Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mountain View Cemetery: Flowers

tulips and mausoleum

Oakland flower lovers take note: this weekend is the annual tulip exhibition at Mountain View Cemetery. There are thousands of tulips blooming right now around the grounds of the cemetery. Unfortunately the unusually warm weather followed by storms made them peak earlier than normal, but they're still gorgeous and should be OK through the weekend.

In addition to the tulips around the always-beautiful grounds, there will be a special exhibition in the Tower Chapel between 10am and 4pm, Friday through Sunday. At 1pm each day there will be a special demo.

Even if you aren't interested in the expo, I recommend checking out the grounds while the tulips are in bloom. There are other flowers and trees blooming around the cemetery, too, making it even more beautiful.

And for the taphophiles in the crowd, there are lots of stone 'flowers' around the cemetery, too. While sometimes flowers were selected as decorations simply because people liked them, on older graves they frequently have symbolic meanings, too:
  • tulip - love and passion
  • rose - love, beauty, grace
  • lotus - creation and rebirth; particularly on Egyptian-themed graves
  • Easter lily - purity, innocence
  • lily of the valley - renewal, resurrection
  • evening primrose - eternal love, memory, hope
  • morning glory - departure, farewell, resurrection
  • thistle - Scotland, Scottish
  • daisy - innocence, hope; frequently found on children's graves
  • bellflower - gratitude

Sara Plummer Lemmon

For the history buffs it should all be interesting, but of particular note is the grave of Sara Lemmon. She shares a marker with her husband, John Lemmon, which reads:
partners in botany
the California poppy was named the state flower in 1903 due to the persistent efforts of Sara Lemmon
Unsurprisingly, her marker features a California poppy.

lots more pictures of flowers in Mountain View:


See more Taphophile Tragics posts from the world, and at Oakland Daily Photo here in Oakland for an interesting marker.

5 comments:

Julie said...

That is a great idea to have a floral festival in a cemetery. I think it is good to have the general populace meandering through graveyards more regularly. They are under-used public recreation space.

I will take with me on my ramble this sunday, all these details about the symbols, not just of flowers but the others that you have supplied over the last few weeks. I need to get my eye in, and used to espying them.

Thanks, Gene. You are a gem!

hamilton said...

I agree that cemeteries are vastly underused public spaces. Having a flower festival in one is a great idea. I, too, have been keeping notes of the information you have shared and I thank you for that!

Gene said...

Glad it's helpful -- I find the symbols (as well as the history, etc.) fascinating. The Grave Addiction page has a lot of explanations and photos of symbols and is a good reference.

NixBlog said...

Interesting post and what a great idea regarding the floral festival, Gene. We humans thrive on symbols so its interesting to see the floral emblems on graves related tot he language fo flowers.

brell said...

I used to go jogging there. ;) Thanks for posting photos. I also took one of my first dates to a hometown cemetary once as part of our day. Hehe!