Mt. Cuba Center
The flowers of the Foamflower (Tiarella). Photo taken at the Mt. Cuba Center where it was identified
|Nearest city||Hockessin, Delaware|
|Area||7.4 acres (3.0 ha)|
|Architectural style||Colonial Revival|
|NRHP Reference #||03000172|
|Added to NRHP||April 2, 2003|
Mt. Cuba Center is a non-profit botanical garden and historical preserve located on Barley Mill Road outside of Hockessin, Delaware, near Wilmington, Delaware, in the gently rolling hills of the Delaware Piedmont. It preserves rural pastures and fields, protects local forests, and includes various woodland wildflower gardens and formal landscapes. Its woodland gardens produce some of the most spectacular displays of wildflowers in the mid-Atlantic region. The Center is open to the public for reserved guided tours and Open Days self-guided visitation.
Mt. Cuba's well-documented plant collection is focused on the study of eastern North American flora, with emphasis on the Appalachian Piedmont. The collections hold over 6,500 accessions. Horticultural research focuses on Coreopsis, Heuchera, Baptisia, and Trillium. Mt. Cuba Center is a "national collection" holder for Hexastylis and Trillium. Several of its introductions are widely popular, including Aster laevis 'Bluebird', Aster novae-angliae 'Purple Dome' and Solidago sphacelata 'Golden Fleece'.
The Center encompasses a diverse set of grounds, ranging from a Lilac Alleé, Formal Garden, and South Terrace to more natural gardens including the Dogwood Path, Meadow, Pond Garden, West Slope Path, Woods Path and Rock Wall.
Mt. Cuba Center started as the vision of the late Mr. and Mrs. Lammot du Pont Copeland, who began acquiring land near Wilmington, Delaware in 1935, and completed construction of their Colonial Revival house in 1937. During the late 1930s, formal areas were designed first by the prominent Philadelphia landscape architect Thomas W. Sears and later, in the 1950s, by noted landscape designer Marian Cruger Coffin.
The naturalistic gardens were developed 1965-1971 under the design of Seth Kelsey, a Harvard-trained landscape architect from Massachusetts, to feature native trees, shrubs, and native wildflowers. In the early 1980s, with input from director Dr. Richard W. Lighty, the Copelands expanded their gardening to encompass the entire Piedmont region. After Mr. Copeland's death in 1983, Mrs. Copeland continued garden development and refinement. Mrs. Copeland died in 2001.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
- Susan Brizzolara Wojcik (June 2002). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Mount Cuba". National Park Service. and accompanying 15 photos
- Mt. Cuba Center website
- Brandywine 10
- Pamela C. and Lammot du Pont Copeland family photographs (1810-1994) at Hagley Museum and Library
- Copeland family papers at Hagley Museum and Library