Sam Hoadley, Horticultural Research Manager at Mt. Cuba Center discussed the former du Pont Copeland estate, now a garden center committed to supporting native plants and their habitats. Today the site features formal gardens, trails, a trial garden, and new for 2022, a woodland glade. He explained the center connects nature lovers with programs that inspire and educate, both onsite and virtually through award-winning gardening, conservation, art, and wellness classes. He notes Mt. Cuba is committed to protecting open spaces and conserving native plants throughout our region and helped to conserve 13,846 acres to date.
We discussed the value of these native specimens, their hardiness, low maintenance and value to the ground, the water and the nature around them. Sam encouraged us all to try Conservation by Addition,’ adding just one native plant to our environment, whether it’s a large yard or a container garden on the patio.
Sam also discussed his own work, evaluating native plants in Mt. Cuba’s Trial Garden to determine their horticultural and ecological values and his current project, studying varieties of hydrangea.
Mt Cuba is open for general admission Wednesday through Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm, April through November. Upcoming programs include Wildflower Weekends on April 29, 30, and May 1, Sam’s own Hydrangeas for Every Garden which discusses how to successfully incorporate and care for these versatile shrubs in your home landscape, Drawing and Painting Hydrangeas online with Mindy Lighthipe in May and Shinrin-yoku: Forest Bathing with Anisa George.
Details for these events and more, flower and shrub information and planting guides, plus hours and how to visit Mt Cuba are found at mtcubacenter.org.