Peace, love and joy are common greetings this time of year and ones I always aspire to demonstrate. I visited Laurel Hill Cemetery this fall and found it to be an amazing and peaceful place. A place where loved ones of the deceased as well as the members of the surrounding community reflect, remember and commune with nature.
Laurel Hill is a very special cemetery. It’s historic, yet modern, an arboretum and more. The arboretum staff do a stellar job of maintaining the property and use nearly maintenance-free plants to ensure lasting appeal. Drought tolerant plants and other gorgeous specimens provide a great alternative to plastic or silk flowers which are strictly prohibited.
Laurel Hill has evolved with the times. They now offer a green cemetery area where un-embalmed bodies are buried in caskets made of wicker or similar materials that rapidly decompose. When the reserved active burial area is full, native plants and trees cover the bare earth. As an echo of human life, plants mature, and shade trees transform the sunny meadow into a forest over time.
While some may find the thought of visiting a cemetery unappealing or depressing, I encourage you to change your mindset. Cemeteries can be magical spaces, especially when they house an amazing assortment of trees, shrubs and perennials planted artfully to sooth the soul.