Fall colors along the Eastern Sierras in California. Photo by Josh Endres.
From its humble little-yellow-daisy beginnings, the chrysanthemum has risen to dizzying heights of popularity and exploded in a bounty of forms and colors. Yet the flower's ubiquity somehow makes mums only more charming. They're the first choice of proud moms for homecoming corsages; their exquisite forms draw thousands to flower shows; and, come autumn, they dominate prime counter space at garden centers.
Try to picture what cemeteries were like a couple hundred years ago—maybe you better not. The standard practice in Europe and the United States was interment in churchyard burial grounds, and by the late 1700s these places had reached a critical level of overcrowding, with bodies even stacked atop one another. In an effort to ease this appalling situation, and as an extension of the popular “picturesque” style of landscape design, the rural or garden cemetery movement began, in which large park-like settings were designed as non-denominational burial sites.