Graveside Chat: West Laurel Hill Blog

Nature's Sanctuary Update: Winter/Early Spring

Nature's Sanctuary Update: Winter/Early Spring

Nature’s Sanctuary, West Laurel Hill’s green burial section, went through a restoration with the help of Adam Supplee, our landscape architect from Alta Planning + Design. After a full year of new plantings, we know what to expect each season!

As spring begins to tempt the trees and plants to emerge early this year, we have already begun to see a preview of what’s in store this spring at Nature’s Sanctuary. The maples are flowering, and the buds on many other trees and shrubs are swelling. The witchazel towards the rear of nature’s sanctuary is in bloom. Although some of these changes are appearing sooner than usual, a new wave of cold weather will likely pause the growth.


Last spring, tree seedlings were planted along the steep slope leading towards the Cynwyd Trail. The seedlings have been nurtured in their protective tube shelters for the entire year, out of the sight of hungry deer and rabbits. The weather has been relatively favorable to these fragile seedlings, and we hope to see trees begin to emerge from the top of the shelters this year.


Last year’s meadow plants built up strong root systems to hold over during the winter season and they are will soon emerge with vigorous new growth as the basal greens begin to transform. Many of the flowering meadow plants including Purple Coneflower, Columbine and Beebalm finished their flower cycle last year by dropping seeds. Some of these seeds may take two years or more to germinate, and even longer to show up as flowers. Now is a great time to begin taking some slow walks through Nature’s Sanctuary and observe the changes and growth that will be noticeable week to week throughout the spring season.



Signs of spring! The dormant plants beginning to emerge in Nature’s Sanctuary!

Check back in a few months to learn about the spring/summer plants!