Landscape of St Thomas' Rest Park - Crows Nest, NSW, Australia
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Grahame Cookie
S 33° 49.433 E 151° 12.414
56H E 334059 N 6255925
This is the one of the seven History Signs on the converted Cemetery, that details the Flora found here, in the Rest Park.
Waymark Code: WMY5MZ
Location: New South Wales, Australia
Date Posted: 04/26/2018
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member NCDaywalker
Views: 1

While the other six History Signs detail other aspects of the Cemetery, this one (#6), has the following information about the flora of the Park.

#6 The Cultivated Landscape

The Commemorative Tree

In front of you is the majestic Cypress (Juniperus bermudiana), the most significant tree in the Rest Park. Known as the Commemorative Tree, it is the only example of symbolic planting remaining in the Rest Park. This specimen is believed to have been planted soon after the Cemetery was consecrated.

It is even possible that this tree may have been one of a number of Cypresses planted by Alexander Berry in May 1850. Berry stated that 'the Cypresses were the only trees planted around Mrs Berry's Tomb which thrive well and as they are very durable and need little care I mean to plant no other'.

The Commemorative Tree c.1970 Unlike many other cemeteries, memorial tree planting was not a significant feature of the St. Thomas' Cemetery landscape. [Cropped from #6 History Sign]

Trees of this plant family have been traditionally grown near places of burial, and are associated with funerals and mourning practices in many different civilisations. Wood from the Bermuda Cypress has been used to make coffins due to its durability. The trees were heavily logged in their natural environment, and few large specimens remain.

Most of the other trees, shrubs and groundcovers which surround you were planted in the 1970's when the Cemetery was converted to a rest park. This planting scheme aimed to recreate the original vegetation community which would have existed prior to European settlement. Turpentines, with their sombre grey-green leaves, were used to form a backdrop to the historic sections of the Rest Park, and groves od Casuarinas, Acacias and Banksias were used to screen the site from its surrounds and to attract native birds.

Trees which were retained when the new planting was carried out included Brush Boxes, Pittosporums and the large Wattle located near the Commemorative Tree. The massive Blackbutt (Eucalyptus pilularis) you can see in the north-west corner of the Rest Park is a remnant of the natural forest which covered this area prior to European settlement.

Visited: 0858, Saturday, 2 December, 2017

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