There is no place that gives me greater peace of mind than an old cemetery — the kind with circuitous paths, dotted with ancient yew trees — those antique burial grounds designed for a stroll and a picnic, for the living to take comfort in the presence of those who have come before us. As a scholar of early women writers and of garden literature, I was delighted, some years ago, to stumble across the grave of the great English novelist George Eliot in London’s Highgate Cemetery, that most celebrated of memorial gardens. When she died in 1880, it was still fashionable to plant a raised bed adjacent to the headstone. When I showed up more than a century later, the little garden bed — her grave — was badly in need of weeding. And so I weeded. For me, intellectual and artistic energy comes from the sense of place I develop working in communities of the living — in my town’s produce donation garden, say — yet it also comes from meandering among communities of the past, through a landscape steeped in history and memory.