“Dancing on the Brink of the World”

A Photo Blog Series Showcasing the Diversity of Global Plantings of the Monterey Cypress

Volume I: Memorial

On Cypress Lawn’s first Arboretum Day, November 18, 2020, we will embrace the singular healing act of planting trees. We do so as a memorial, as a living tribute to the many souls that have been lost in the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic. In periods of tragedy — both around the world and across the span of human history — tree planting has long served as a beacon of hope, to raise the spirits of those in grief and to celebrate the life gone by.

The Monterey cypress, our namesake species here at the Cypress Lawn Arboretum, has taken root — truly across the planet — as a tree of particular memorial wonder. In my travels around the world, I have found these gentle giants shading headstones in lands as far as the United Kingdom and New Zealand. In Australia, as well, the Avenue of Honour movement to memorialize fallen soldiers of World Wars I and II has led to the planting of hundreds of Monterey cypresses, one for each human life lost.

The following photographs seek to showcase these international memorial plantings of Monterey cypress, a living legacy that the Cypress Lawn Arboretum is proud to carry forward with our pandemic memorial planting on Arboretum Day.

UNITED KINGDOM

HAMPSTEAD CEMETERY
BOROUGH OF CAMDEN, LONDON

NEW ZEALAND

ALL SAINTS ANGLICAN CHURCH
PREBBLETON, CHRISTCHURCH

BARNABAS ANGLICAN CHURCH
STOKE, NELSON

AUSTRALIA

AVENUES OF HONOUR, VICTORIA
HEXHAM

MORTLAKE

LARA

MODEWARRE

ELLERSLIE

In the months to come, this blog series will continue to share the photography of Cypress Lawn Arboretum Director, Josh Gevertz, in his ongoing international research tracing the global diaspora of Hesperocyparis macrocarpa, the Monterey cypressStay tuned, as well, for the upcoming short documentary film on the same subject, entitled “Dancing on the Brink of the World.”