Those of you who follow the Canadian Cemetery History account on Twitter will know I often post pictures of flora and fauna from old cemeteries. And there’s a reason why.
The spring and summer are the best seasons for getting out for a walk and visiting old cemeteries. During the months of April to August you get a chance to see nature literally spring up from the ground. Suddenly, a cemetery that was beautiful but somewhat lacking in colour (just the colours of the stones themselves and a few bare trees) explodes with colour and different kind of flowers.
While walking through cemetery grounds and pondering the mysteries of life and death gravestones often evoke, there’s something special about suddenly being greeted with a blast of reds, yellows, greens, and purples. Recently, my wife and I went walking in a cemetery where the tulips were blooming and let me tell you, it made my day. One can’t help but feel their spirit lifted when seeing such beautiful colours.
Depending on the flower, one can also notice that the types planted at gravesites tend to be long-standing symbols of love, or hope and belief in an afterlife. For example, Lily of the Valley, an early bloomer with beautiful white flowers, can symbolize hope, purity, renewal, and resurrection. Roses, perhaps no surprise, symbolize love.
This is the time of year to get out for a walk and visit your local old cemetery. During these months you’ll see the entire place evolve from week to week while different flowers bloom and wither as the seasons progress from spring to summer and then fall, when the cycle ends and life goes back to waiting out the winter again. I’ll leave you with some nice photos, but in the meantime get out there when you can and take some of your own!