I shot these images of Vick Cemetery’s central monument one year ago. It was a whole, hot, disrespectful mess.
But here was the monument earlier this month, on the morning of our Reconsecration ceremony. Hats off to the Cemetery Commission’s grounds crew, who lopped, chopped, yanked, swept, edged, power-washed, and mulched this area to decency earlier this year.
Photos by Lisa Y. Henderson, August 2022 and August 2023.
Last week, my sister sent photos of the city’s surprising recent landscape work at Vick Cemetery.
I don’t know if the Cemetery Commission has an actual plan for Vick’s upkeep, but this is certainly an improvement over the gloomy, leaf-strewn, dirt-encrusted copse that enshrouded the memorial obelisk for years. The dead cherry trees and dying junipers have been removed, and the hulking hollies limbed up to allow air and light to penetrate the space.
The asymmetry of the sidewalk and brick pavers plucks my nerves, but I’m trying to focus on “big picture.”
The monument is at the high point of the cemetery, and no doubt sits atop dozens of graves. For almost 30 years, it has been the sole grave marker in Vick Cemetery.
Photos courtesy of Karla M. Henderson-Jackson, April 2023.
We love the growing partnerships we’re building with creatives, companies, and even corporations. Lane Street Project can use everyone’s gifts and talents!
Drew Wilson, Chris Facey, Anita Pouchard Serra, Mateo Ruiz Gonzalez, George E. Freeney Jr., and Keith Danemiller are among the photographers who have turned their discerning eyes to LSP, capturing — literally and figuratively — the work we do at Odd Fellows, Vick and Rountree Cemeteries. Add Bo Baines to the cadre:
Last workday, volunteer Cameron Homes of Homes Landscaping Inc of Wilson offered professional guidance for tackling removal of wisteria, privet, briars, and other invasive plants. We’re pleased that his advice affirms much of what we’ve been doing to date. Homes suggests that we:
- Remove scattered dead brush other than pine straw and leaves to the parking lot curbside via tarp-loads. Also remove dead and dying hanging vines insofar as they are safely accessible. [We’ve been raking the ground cover away, but this is essentially mulch and will help keep down weedy new growth.]
- Do not disturb yucca, daffodils, or other decorative plants. [We’ve been preaching this! Families placed these plants at graves, often in lieu of expensive stone or concrete markers. Wisteria is the exception to this rule.]
- Place brush in neat piles of lengths of about 6 feet for claw truck collection by the city’s Sanitation Department.
- Clip wisteria and privet growth at a height about two feet above the ground so that their leafy spring growth will be easier to identify and treat with sprayed defoliant.
- Establish limited paths cleared to ground level for access to interior locations; remove brush via tarps and light wheeled equipment.
- Remove only specified dead or damaged trees and live invasive trees to near ground level. [This work can be dangerous and should be done only by experienced teams of volunteers.]
- Remove trash and other identified debris to parking lot curb in large heavy duty black bags. Buried trash can be carefully dug out of the ground using tined digging forks. [Piles of trash often line former access ways used by vehicles to dump. Before removing a pile, please photo the area and get a GPS location reading with your phone. (Ask a LSP team member for help if needed.) We’d like to plot these points to map out these pathways. Anybody know a Boy Scout looking for a project??]
Thank you, Cameron and Bo!
Chainyball trees, as they are locally called, are small, multi-trunked trees that produce copious yellow drupes in fall. These fruit persist well into winter and create a noisome sludge when they fall and rot. Though now widely regarded as an invasive species and a “trash tree,” the chinaberry tree, Melia azedarach, was once as common in East Wilson landscapes as the still-popular crepe myrtle.
“Chainy balls” in late December.
Chinaberry tree in front of a South Lodge Street house.