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Greenville & Hockessin Life

Mt. Cuba Center Gears Up for Spring/Summer 2015

Apr 30, 2015 11:03AM ● By Kevin
Having just finished its biggest event of the year this past weekend, the Annual Wildflower Celebration, the Mt. Cuba Center looks toward lots of family fun this spring and summer. Below is a complete guide to things to do at the botanical garden in the warm weather this year, courtesy of Sara Levin Stevenson, Manager of Public Engagement.


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 habitats 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. 

With its support of bio-diverse communities, Mt. Cuba Center serves as a model for environmentally beneficial gardening. The gardens at Mt. Cuba Center represent a variety of natural settings that reflect local Piedmont habitats; from upland forests and meadows, to lowland ponds. Mt. Cuba Center also conducts original research on native plants in its Trial Garden and in over 500 acres of natural lands. 

Mt. Cuba Center offers a range of educational opportunities from introductory classes to in-depth certificate courses. Participate in gardening, conservation, art, or wellness classes. Go home with skills to beautify your landscape in an environmentally-friendly way. 

Come visit Mt. Cuba Center’s gardens and feel nature’s beauty all around you. Enjoy a picnic lunch, stroll through our renowned nature-inspired garden, and observe a variety of wildlife attracted to our diverse landscapes. 


General Admission 

Open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10 am – 4 pm, April through October. 

$10 Adults 

$5 Children ages 5 to 15 

Children under age 5 are free. 

Explore the gardens on your own or join one of our Garden Highlights Walks led by a friendly and knowledgeable guide. Available at 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm, each walk lasts about 45 minutes. Free with admission; no reservations required. 

Season Pass 

Visit as often as you like with a Season Pass. Reconnect with nature and become rejuvenated by the serenity of our beautiful and ever changing gardens. Bring friends and family for fun and discovery. Season Passes are available for unlimited admission on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, April – October. 

Passholders receive complimentary guest passes, a Mt. Cuba Center Selections plant, a 10% discount on Ecological Gardening Certificate courses, and a discount on regularly priced plants at Gateway Garden Center in Hockessin, DE. 

$45 Individual 

$90 Friends and Family (Admits Passholder and three guests per visit) 

Garden Art Pass 

Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 am – 3 pm, April through October. 

The Garden Art Pass provides special access to the gardens on days when the general public is not onsite. Bring your tripod or easel and enjoy the tranquility of Mt. Cuba Center as you capture its beauty. 


Garden Tours

Wednesdays or Thursdays, 10 am – 12 pm, April through October

Explore our gardens, learn about notable natives, and receive tips about sustainable gardening practices. Our two-hour tours are led by experienced Docents. Tickets are $10. Reserve a spot online at or by phone at 302.239.4244. Walk-ins are accepted on a space-available basis.

Have a group of ten or more? Contact [email protected] or call 302.239.8895 to arrange a private tour Wednesday through Sunday. 

Second Saturdays at Mt. Cuba Center

Join us for a special program on the second Saturday of every month. Enjoy family-friendly activities, thematic garden walks, and take home your own free native plant. All activities are included with admission.

Gift Certificates

Share Mt. Cuba Center with someone special by giving the gift of inspiration. Gift Certificates are available in any denomination and may be redeemed for admission, classes, passes, or merchandise. Call 302.239.4244 for information.

Plan Your Visit

Comfort and Accessibility

Comfortable outdoor walking shoes and weather-appropriate attire are recommended when visiting. Due to our rolling terrain and mulched paths, wheelchair accessibility is limited. Pets are not permitted.


Guests are invited to enjoy our picnic area, shaded by mature native trees. Plan to bring your picnic, as food and beverage are not sold onsite. Drinking water is available in the Main House. We encourage visitors to bring a reusable water bottle to help minimize waste and support Mt. Cuba Center’s commitment to conservation.

Garden Closures

For updated information regarding weather-related closures and cancellations, visit or call 302.239.4244 (option 3).

May Programs and Events

Delaware Nature Society Native Plant Sale 

Saturday, May 2 10 am – 4 pm 

Sunday, May 3 11 am – 4 pm 

Location: Coverdale Farm, 543 Way Road, Greenville, DE 19807 

Information: Call 302.239.2334 or visit 

The Delaware Nature Society Native Plant Sale features over 300 rare, unusual and favorite varieties of woody, herbaceous, and aquatic native plants for all growing conditions. This year’s theme, Blooms with Impact: Plants for People and Pollinators, is sure to please. Purchase plants introduced by Mt. Cuba Center at the sale. 

National Public Gardens Day 

Friday, May 8 

10 am – 4 pm 


Commemorate America’s public garden heritage with a complimentary visit to Mt. Cuba Center! Relax in our gardens, eat a picnic lunch, or take a leisurely stroll observing nature. Participate in family programs or guided walks and take home a free native plant. 

Spring Art-In 

All artists welcome 

Friday, May 15 (Rain Date: Friday, May 22) 

10 am – 4 pm 


Let your creativity bloom while you draw, paint, or photograph Mt. Cuba Center’s naturalistic gardens. Meet other participating artists and enjoy a lovely day of art and inspiration. 

Although this is a free event for participating artists, registration is required. Call Mt. Cuba Center at 302.239.8891, visit our website, or register onsite. Since parking is limited, early registration is strongly encouraged. Please note that Mt. Cuba Center is a carry-in, carry-out facility. For complete information please review the guidelines on our website. 

Join us for a day of art in Mt. Cuba Center’s gardens! 

GAR 814 Explore Native Orchids 

With Tom Mirenda 

Saturday, May 30 

1 pm – 3 pm 


Discover what makes native orchids so special. Join Smithsonian’s orchid expert Tom Mirenda as he explains the unique biology of orchids, why they are higher on the evolutionary tree, and their synergistic associations with pollinators. Find out why conservation measures are needed to save these American treasures and what you can do. Then take a garden tour enjoying orchids as part of the landscape. 

June Events

Millersville Conference: Native Plants in the Landscape

Wednesday – Saturday, June 3 to June 6 

Location: Millersville University, Millersville, PA 

Registration: Visit 

Native plants rock! Discover why. Join both novice native plant lovers and professional experts during this exciting conference on the campus of Millersville University in scenic Lancaster County. Intriguing native plant information, engaging speakers, and fun networking opportunities await you. This is a conference you don’t want to miss. 

August Programs and Events

CON 185 Native Orchid Field Trip 

With Bob Sprague 

Sunday, August 2 

8 am – 3:30 pm 


The Pine Barrens are not so barren after all! Join Bob Sprague for an extraordinary, close-up look at native orchids in their natural habitat. Visit special sites in the New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve to see these gems as well as interesting insectivorous plants that often accompany them. 

Register early as class size is limited. Limited busing and carpooling opportunities are available at [email protected] or call 302.239.8807. For those preferring to meet at the site, driving instructions are provided upon registration. Tour starts at 9:30 am. Be prepared for the weather and hiking rugged terrain, and bring a lunch. 

CON 811 Compost Workshop 

With Peter Schmidt, Eileen Boyle, David Korbonits, and Peter Shotzberger 

Thursday, August 20 

8:30 am – 5 pm 


(This class qualifies for the following professional credits: 4 APLD, 7 Delaware Nutrient Management, 1 DNLA, ISA, 4 NOFA.) 

Turn yard waste into a valuable asset! Initiating your own composting program can save time and money, resulting in more productive, chemical-free landscapes and reduced disposal costs. Discover a simple, easy way to use compost as a nutrient management tool and reduce, or eliminate, fertilizer and pesticide inputs. Learn composting techniques and visit Mt. Cuba Center’s composting operation with our staff. 

Peter Schmidt, arborist and co-founder of Compostwerks, transitioned his chemically-based soil practices to 100% organic. He shows how to make actively aerated compost tea, demonstrates application techniques, and discusses the applicable soil biology behind organic soils management. See the equipment used in composting, compost tea production, and application. 

This intensive one-day workshop is geared towards green professionals including arborists, landscape contractors, growers, ground maintenance professionals, and all interested in organic land management. Bring your lunch and be prepared to walk outdoors. 

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