Want to get involved?
The Grave Gardeners are a group more than 100 volunteer gardeners who have been assigned a cradle grave to adopt at The Woodlands through the growing season. Most gardeners live or work in our community of West Philadelphia, but we also have gardeners from all over the area. The skill level of volunteers ranges from people who are brand new to gardening, to seasoned master gardeners.
All volunteers attend a series of introductory workshops before they begin gardening, to set the context for the program. The Woodlands works with community partners to coordinate workshops covering gardening basics, the history of the rural cemetery movement and early horticulture in Philadelphia, tips on conducting historical research about grave residents, and finally, specifics about heirloom and Victorian plants. Gardeners then attend a planting day in early spring where they prep and plant their gardens.
The Woodlands provides gardeners with plant material in the form of seedlings, bulbs, and seeds. We also host twilight gardening workdays throughout the season to provide general assistance, and a space for volunteers socialize with fellow Grave Gardeners.
Applications are accepted for each season beginning in January. We try to include as many volunteers as possible, however due to the overwhelming popularity of the program we have to limit the group to 150. Want to apply to be a gardener next season? Join The Woodlands mailing list below to stay updated on information about the Grave Gardeners, 2019 application deadlines, and to learn about other volunteer opportunities and events at The Woodlands!