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How does CWGC chooses flowers?


Smith64
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I've seen that in some cemeteries in the Somme all the graves have more or less the same flowers (and I remember somebody posted some beautiful photos of a cemetery where all the graves had red roses), whereas in others there are different plants....

So I wondered who decided what to plant (does it all depends on the gardeners and on what is available at that moment? Or are any "directives"?), and if there is a list of varieties used, or (just to make an example) a "red rose" is just any variety of red rose among all the existing ones...

Does anybody knows it?

Elena

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Guest KevinEndon

There is a page on the CWGC site that lists all the flowers used and in what areas and the reason why,

hope that helps

Kevin

ps It was on the forum before but I cannot find it, sorry

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It's a very good question, Elena!

There are notable red rose cemeteries on the Somme, such as Grevillers, Bienvillers and Auchonvillers Military (shown below)

VBR0001_1.jpg

Euston Road and Guillemont Road cemeteries are predominantly pink rose cemeteries, whilst Munich Trench is a yellow rose cemetery.

Many Somme cemeteries have no roses at all, and (I am ready to be corrected) but I don't think I've ever seen white roses used in these cemeteries. It would be interesting to know whether a tradition of a kind is being used in these cases, or whether these planting regimes are rotated over the years.

What I do know is that these 'differences' only serve to enhance the sense of uniqueness or individuality which each of these cemeteries has. This is what the CWGC was aiming for at the outset, I'm sure, and it's quite a feat when you consider how similar to each other these wonderful places might otherwise seem.

Bryan

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The CWGC do a great job on the botanical front and I would imagine they will have input from enviromentalists and zoologists, lepidopterists etc - the butterflies seen on the Somme can be just spectacular - and of course they are there for the flower's nectar.

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On the lepidoptera front, Ian, here's a case in point - small tortoiseshell, peacock and comma on the same bunch of Mickelmas daisies at Queant Road, last October (a red admiral had just left the group!):

QUEANTROAD.jpg

Bryan

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Beautiful photos, Bryan!

I too don't remember any white roses, but it's possible that they are in some cemeteries I haven't seen, or maybe they suffered from the bad weather of last summer and didn't bloom much making them almost unnoticeable...I don't know.

In one of the documents of CWGC there is a list of varieties of roses, I'll check the colours! But some of them "sound" as they should be white ("Iceberg" and "Dove" for example....) though maybe they are a different colour (I'll google the names and see some photos!).

But I like that even when there are different types of flowers, there is a general layout for the cemetery and plants are not just mixed at random, CWGC really makes a great work with that.

Elena

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The choice of plants in the cemeteries is down to the head gardener/senior head gardener in charge of the cemetery. They are chosen from a list of approved plants. White roses are used but reds make more of an impact against the white headstones.

Mick

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I've seen that in some cemeteries in the Somme all the graves have more or less the same flowers (and I remember somebody posted some beautiful photos of a cemetery where all the graves had red roses), whereas in others there are different plants....

Elena

That might be this one, again of Auchonvillers Military Cemetery, but from another angle.

post-927-1204452560.jpg

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According to my printed copy of CWGC "Border Planting and Design" the selection of Roses used in Europe are predominately Yellow, pink, red and orange, the two white roses which are used are Iceberg and Yvonne Rabier.

John

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I knew someone would have an example to show!

Thank you for those white roses, Versigny.

They do look an unusual sight.

Bryan

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Just wish that the red rose planted right in front of my dad's cousin's grave stone at Delville Wood was to one side of it - very prickly trying to lay a wreath in front of the stone.

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