Oakland Cemetry is surrounded by a red brick gate on the outer edge of the city. Within its threshold, are the sites where many residents of Atlanta were laid to rest, including notable individuals. For example, visitors can pay their respects to Bobby Jones, Margret Mitchell, governors, and numerous former mayors of Atlanta. In addition to the former residents of Atlanta, one may also find a plethora of natural landscapes within the brick walls.
To be more specific, when one enters the gate they are immediately greeted by various trees, bushes, flowers, as well as animals mingled throughout the plots dedicated to various families.
One of the first qualities that may come to one’s attention, is the flowers planted around the graves. The picture above shows the most common flower found in Oakland during the spring months, daffodils.
As one walks down the brick pathway, the daffodils only become more common. They are planted in thick lines, usually surrounding the grave. Above the bright yellow flowers and green stalks, the buzz of bees can be heard by passersby.
In addition to the yellow daffodils, roses are also a common flower that one may find while browsing the headstones. Although, these come in more variety than that of the daffodils discussed earlier. In more detail, the roses varied from slim stems (as pictured above) to large bushes (as pictured below).
Nevertheless, the roses seemed to have the commonality of being placed in prominent spaces on the plot: most commonly near the headstone. In addition to their visual aesthetic, the roses also may attract visitors by their subjectively sweet scent that is apparent from the immediate entrance of the cemetery.
Aside from the roses and daffodils, there are also various other flowers that a visitor will observe. As one could imagine, these flowers include colors from the whole spectrum of the rainbow and vary in shape as well as size. Overall, the flowers are a very prominent feature of Oaklands public property. They remain as a memorial to those who have passed away, but also looked upon and enjoyed by visitors at the cemetery.
Equally important are the trees rooted in Oakland’s historical soil. In a similar manner, one may also observe that the trees also vary in species and look like the flowers. However, unlike the flowers, the trees are not organized or presented in a particular way. They scatter the space and seem as if the majority were present before the first plot was claimed. As evidence, pictured below is a root which as interrupted the even patterned brick path.
Further, the long branches feel the empty blue sky when one looks above. Most of the brown branches were empty at the time of my personal visit, but other were painted green with leaves pinned to their limbs. Additionally, one may find shade under the canopy of the large branches as many benches are placed amongst the trees.
Finally, I think it’s also important to note that a visitor at the cemetery may also experience other plants that add to the sites green aesthetic. Furthermore, the sheer variety and number of plants transform the site to appear more as a natural space rather than a manmade space consisting of solely granite and concrete. Arguably, without the plants present, Oakland would lose some of its visitor appeal of a garden-like atmosphere in memorial to some of Atlanta’s most prominent deceased.