Mt. Cuba Center will kick off the spring early this year and offer more opportunities for the public to explore the gardens. The gardens at Mt. Cuba Center will now be open for general admission on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The public is also invited to enjoy Mt. Cuba Center's Garden Tours, Second Saturdays programming, free events, and a range of educational courses from introductory to advanced.
"The gardens at Mt. Cuba Center are exquisite this time of year. We want everyone to be able to experience them, which is why we are extending our weekend visitation hours and offering many exciting programs," said Jeff Downing, Mt. Cuba Center's Executive Director.
Visitation at Mt. Cuba Center
This year, Mt. Cuba Center will be open for spring general admission starting on April 3. The gardens are now open to the public on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, April through October, from 10 am to 4 pm. The cost of general admission for adults is $10 and $5 for children between the ages of 5 and 15. The public is welcome to explore the gardens on their own or join a Garden Highlights Walk, which lasts about 45 minutes and begins at 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm.
Season Passes are available for unlimited admission on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, April through October. Pass holders 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. The cost is $45 for an Individual Season Pass or $90 for a Friends and Family Season Pass. The Garden Art Pass provides special access to the gardens when they are closed to the public on Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 10 am to 3 pm, April through October, and costs $50.
The gardens at Mt. Cuba Center feature spectacular native plants and trees in full bloom and represent a variety of natural settings that reflect local Piedmont habitats, from upland forests and meadows to lowland ponds. With its support of bio-diverse communities, Mt. Cuba Center serves as a model for environmentally beneficial gardening. Experienced Docents lead two-hour garden tours on Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 10 am to 12 pm. Participants will learn about notable native plants and receive tips about sustainable gardening practices. Spring garden tours begin on April 1.
On the second Saturday of every month, Mt. Cuba Center offers a special program for visitors. Programming includes themed garden walks, interactive programming, and participants are given a native plant to take home. The Second Saturday program on April 11 will feature ephemerals, early spring wildflowers that come and go before the tree canopy leafs out, with display stations on trillium and activities centered on early spring wildflowers. Participants will create art out of ephemerals and CD cases. On May 9, the Second Saturday program will focus on the importance of water in gardens.
Upcoming Events at Mt. Cuba Center
Mt. Cuba Center's 11th Annual Wildflower Celebration will be held rain or shine on Sunday, April 26, from 10 am to 4 pm. This free event is an opportunity to enjoy the stunning display of spring ephemerals and stroll through the native plant gardens at their peak. Other activities include live music, family-friendly programming, and gardening demonstrations on a variety of topics, including how to identify invasive plants and how to brighten a garden using native plants. The first 1,000 families will receive a free plant.
National Public Gardens Day
Mt. Cuba Center invites the public to commemorate America's public garden heritage with a complimentary visit. National Public Gardens Day will take place at Mt. Cuba Center on Friday, May 8, from 10 am to 4 pm. Participants can relax in Mt. Cuba Center's gardens, take a guided walk, participate in a family-friendly program, and take home a free native plant. This year's programming will be focused on how to live in harmony with garden wildlife.
Mother's Day Picnic Baskets
Mother's Day is Sunday, May 10, and this year, Mt. Cuba Center is offering picnic baskets created by Toscana in Wilmington. Visitors are invited to bask in Mt. Cuba's elegant gardens and celebrate Mother's Day with a picnic basket for four ($80). Due to limited availability, visitors are required to reserve a picnic basket with Toscana directly: 302-655-8600.
Mt. Cuba Center Offers Courses for Beginners and Budding Artists
Gardening for Beginner's Day
Another new spring highlight is Mt. Cuba Center's Gardening for Beginners Day, a series of introductory courses on Saturday, April 11. Participants may enroll in one or all three lectures to discover sustainable gardening strategies that save time and money. Intro to Eco-Gardening is the first course of the day and covers the fundamentals of gardening. The second course, Plant This, examines resilient plants that can survive almost anywhere. This course will help participants learn how to place the right plant in the right place to create a beautiful, low-maintenance garden. Down & Dirty: Soil Basics explores why the soil is the most essential part of a garden. Participants will learn how to improve soil by adding compost from yard waste. Each course is $15 or $35 for all three.
Garden Crafts Uncorked!
Mt. Cuba Center offers a number of art classes, but this new Friday evening series invites participants to bring their friends and favorite wine and enjoy craft-making activities in the gardens. Registrants may enroll in one course or all four for a discounted rate of $80. Participants in Mt. Cuba Center's Wildflower Candleholder course (June 12, 6-7 pm, $20) will create candleholders out of recycled glass containers and pressed wildflowers. Mt. Cuba Center's Leaf Casting Workshop (July 10, 6-8 pm, $25) demonstrates how to make cement castings out of leaves using real foliage as the mold. In the Mosaic Therapy course (August 7, 6-8 pm, $25), each participant will repurpose a broken plate into a small concrete steppingstone. Participants in the Nature's Keepsake course (September 11, 6-7 pm, $20) will create a memento box adorned with the lacey foliage of dried ferns.
Mt. Cuba Center: Gardening on a Higher Level
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.
Access to Mt. Cuba Center is also available through the Brandywine Treasure Trail Passport, on sale now and valid Memorial Day through Labor Day.
The Mt. Cuba Center is located at 3120 Barley Mill Rd., Hockessin, Delaware 19707. For more information please visit www.mtcubacenter.org.