About four years ago, Larry Thompson took a closer look at the Old Burying Ground in Clinton.
“I could see it needed some attention,’’ he said. “So pruned some of the trees and planted some seeds.’’
Once spring hits, people who drive past Thompson’s yard on Sanford Avenue often slow down to gaze at the hundreds of flowers that pop up in the front and back yards. “It’s a hobby,’’ he said.
His wife Rita encouraged him to train some of that horticulture knowledge on the Old Burying Ground. “I started with the soil,’’ he said. “It was sandy at first and plants dried out in the heat and rain.’’
The Long Island native served in the U.S. Army during Vietnam and came to this area afterwards to attend Mohawk Valley Community College. “I met my wife and never left,’’ he said.
His education of perennials, annuals and all things that grow green comes from having started his own gardens about 35 years ago. “I probably have more flowers in my yard than anyone else in Clinton,’’ Thompson said.
His hobby became something of a year-round occupation; right now he’s going through seed catalogs to figure out what to order. That will be for both his own yard and the historic cemetery.
The Town of Kirkland mows the cemetery, but often there’s no extra time to build and tend to flowers. As Thompson weeded and tidied up the cemetery, he said he felt a duty to those buried there….