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Mount Auburn Cemetery Designed in the English Picturesque Style

Mount Auburn Cemetery in nearby Cambridge, Massachusetts  has always been a special place for  me.  The Cemetery dates from 1831.

Over the years I have visited it many times.

The weeping purple European Beech tree that greets you as you enter certainly stands out as a wonder.  You can walk under its branches.

Mt. Auburn Cemetery in the Fall - photo courtesy of Friends of Mt. Auburn

Dorchester nurseryman and President of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society Marshall Wilder (1798-1886), a popular speaker and writer,  once said “It was intended by the founders of the Garden and Cemetery at Mount Auburn that these grounds should ultimtely offer an example of the best style of landscape or picturesque gardening.”

The same English picturesque landscape style also served later as the model for Central Park.  Frederick Law Olmsted loved the natural landscape with the extended lawn, careful placement of trees, water, and curved walkways.

The seed and nursery industries of the nineteenth century were just going along with the prominent ideas on the landscape and the garden when they wrote essays and included illustrations of the landscape that were often in the same style.

To visit Mount Auburn today  is to step back in  time, but also to experience the English picturesque landscape.

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