The Grave Gardener application period has ended. 

Get your hands dirty this summer by joining The Woodlands new garden club, the Grave Gardeners!

The Grave Gardeners is a new group we’re forming to take The Woodlands from eternal rest to garden best. We’re seeking twenty people willing to dig in the dirt to join this new garden community this growing season.

Each Grave Gardener will adopt a cradle grave in Center Circle of the cemetery and tend to it throughout the season. We’ll provide all the supplies and knowledge you need, and you’ll supply the labor. At the end of the season, we’ll celebrate by showing off our plots to the rest of The Woodlands community at a Garden Fête.  

The season will start with 3 workshops, led by local experts. Knowledge gained at these workshops will help you design your garden bed with the Victorian Garden aesthetic in mind, and you’ll learn tips and tricks to keep your garden beautiful throughout the growing season. Attendance at these workshops is strongly encouraged. 


Workshop 1: February 25, 2016, 6:00-8:00PM
Gardens (and Houses) in Graveyards: The Regional Peculiarities of America's Rural Cemetery Movement with Aaron Wunsch

Frequently discussed as a national movement, the push to establish "rural" cemeteries before the Civil War also drew on regional gardening traditions and ideals of country life. Here, Aaron Wunsch will put the Philadelphia story in context, paying special attention to The Woodlands. 

About Aaron: Aaron Wunsch holds a B.A. in History from Haverford College, an M.A. in Architectural History from the University of Virginia, and a Doctorate in Architectural History from the University of California, Berkeley.  His 2009 dissertation was entitled “Parceling the Picturesque: ‘Rural’ Cemeteries and Urban Context in Nineteenth-Century Philadelphia.” Building on that work, he has curated an exhibition on Laurel Hill Cemetery at the Library Company of Philadelphia and written several scholarly articles and encyclopedia entries.

At Penn, Aaron regularly teaches four courses in the Preservation Program: a survey of American architecture, a seminar on the same topic, and two courses on the documentation of historic sites.  His scholarship focuses on nineteenth-century American architecture and urbanism.  Special interests include: antebellum suburbs and cemeteries, infrastructure and industrial architecture, Quaker aesthetics, and the politics of commemoration.  He serves as vice president of Philadelphia’s Woodlands Cemetery and has been active on other nonprofit boards.  His efforts on behalf of Charlottesville’s James D. Nimmo House were recognized in Preservation Virginia's Outstanding Domestic Project Award for 2008.


Workshop 2: March 17, 2016 6:00-8:00PM
Forget me Not: Planting a Cemetery Garden with Nicole Juday

Learn which plants were favored for grave gardens during the Victorian period, and why these plants are still great choices for the modern gardener, even in the home landscape. In addition to discussing the best and most beautiful plants for a graveyard garden, we will also cover how to analyze and prepare your site, cultural requirements for different plants, and basic design principles.

Nicole pic.jpg

About Nicole: With a career in public horticulture spanning several specialties and over a decade, Nicole Juday currently works with a variety of public gardens promoting Philadelphia as America’s Garden Capital. She writes and speaks frequently on a variety of horticultural topics and especially loves old roses and heirloom plants, which occasionally can still be found growing in historic cemeteries like the Woodlands.




Workshop 3: March 26, 2016 11:00AM-3:00PM
Seeds and Soil: Sourcing Material and Prepping Graves with Jennie Love

Workshop 3: March 26, 2015 11AM-3PM (lunch provided)

Learn the best sources for unique seeds and plant material, and get tips on getting your beds ready for planting success. Bring your planting plan, and Jennie will help you finalize your design. We’ll break for lunch, then we’ll start digging and prepping the beds for planting.

About Jennie: Owner of Love 'n Fresh Flowers in Philadelphia, Jennie Love is a leading farmer florist who has helped propel the locally-grown cut flower movement forward to where it is today. Jennie was selected by Martha Stewart Weddings magazine as one of the Top 62 Floral Designers in the nation in 2015 and has been featured in many other prestigious publications, such as the New York Times, for her farm-to-centerpiece efforts. Her distinctively lush and textural floral designs have been used in hundreds of weddings as well as for numerous photo shoots, magazines, style blogs, and books. Jennie has led many workshops throughout her career, including the sold-out Seasonal Bouquet Project series and regular design classes for Longwood Gardens. Jennie is Vice President of the national Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers.

 Victorian Garden at Center Circle,  Rendering from "Woodlands Connects" our recently completed Master Plan.

Victorian Garden at Center Circle,
Rendering from "Woodlands Connects" our recently completed Master Plan.

All supplies generously provided through a grant from the Philadelphia Chapter of the Garden Club of America


© 2014 The Woodlands 
4000 Woodland Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19104