4 Reasons To Visit The Scattering Garden

The scattering garden for cremated remains has been part of the cemetery for decades, but you might have missed it on your previous visits.

Although located near the entrance and adjacent to the main office, the scattering garden had become overgrown, heavily shaded and the paths crowded and uneven.

Here are four reasons to pay the scattering garden a visit:

1. You’ll enjoy beautiful views. 
Part of the renovation of the scattering garden involved thinning overgrowth, which will bring more light and warmth to the area. Relaxing in the dappled sunlight on one of the five new benches in the garden, you’ll enjoy beautiful views of the Murdock Fountain and the largest of the cemetery’s four ponds.

2. Sit amongst a beautiful diversity of plants, shrubs and trees.
The planting design includes 41 different species of plants. We planted 37 new trees and 124 new shrubs this spring and are planning to plant nearly 3,000 perennial and ground cover plants later this summer.

Featured plants include: 

  •  The European Beech specimen tree planted south of the Scattering Garden. 
  • Twenty Cherokee Princess Dogwoods planted throughout the entire garden to create a flowering canopy overhead in May. 
  • Forty Catawba Rhododendron planted around the garden to enclose the space and show off a mass of bloom in early June.

3. Cremated remains aren’t actually “scattered.”
They’re buried in the garden and aren’t visible to visitors.  Each burial is tracked and recorded by the cemetery team. We took great care during the renovation not to disturb any existing burials in the garden. 

4. Witness what will continue to be a major trend for cremated remains. 
At the beginning of the 20th century cremation was almost unheard of in the United States. Last year, over 50% of deaths involved cremation. Scattering gardens are gaining popularity in cemeteries and families are exploring other options. The Washington Post reported on a group of Maryland residents that are asking their city to set up the country’s first municipal scattering garden – a patch of public land where residents could bury cremated remains. As the name suggests, these informal burial grounds could be scattered in many places in years to come.

The scattering garden at Newton Cemetery is open to the public every day of the year including Sundays and holidays from 8:00am until dusk. The summer grounds hours are 8:00am to 8:00pm.