EXPERIENCE THE BEAUTY OF NATIVE PLANTS.
The iconic Mt. Cuba Center gate officially opens Friday, April 1, welcoming members and guests back to the gardens and trails. There is much to see and do at Mt. Cuba this spring, ranging from tranquil, picturesque garden walks to events, classes, and a new entrance garden. Read on for the highlights.
See Spring Ephemerals
During this time of year, it’s no surprise that spring ephemerals steal the show. April and May are a great time to spot native wildflowers such as trilliums, Virginia bluebells, and Quaker ladies. These fleeting blooms make a special appearance for a short time early in the season and typically go dormant by the time the forest canopy’s leaves fill in, shading the woodland floor. Mt. Cuba’s gardens feature an accredited collection of 40 different types of trilliums, as well as many more colorful spring wildflowers.
New Understory Trail
Put on some hiking boots and venture out to the new Understory Trail in Mt. Cuba’s natural lands. Mid-trail, discover a small wetland ecosystem between the footbridges. Native plants like Symplocarpus foetidus, commonly known as Eastern skunk cabbage, currently thrive in this habitat.
At the Understory trailhead closest to the gardens, pay attention to one of the most ecologically important habitats found in Mt. Cuba’s natural lands — a vernal pool. This temporary wetland, which may look like a very deep puddle to some, fills with water from melting snow and rain each spring and becomes a seasonal breeding ground for some amphibians and insects. Vernal pools are critical habitat for a variety of wildlife — because they dry up seasonally, they do not contain fish, limiting predation and allowing amphibians and invertebrates to flourish.
Classes & Events
There are too many to list them all, so here are the highlights:
- Reserve Wildflower Weekend tickets early to enjoy live music, family activities, and more! This time-ticketed event is expected to reach capacity, with peak times selling out in advance.
- Award-winning classes in gardening, art, wellness, and conservation are offered, including a Certificate in Ecological Gardening.
- View the full schedule at mtcubacenter.org/programs.
A New Arrival Experience
A new arrival experience is almost here! Guests will notice construction along the main drive; however, this work should not impact the experience in the gardens. Please pardon the appearance while new guest features are prepared, including a parking lot, ticketing office, and Woodland Glade entry garden.
Woodland Glade Garden
The Woodland Glade is part of a new arrival experience for Mt. Cuba’s guests opening mid-May. Redefining an underutilized space near the Copeland House, this new naturalistic garden was designed to have a more open planting style and builds upon the existing features of the space. Highlights include a witch hazel grove, a majestic yellowwood tree, and expansive sweeps of various perennials.
PLAN YOUR VISIT TODAY.
Explore the gardens and trails April through November, Wednesday-Sunday from 10 am-6 pm. Extended hours until 8 pm on Fridays from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Purchase tickets in advance or upon arrival. Free for Mt. Cuba members!