What a great day I had. I know I seem like a broken record, but so much that has been happening with the National Buffalo Garden Festival has been absolutely wonderful, and the Forest Lawn Cemetery has been a proud supporter and participant.
I attended a garden symposium at Forest Lawn Cemetery Chapel, pictured above, in Buffalo, New York. What a treat this was to visit New York’s first landscaped green space.
In 1849, the land was purchased by a local attorney who donated it to the city for a burial ground.
This property has over 3700 trees of 200 different species. We learned so many interesting facts including how 7 Bald Cypress were moved from the Pan American Exposition in 1901 to the property and the stand of trees still thrive today.
There are 240 species of birds that have been spotted, making this a prime birdwatching location. Our guide, naturalist, Kim, took us on a very interesting, short walking tour, identifying trees by species and age. The day was rainy and a bit gloomy, but rain is always needed to perk up a garden, and tomorrow, Garden Walk Buffalo is in full swing. Flowers will be showing their best after the cooling rain and our high temperatures. The trees on this property can attain a natural form due to how and where they are planted. They grow tall and proud.
The cemetery has beautiful scenery and landscape. It was so well designed and the curators are re-planting trees to replicate and reinstall the original plan as was drawn.
There are 170,000 burials in the cemetery on 269 acres. Many special people are buried here including a the thirteenth president, Millard Fillmore. Many monuments are very old and have historical significance. I will do a post on this at a later time, but here is an example of an interesting moss-covered one from 1850.
The first speaker was Siobhan Nehin, Queen of the Garden Fairies. Siobhan is an artist and garden designer who approaches garden design with a unique combination of color, art, texture and shape. I would probably include scale and style in her description because she has a very good grip on theses as well. I will do a separate post on all the speakers, but I want to mention each here as well.
Next to speak was landscape architect, Virginia Burt. I was especially interested in her premise of Gardens from the inside out. She uses a holistic approach to design to make gardens spiritual and meaningful.
Garden Tourism was discussed by Richard Benfield, who showed many gardens from the very beginning of recorded landscapes to gardens throughout the world today.
Sandy Starks, Interpretive Program director at Forest Lawn Cemetery, took a look at famous woman residing at the cemetery and also showed images of the cemetery through the seasons. None of these indoor photos were of any quality, but it is important that the individuals are recognized. They all did wonderful presentations that kept everyone wanting more information and asking many questions. The property is so peaceful and beautiful, you almost forget that it is a cemetery, alive with the majesty and sense of place.