Stunning annual, perennial, and container shrub combinations of supreme beauty create various horticultural showpieces – from the main entrances and memorials to the stately mausoleum urns and building surrounds found throughout the Arboretum.
Our newest garden area is a formal perennial and shrub garden at the twin entrances to the Chapel of Peace at Laurel Hill West. The garden was designed by Landscape Architects Stacey Hayes-Nash and Karen Steenhoudt, and features a formal English-garden aesthetic with modern plant selections that provide beautiful foliage and floral displays throughout the season. The Chapel of Peace gardens also include flowering planters, a new patio with handmade wooden benches, and a large custom iron trellis with a climbing rose. The plantings and architectural features are designed to match the gothic architecture of our historic chapel.
In the Spring of 2020, new gardens were installed on either side of the historic gatehouse entrance of Laurel Hill East. These gardens were designed to feature pollinator-friendly flowering perennials and feature 20 different varieties of mostly native plants that flower consistently throughout the growing season, adding a welcoming entrance and beautifying our community, as well as providing a consistent food source for pollinators.
Nature’s Sanctuary is Laurel Hill West’s green burial area, which functions both as a natural burial site and as a managed successional native plant meadow. Carefully selected native perennials, shrubs, and trees provide seasonal interest to visitors and countless benefits to native pollinators and other wildlife. Nature’s Sanctuary is a SITES GOLD Landscape, the only cemetery landscape in the world to be awarded this honor.
The first thing you see when entering through the main gates of Laurel Hill East is the historic Old Mortality statue assemblage. A new rock garden was created in 2020 on the steep hillside beside the statues, featuring rare and interesting specimens of bulbs, ephemerals, and perennials that thrive on rocky slopes. The garden utilizes native Wissahickon schist as well as reclaimed architectural elements from the cemetery.