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Greenville & Hockessin Life

Mt. Cuba Center begins installation of new garden design

Jul 15, 2015 12:57PM ● By J. Chambless

Installation is underway of an exciting new native perennial garden at Mt Cuba Center in Hockessin. Planting begins in the fall of 2015 and Mt. Cuba Center will unveil the South Garden in spring of 2016.

Noted landscape architect Marian Coffin originally designed this area. Director of Horticulture Travis Beck explains, “We’ve kept all of the built features and made newly clear the spatial relationships shown in Coffin’s 1950 blueprints. 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 never 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.

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.

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