New Garden in the Works at Mt. Cuba

A traditional design with contemporary flair will delight visitors next spring.

Installation of an exciting new native perennial garden at Mt. Cuba Center is underway. Planting will begin in fall to unveil the new South Garden in spring, an area originally designed by famed landscape architect Marian Coffin. “We’ve kept all of the built features and made newly clear the spatial relationships shown in Coffin’s 1950 blueprints,” says Travis Beck, director of horticulture for Mt. Cuba Center. “We’ve changed the plantings, however, to better fit current conditions and to engage our visitors more.”

The design for the South Garden takes inspiration from traditional English perennial borders, then adds contemporary flair to create a celebration of color and texture that will be a delight from spring to fall. Located in a sunny area of the Formal Gardens adjacent to the Main House, the South Garden promises to showcase native plants as you have never seen them before. “Mt. Cuba Center is renowned for its naturalistic gardens, but we also seek to inspire people with ways to incorporate native plants in traditional garden beds,” says Jeff Downing, Mt. Cuba Center’s executive director.

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Mt. Cuba Center is a botanical garden that inspires an appreciation for the beauty and value of native plants and a commitment to protect the environments that sustain them. Over the past 70 years the gardens at Mt. Cuba Center have evolved, transforming fallow cornfields into thriving, ecologically functional landscapes, thanks to the initiative of Mr. and Mrs. Lammot du Pont Copeland. The gardens represent a variety of natural settings that reflect local piedmont habitats, from upland forests and meadows to lowland ponds.

Mt. Cuba Center conducts original research on native plants in its Trial Garden and in over 500 acres of natural lands. Mt. Cuba Center also offers a range of educational opportunities, from introductory classes to in-depth certificate courses. For more,


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