The sustained freezing temperatures that hit Georgia in late December had a devastating impact on Oakland Cemetery’s gardens. Sadly, we have lost thousands of plants quintessential to Oakland – standard, hardy plants that have thrived here for decades. Some of our losses include:
- Oakland’s broadleaf evergreens, including tea olives and camellias. It seems these plants have sustained significant damage in particular. Almost all the tea olives in the Cemetery have defoliated and we do not know if they will recover.
- Rosemary. We have lost 90% of Oakland’s iconic and beloved rosemary, planted extensively throughout the grounds for its symbolism of remembrance.
- Other plants are beginning to show delayed signs of damage and we are monitoring them daily. We are still waiting to see if certain plants and trees will recover.
Unfortunately, the damage caused by the arctic blast wasn’t limited to Oakland’s gardens. Burst pipes and power outages resulted in the death of more than half the plants nurtured in our greenhouse. These impacts have brought to light the fragility of the greenhouse’s original infrastructure and the need for repairs and enhancements to better prepare the building for extreme weather. This includes installing new heating, ventilation, and plumbing systems.
We estimate that we have lost about $50,000 worth of plants. Repairs and enhancements to the greenhouse will total about $25,000. Total, we’re looking to raise at least $75,000 to restore Oakland’s gardens and greenhouse.
For our gardens and greenhouse to recover from the damage caused by this once-in-a-generation weather event, we’re going to need your help. Please consider donating to Oakland’s gardens recovery fund today.