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  • Mark Coyne

Last Week in the Cemetery (Week of July 25)

Posted August 4, 2022 by M.S. Coyne

A navy feather flag with the text "African Cemetery No.2" is posted in a small grassy area surrounded by bushes with a brown pickup truck parked behind it.

Last week in the Cemetery was HOT, WET, and MUGGY. The younger trees really needed the timely rain after the hot dry spell we experienced in mid-July.

A large Crepe Myrtle tree with white blooms in a grassy cemetery next to a grey headstone.
Crepe Myrtle

All the rain means the cemetery has started to green-up and soon it will be time to mow and trim. Daylillies (Hemerocalis spp.) have died back (a small patch of heirloom Daylillies are still in bloom).

A group of black-eyed susan flowers which are yellow with a black center surrounded by other green plant life and a small tree.
Black-Eyed Susans

The Crepe Myrtle

(Lagerstroemia spp.) are in full bloom and the Black-Eyed Susans(Rudbeckia hirta).

We finished placing gravel at the front gates.

Next we will be edging the 7th St. curb and putting mulch underneath the front fence to make trimming and mowing easier – and complement the new flowers at the gates (which are attracting their share of pollinators).

The landscaping debris pile at the back of the cemetery is growing again. Trimming the fence line is scheduled for the coming months. Arbor Vitae (American arborvitae, Arbor vitae) on the Shropshire side of the cemetery were becoming overrun with Wild Grape (Vitis vinifera) vines and removing these also generated a lot of new material. (If you know anyone with an interest in basket and wreath weaving from vines let them know we have a ready supply!)

(We also have a small stash of Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) that may interest wood workers. If you’re one of them, contact Mark Coyne at

Did you know that an effective, if temporary, way to control groundhogs is putting used kitty litter in their burrows? We spent last week putting kitty litter ‘bombs’ donated by neighbors (their cats actually) in burrow openings that were in unacceptable locations (like, the middle of an open grass patch). Previously, this approach drove the groundhogs out of the cemetery proper where they can damage the markers. As part of a ground hog ‘truce,’ there is one undisturbed burrow hidden beneath a large Forsythia (Forsythia spp.) bush in the center of the cemetery. Hopefully they will get the message.

One other animal note. Last week a Yellow Finch (American goldfinch, Spinus tristis) was spotted in the cemetery. Our first. We’d love to have birders visit the cemetery and let us know what kind of diversity we have.

Remember that if you or your group would like to contribute a few hours of service maintaining African Cemetery No. 2, please contact Mark Coyne at to plan a visit.

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