The Cemetery Lilies


During a routine cleanup a few weeks ago, I was spraying the Johnson grass yet again when I noticed that the lilies in the Lower Section were making their annual appearance. Like the Hagerdorn Rosebush, these centuries old day-lilies are not watered or maintained. But every year, they bloom and give us beautiful, natural decorations. While some bulbs appear in scattered places, most of these appear to have been intentionally planted on certain graves. I have to wonder, who planted these, and why?

The tradition of placing flowers on graves goes back thousands of years to the funeral rites of Green warriors. Flowers were planted on their graves with the belief that if they took root, it was a sign from the departed that they had found happiness in the afterlife. Since lilies are traditionally associated with purity and innocence that has been restored to the soul of the departed, it makes sense that this would be the type of flower planted on the graves, particularly those of the Naegeli children.

So who planted them? Was it a parent or sibling who wanted a special way to honor their loved one? And why are they only one some graves and not others? Whatever the case may be, these lilies are yet another lovely gem in the Jaeger Witte Cemetery. Make plans to come up around April and see them in full bloom!

Naegeli children


Hagedorne grave (background)

In between brothers Rudolph and Fritz von Bieberstein


Albert Naegeli’s grave (note–restoration efforts are forthcoming to repair this headstone)


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