meadow at Washington Tower

September 1, 2014


… Flowers on the hillside

blooming crazy

-Bob Dylan

Echinacea purpurea

Dylan’s words are an apt description, for mid-summer days, at our wildflower meadow at Washington Tower.  This wildflower meadow was established in 2007, at this prominent, one-acre location, and includes a wide range of native shrubs, wildflowers, and grasses. Here is a brief sampling of some of the August blooming flowers, for bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and you to enjoy.  Purple coneflower, Echinacea purpurea, is a popular, long-lasting, daisy-like, flower. The center disk of each flower actually holds a composite of florets, surrounded by reflexed to drooping ray flowers, often a purplish- pink color The genus name is derived from the Greek word echino, for sea urchin, alluding to the spiny, conical, central disk. These are favorite flowers of butterflies, bees, and other insects, and its seeds are eaten by goldfinches, and other species of birds. (more…)

Willow Pond Butterfly Garden

September 3, 2013

When people talk about the wildlife that benefit from Mount Auburn’s sustainable initiatives, it is easy to focus on Mount Auburn’s special place in the world of ornithology.  However, Mount Auburn is equally conscious of the roles that it plays in the sustainability of vital habitats for numerous other groups of wildlife that visit our grounds throughout the year.  This is especially true for some of our smallest and most vulnerable visitors – butterflies! (more…)

Torrey Lot Herbal Garden

May 1, 2013

In a triangular island at the intersection of Spruce and Fir Avenues you will find a monument to Charles T. Torrey, a martyr for the cause of abolition of slavery.  This prominent lot has always had plantings of various kinds such as the ground-cover Cotoneaster and at times a bed of Daffodils.  At first these plants were paid for from a fund established by his friends and colleagues, but later the lot was put under trustee care.

In the mid- 2000s the landscaping around the memorial was re-imagined by our horticulture staff and replanted mainly with herbal plants and a few seasonal pansies or annuals for a splash of color.  The current plants have been selected for their fragrance, flower color and shape, benefit to native insects, and although we do not use them for such, they all have either medicinal properties or culinary uses.  The plantings vary from year to year but they always include: