Sweet Auburn: The Magazine of the Friends A Landscape of Remembrance and Reflection - Page 16

to its fullest potential. Focusing on native plantings was still uncommon in landscape design at the time, and Mount Auburn became an early adopter of what has since become an important part of ecologically sustainable horticulture practices. As Craig recalls, “In those days there weren’t a lot of native plants on the market. I was ready to give up and say, maybe we should use something else...it might not be exactly native, but we can find a workaround. But Claude was totally determined to find the native. Looking back on it, he was right. There was something about using the native plants that looked like it had been there forever, and looked like it belonged.” Consecration Dell’s restoration, which our staff has spent over two decades expanding upon in stages, is now one of the most dramatic examples of how the master plan was realized at Mount Auburn. Long after the master plan’s completion, Craig (pictured left with Dave Barnett in 2008 and below with Dennis Collins in 2019) has remained deeply involved here, allowing him to witness the many changes take effect across the Cemetery. Along with the team at Halvorson Design Partnership, he has been part of numerous follow-up projects implementing more of the plan’s recommendations, including the interment space at Birch Gardens, the landscape outside of Bigelow Chapel, and the 2018 redesign of Asa Gray Garden. Even after officially retiring from his role as Founding Principal of the firm, he has taken an active role in the planting process in addition to the design work, a change that he has found extremely gratifying: “I wouldn’t have been out there directing plantings, doing planting at that time, it was more of an overview. Now it’s getting more into the detail and trying to fit it into the theory.” He has enjoyed seeing how deeply our longtime staff members have internalized the master plan: “They actually know it better than me in a lot of ways!” Looking ahead to our next major project, Indian Ridge, Craig has consulted with Pat Cullina and our Horticultural Curator Dennis Collins on the landscape design. “I love the idea of doing Indian Ridge....It’s going on the historic theme, but it’s editing the landscape. I think doing that and doing it properly to open up views, and thinking about how it connects better to Auburn Lake and on the other side, Halcyon...it’s a part of the whole experience around this area....I think it’s going to make a huge difference in the landscape.” As Craig continues to return for each of these projects, one of the most meaningful aspects—both for him and for everyone at Mount Auburn—is getting to see how his original work, which began thirty years ago, has come to life across the Cemetery. “I think of all the master plans we’ve done over time, this is the one that I’m probably most proud of at this point,” he says. “For me, what’s much more rewarding than the master plan is seeing it happen....It’s not a theory anymore. It’s coming into reality.” 14