Plants

January

There is no better time to come and enjoy our impressive evergreens. Mount Auburn’s conifer collection is noted for its size and diversity. With more than 80 different taxa and more than 1,500 plants, it is comparable to the conifer collections at … Continue reading

February

Now is a great time for a second look at many of our deciduous trees and shrubs. Even without their more showy foliage and flowers, many of our plants have something to contribute to the winter landscape. From the the impressive size and shape of some trees … Continue reading

March

Early signs of spring appear throughout the landscape in March.  The cheerful yellow blossoms of witchhazel that appear early in the month and the beautiful carpets of scilla  that emerge by month’s end remind us that warmer days are soon on their way. … Continue reading

April

Mount Auburn is painted in shades of yellow, pink, white and lilac thanks to the daffodils, forsythia, magnolias, and redbuds now blooming.  For many, though, it is the April flowering of Mount Auburn’s 20+ varieites of ornamental cherries that truly signal spring’s arrival. … Continue reading

May

It is no wonder that Mount Auburn welcomes so many visitors each May.  Flowering dogwoods, crabapples, lilacs, and azaleas are just some of what is on display.  If you’ve never been to the Cemetery, now is the time to make … Continue reading

June

Though May might be the peak of spring bloom, there is still plenty of interest in June.  Rhododendrons, Mountain Laurel, and Kousa Dogwoods add plenty of late-spring color to the landscape. The annual and perennial plants planted in flower beds throughout … Continue reading

July

In July, make your way out to Willow Pond for a glimpse of our butterfly garden at its peak. As you walk at to the pond, you’ll notice a number of summer-blooming trees and shrubs adding seasonal interest to the … Continue reading

August

Late summer blooming ornamentals provide plenty of reasons to visit Mount Auburn, though perhaps the best reason to visit the Cemetery in August is to seek shade beheath the Cemetery’s dense canopy of shade trees.  Maples and oaks are among our shade … Continue reading

September

As the last of our summer-blooming plants make a showing in September, other plants begin showing the tell-tale signs of autumn’s approach.  Our wildflower meadow, located at  Washington Tower, is now at its peak as we bid farewell to one … Continue reading

October

By mid-October Mount Auburn’s landscape is awash in color.  As our many deciduous trees and shrubs begin to transform their foliage into jewel-tone shades of red, orange, yellow, and purple, other plants set out their fall fruits and nuts. Here are some … Continue reading

November

The diversity in Mount Auburn’s collection of trees ensures an prolonged foliage season each fall.  Even in November, there is still plenty of color in the landscape. From our noble oaks displaying autumn color to the fall-blooming witchhzel, there is plenty to see at the Cemetery.  Here are … Continue reading

December

As our deciduous plants drop their last leaves we welcome the winter season. Now is the time to explore Mount Auburn’s many plants displaying four season interest.  The diversity in our horticultural collections ensure that a visit to Mount Auburn at … Continue reading

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Climate-Adaptive Emergent Zone Planting Project to Improve Aquatic Habitat Resiliency

November 28, 2017

Mount Auburn has three ponds and a vernal pool within its 175 acre, urban footprint. Each water body provides habitat important for wildlife health and success. Halcyon Lake provides breeding ground for the American Toad (Bufo americanus), which after being absent from the cemetery for more than three decades, has been successfully reintroduced. A healthy, breeding population of this native amphibian now exists at Mount Auburn. Auburn Lake supports a healthy population of the native Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina). Willow Pond provides excellent fishing ground for the native Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias). Lastly, the vernal pool at Consecration Dell provides breeding habitat for another native species, the Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculatum). Of course, habitat at each water body supports significantly more wildlife as well. Protection of habitat is an important piece of the cemetery’s institutional mission to be good stewards of the environment. (more…)

Fall at Mount Auburn Cemetery

September 29, 2017

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.

It is the diverse collection of over 5,000 spectacular trees that no doubt attracts many people to the Cemetery. Nevertheless, it is the combination of the topography, the plants, the wildlife and the monuments and other built structures that make Mount Auburn the unique landscape and National Historic Landmark that it is.

Under Mount Auburn’s Tree Canopy with Lynda V. Mapes

June 26, 2017

To visit Mount Auburn Cemetery was a very special opportunity. This is a place my husband and I returned to time and again while I was a Knight Fellow in Science Journalism at MIT, living just down the road on Memorial Drive, and wanting some peace and quiet. We would come up on late summer and autumn evenings, while the crickets were still singing their mesmerizing incantations and enjoy the long, slanting afternoon light.

I remember in particular one evening at the end of August, just before closing, the transfixing beauty of a full moon rising over this repository of community memory, the trees hold memory too, as does the land. (more…)

Roberto Mighty’s earth.sky

January 25, 2016

Official trailer for Roberto Mighty’s earth.sky – a new media project about the Cemetery that combines film, historic voices, layered design, and music.

In earth.sky, audiences experience a uniquely emotional, historical journey through breathtaking landscape cinematography, high-fidelity audio, music, and photography, while hearing the inspiring, sometimes heartbreaking and often uplifting words of individuals interred at Mount Auburn Cemetery from its inception to today. As Mighty describes it “earth.sky is not about death. It is about living people. People who once walked the earth as we now do. People who live on in the memories of others.”