Now that the spring equinox has arrived and winter seems to be coming to an end this is a good time to be visiting cemeteries. The vegetation will have died back and you can often find little gems which would normally be covered by undergrowth.
But cemeteries also attract many spring flowers as I discovered when I went to photograph Dr James Barry’s tombstone in Kensal Green cemetery recently. It was a March day and was initially overcast. But eventually the sun decided to make an appearance despite the slight nip in the air.
As I walked up the main avenue to the Anglican Chapel I noticed that in some areas the large swathes of flowers almost flowed like a colourful carpet between the graves and memorials. The backdrop of grey granite, pensive angels, crosses, Turkish men and many others emphasised their bright colours. Yellows, pinks, blues, whites and purples: they were all reminders that life goes on. Some graves were an absolute riot of nodding flower heads as the breeze made them move.
Snowdrops are often seen in churchyards. They are traditionally associated with Candlemas Day on February 2 and are often known as ‘the passing of sorrow.’ They are also called corpse flowers as the unopened bloom has been said to resemble a lifeless body in a shroud.
Here are some of the flowers that I saw, both in Kensal Green and also in my local churchyard: