Revitalizing Bigelow Chapel & Asa Gray Garden

February 1, 2018

As part of its Strategic Plan, Mount Auburn is currently revitalizing two of its most celebrated landmarks, Asa Gray Garden and Bigelow Chapel. Together these projects are part of a larger initiative to enhance the experience of arriving at and being within Mount Auburn, a place that has served to comfort the bereaved and inspire all who visit since its founding. Independently, each project presents an exciting new chapter in the Cemetery’s history.
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Bigelow Chapel December Open Houses

November 15, 2018

Bigelow Chapel has been revitalized to meet the changing needs of families and the visiting public. A new entrance providing universal access graciously welcomes everyone arriving to attend a private family service or a public event. New multi-use gathering spaces provide numerous options for intimate memorial services in a non-denomination setting, informal receptions following services or burials, and a host of public events. A new state-of-the-art Crematory, replacing its previous facility, has prepared Mount Auburn to meet the growing public interest in cremation and positioned the Cemetery as a 21st-century leader within industry.

Join us for an Open House!
Both events are free and open to the public!

Saturday, December 1, 1 – 4 PM
Celebrate the reopening of Bigelow Chapel with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 1 PM followed by informal tours of the revitalized Chapel and Crematory. Throughout the afternoon, staff will be sharing interesting details from this ambitious project.

Saturday, December 15, 2 – 4 PM
Enjoy a concert with Mount Auburn’s former Composer-in-Residence Mary Bichner. Performing with the Planetary Quartet, Bichner will share her composition inspired by Bigelow Chapel’s newly restored Great Rose Window. After the hour-long concert, guests are invited to tour the Chapel and Crematory and speak with staff.

 

Blooms at Mount Auburn

November 10, 2018

Mount Auburn’s landscape is composed of a diverse array of plants and trees that come into bloom at different times and in different seasons.  See both a calendar and a list view of What’s in Bloom below:

What’s in Bloom: Week of November 5, 2018

Witch hazel, Hamamelis virginiana, Dell Path, Linden Path

Japanese anemone, Anemone hupehensis, Admin. bldg.

Jackman clematis, Clematis xjackmanii, Admin. bldg.

Wild bleeding heart, Dicentra exemia, Admin. bldg.

Ladies’-tresses, Spiranthes sp., Beech Ave.

Chrysanthemum, Chrysanthemum sp., several locations

Tatarian aster, Aster tataricus, Asa Gray garden

Aster, Aster ‘Raydon’s Favorite’, Asa Gray garden

‘The Fairy’ rose, Rosa ‘The Fairy’, @ Sphinx

Rose, Rosa sp., several locations

 ‘Knockout’ rose, Rosa ’Radrazz’, Spelman Rd.

Snapdragon, Antirrhinum sp., Greenhouse garden

Lysianthus, Eustoma sp., Greenhouse garden

Cosmos, Cosmos bipinnatus, Greenhouse garden

Strawflower, Helichrysum bracteatum, Greenhouse garden

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Mount Auburn Rap by Maria Lindberg

The squill is a thrill

Chionodoxa really rocks ya

Pansies and crocus bring it all into focus

Spice bush and lilacs delight the senses

Ivy twines around cast iron fences

Vinca hosta azealea silverbell

Escort the traveler on the way to the Dell

Orioles flit from spruce to beech

Hawks fly above with a warning screech

Turtles and bullfrogs and muskrats abound

Owls in their nests make nary a sound

Kingfishers herons and cormorants as well

Robins and phoebes have a story to tell

The Metasequoia of Auburn Lake

A perch for hawks and a migratory break

For warblers in May luring birders far and wide

Wonder and song are the gifts they provide

The American elm and the mighty oak

Guard the eternal sleep of the silent folk

Of Mount Auburn Cemetery

 

 If you see a tree or plant in bloom that is not on this list, please leave a comment below or email us at friends@mountauburn.org.

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…)

Golden larch, Pseudolarix amabilis

October 30, 2018

From yellow leaves a blue jay calls

Grandmothers walk out in their shawls

And chipmunks run the old stone walls

When fall comes to New England

-Cheryl Wheeler

Autumn within Mount Auburn presents an arboreal cornucopia of multiple colors. A sampling includes the reds of dogwood, maple, tupelo, Virginia sweetspire, oakleaf hydrangea, interplanted with the yellow of hickory, ginkgo, Korean mountain ash and larch among many others. One lesser known golden-yellow, which sometimes exhibit bright orange-bronze instead, is provided by the Golden larch, Pseudolarix amabilis. This native to China which grows 30-50 (100)-feet in height is one of four deciduous conifers that grow here, the others are bald cypress, dawn redwood and European larch. (more…)