Buried in Roses

Literally. There’s an old cemetery in North Dunedin beautifully situated alongside the Dunedin Botanic Gardens arboretum and near Lovelock Bush. We went there for the first time two or three weeks ago and were charmed by the old graves with their statues and little rusting railings, the trees, and the roses just coming into bloom. Soon after, Ted Jennings from South Carolina posted a photo of an old cemetery in Charleston and it inspired me to have a go myself here in Dunedin. “GO !!!!” said Ted, so finally on Sunday evening 19 Nov, I was able to get Nigel to take me back to the old cemetery…

Not familiar with the cemetery, I didn’t know where to start and also short on time with the sun setting, I rushed around erratically with my cellphone camera.

And found this.


It was charming, buried as it was under the rampant rose. I carefully stepped over the low railing and stole up to the hidden headstone, edging my way in and gingerly pushing away the prickly rose stems. And what did I see? …

How delightful! Hidden by the rose foliage was … a rose !!!!


There was no hint on the epitaph to suggest that the deceased had any interest in roses. So what was I able to decipher?

The first detail I could read was the name… JOHN BROWN


And I could make out fairly easily that John Brown was “A native of Kilmarnock, Scotland” and that he died in October, 1883 “Aged 48 years“.


John Brown was “Many years clerk and storekeeper at the Lunatic Asylum Dunedin” and the memorial was “erected by the officers and staff of the institution as a mark of the respect and esteem in which he was held by them”.

RIP John Brown


Posted by Exploring Colour (2017)


17 thoughts on “Buried in Roses

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    1. I’m posting another cemetery post tonight but then back to normal. This was just a little challenge to see what I could put together from visiting the old cemetery and its been really interesting to do!


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