Mt Cuba Center
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Mt Cuba Center
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The origins of Mt. Cuba Center took root more than 80 years ago. What was once farmland has been transformed into a lush botanical garden featuring some of the region’s most beautiful native plants. Join us on a journey through our history.

1935

The Copelands purchase 126.7 acres of farmland near the village of Mount Cuba to develop their home. The colonial revival-style house was designed by Victorine and Samuel Homsey and the original landscape was designed by Thomas Sears.

1949

Landscape designer Marian Coffin makes her first visit to Mt. Cuba. Planning begins for expansion of Formal Gardens.

1950

The Copelands purchase 17.72 adjacent acres which will become the site of their naturalistic gardens.

1965

Landscape Architect Seth Kelsey starts work in the naturalistic gardens. Intense development of the naturalistic areas and the Ponds begins.

1983

Mr. Copeland passes away. Dr. Richard Lighty joins as the first Director of Mt. Cuba Center.

1989

Mt. Cuba Center incorporates as a foundation.

1999

Rick Lewandowski takes over as the second Director of Mt. Cuba Center.

2001

Mrs. Copeland passes away.

2002

First native plant trial begins at the Cut Flower Garden. Mt. Cuba Center begins its transition to a public garden.

2003

Main House undergoes renovation to accommodate staff and business operations.

2004

First Wildflower Celebration is a success and introduces many people to Mt. Cuba Center.

2006

Mt. Cuba Center begins offering education classes.

2012

Redesigned Trial Garden opens. Jeff Downing becomes Executive Director of Mt. Cuba Center.

2013

General Admission begins.

2014

Mt. Cuba establishes the Ecological Gardening Certificate program.

2015

The South Garden undergoes renovation to feature all native perennials in formal walk based on Marian Coffin’s original design.

2016

General Admission expands to five days a week, offering guests even more opportunities to experience Mt. Cuba Center.

And Beyond

Mt. Cuba Center inspires an appreciation for the beauty and value of native plants and a commitment to support the habitats that sustain them.

More About Mt. Cuba