Avoid costly errors by choosing the right plant for the right place based on the environmental conditions, available space, and desired look for your yard. Learn how to select site-appropriate native trees, shrubs, and perennials and creative ways to organize them into combinations that reduce maintenance, look good year-round, and mimic natural landscapes. This course is part of the Home Landscaping Basics Series.
Delaware is home to over 30 species of orchids, many rare and endangered. Discover which ones grow in your area and learn how Mt. Cuba Center is working to preserve them and their fragile habitats. Adrienne Bozic, Orchid Research Fellow, describes the citizen science project designed to identify and locate native orchids throughout the state and presents the current status of their diversity and distribution based on her findings. Learn how you can help save Delaware's vanishing orchids and take home a ladies' tresses orchid for your garden.
Capture the beauty of Mt. Cuba Center's gardens during the "golden hours", that period of time just before sunset when the quality of light is soft, warm, and even. Receive professional guidance on the technical and aesthetic elements of evening photography from Chris Starr, an extraordinary photographer and Mt. Cuba Center employee. Capture those epic sunset moments and leave with a new appreciation of nature at nightfall. All levels of experience welcome. Bring your camera, lenses, tripod, and camera manual. Rain date for this event is Thursday, May 3, 2018.
Some of the most beautiful native trees and shrubs in our region are in full flower in late spring. From pink-blooming azaleas to the bright whites of serviceberries, there is something for everyone. Learn 10 species that are suitable for sun or shade, provide structure to the garden, and support native wildlife. This is a great class for the beginner gardener. Rain date for this class is Friday, May 4, 2018.
Enjoy this early morning opportunity to photograph the gardens of Mt. Cuba Center during the "magic hours" when light quality is less intense, shadows are soft, and colors appear richer. Photographers of all experience levels receive professional guidance on the technical and aesthetic elements of photography from Chris Starr, a Mt. Cuba Center employee and highly accomplished photographer. Be creative, find inspiration, and leave with a better appreciation of the natural world. Bring your camera, lenses, tripod, and camera manual. Rain date for this event is Saturday, May 5, 2018.
Enjoy a magnificent display of spring ephemerals at our annual celebration of the season. Stroll through our native plant gardens at the peak of their glory; enjoy live music, gardening activities, family programming, and more. A variety of food selections are available for purchase and the first 1,000 families receive a free native plant. Free parking for this event is at 1003 Old Wilmington Road, just east of Brackenville Road. From the parking area, shuttle buses and a walking path provide access to the garden. Due to the rolling terrain and mulched paths at Mt. Cuba Center, the use of wheelchairs is limited. Pets are not permitted.
Joe Sebastiani, Manager at Ashland Nature Center, and Mt. Cuba Center's Natural Lands staff lead you in this behind-the-scenes trek through Mt. Cuba Center's natural areas to Ashland Nature Center and back. Along the way, enjoy the spring ephemerals of our unique Piedmont landscape and gain insights into meadows, forested habitats, an American chestnut plantation, and a reforestation experiment. Dress for the weather, bring a water bottle and lunch, and be prepared for an extensive hike through hilly terrain.
Want to help the environment? Grab some plates and start feasting on invasive plants! There are many tasty recipes utilizing nonnative plants as their star ingredients. Join plant foragers Kevin Popowich and Diana Thornton as they discuss how garlic mustard, Japanese knotweed, stinging nettle, and other exotic species can be harvested, cooked, and eaten. Eat your way out of a bad situation and become an "invasivore" today! (Samples will be served.)
Many non-native plants once considered tame garden dwellers have escaped cultivation and become invasive. These plants often out-compete native species for necessary resources and do not provide a diverse ecosystem for insects, birds, and microorganisms. Learn trees, shrubs, perennials, and groundcovers that can substitute for invasive plants, meet your landscaping needs, and put your garden to work for wildlife.
While prairies, grasslands, and meadows are critical habitats for pollinators, there are many other opportunities to support our insect allies and increase plant diversity in our gardens. In the Northeast, where creating wildflower meadows can be challenging, the value of woody plants in pollinator conservation is often overlooked. Kelly Gill of the Xerces Society presents a suite of high-value trees and shrubs that provide habitat for native bees, butterflies, and other flower visitors. A tour of Mt. Cuba Center's gardens to see these plant-insect interactions first hand completes the day.
Mary Vaux Walcott was a gifted artist whose nearly 1,000 watercolors of North American wildflowers earned her the title of the "Audubon of Botany". Married late in life, she accompanied her husband on trips to the American and Canadian Rockies during which time she painted the native flora of the region. In 1925, the Smithsonian Institution published 400 of her illustrations in a five-volume work entitled North American Wild Flowers. Marjorie presents a fascinating look at Mary Walcott, a remarkable illustrator and an intrepid woman who sought escape from Victorian social conventions and pursued adventure and self-expression in the American west during the transformative times in which she lived. The talk will be supplemented with selected prints of Walcott's original paintings from Mrs. Copeland's collections. Light refreshments will be served. Copies of Marjorie's book, The Life and Times of Mary Vaux Walcott, will be available for purchase and signing after the lecture. Marjorie G. Jones is a graduate of Wheaton College (MA) and the Rutgers School of Law. After 25 years in banking and executive recruitment, she returned to school and earned an MA in Historical Studies at the Graduate Faculty of the New School in New York City. She has taught at The New School, Mercy College, and, most recently, at Graterford Prison for Villanova University. A member of the Writing Women's Lives seminar in NYC, she lives in Philadelphia.
Through guided meditation, woodland walks, and seated contemplation, cultivate a more profound awareness of the natural world by immersing yourself in Mt. Cuba Center's tranquil gardens and landscapes. Rain date for the retreat is Sunday, May 20, 2018.
Bring yourself to the next level with drawing native wildflowers from Mt. Cuba Center's unique collections. Continue to learn basic botanical drawing skills, such as composition, scale, and perspective, while introducing simple color techniques that add another dimension to your work. A series of step-by step exercises, instructor demonstrations, and one-on-one feedback sessions provide a strong foundation in botanical drawing. Students may work in watercolor or colored pencil. This is a four-session class. This course is part of the Botanical Art Series.
An exciting new trend in landscape design recommends we devote less space to lawns by adding more ecologically diverse plantings. The incentives are many: water conservation, reduced fertilizer and pesticide use, increased biodiversity, and enhanced curb appeal. Learn how to create year-round visual interest, save time and money, and increase your property value by replacing parts of your lawn with hardy groundcovers, perennials, and shrubs.
T'ai Chi Chih, an easy-to-learn set of 19 movements and one pose, is based on the ancient Chinese principles of activation, balancing, and circulation of energy (chi). This easily adaptive program has no age, physical fitness, or coordination requirements. Comfortable clothing is recommended. In the event of inclement weather, classes will be held indoors.
Commemorate America's public garden heritage with a visit to Mt. Cuba Center. Relax in our gardens, enjoy a picnic lunch, or take a leisurely stroll among spring wildflowers. Participate in family-friendly programs or guided walks from 10 am to 2 pm. Guests will take home a free native plant, while supplies last.
Embellishing a simple birdhouse with twigs, leaves, and other natural objects brings an organic, woodsy look to it that can easily be incorporated into your garden. Start with a wooden house and paint it or attach cut-out pictures to the sides, then enhance it with a variety of materials from the garden. Make two and use them as decorative tabletop pieces, or let nature take its course for birds to nest in them. All materials are included in the registration fee.
Dr. Aron McConnell presents a series of strategies designed to work around pain and gardening-related injuries no matter what age you are. Learn how to make gardening more comfortable and enjoyable using bodysmart techniques so you can stay active in the garden for years to come.
Have fun with botany! Understanding how plants grow and develop, how water and nutrients are taken up and distributed, and how leaves, flowers, stems, and roots function are key to becoming a successful gardener. Discover intriguing relationships between plants and pollinators, how seeds and fruits form, and why plants grow toward the sun. Develop basic plant identification skills and learn the reasons for using scientific names. You will be amazed at what goes on unnoticed in the plants that live all around us. This is a four-session course.
Are you fascinated by native azaleas but aren't sure how to grow them? Steven Kristoph examines several species and cultivars of these attractive yet underappreciated shrubs and discusses the basic elements of successfully growing them. Discover azaleas that have intoxicating fragrance and extraordinarily colorful flowers, and learn the best ways to integrate these captivating plants into your garden. Rain date for this class is Friday, May 18, 2018.
Let your creativity blossom while you draw, paint, or photograph Mt. Cuba Center's natural, beautiful, and ever-changing gardens. Meet other participating artists and enjoy a lovely day of art and inspiration. Although this is a free event for participating artists, registration is required. Call Mt. Cuba Center at 302.239.8807, visit our website mtcubacenter.org, or register on site. Since parking is limited, please arrive before noon to guarantee a space. Please note that Mt. Cuba Center is a carry-in, carry-out facility. For more detailed information, review our Art Guidelines. Rain date for the Art-In is Friday, May 25, 2018.
Many species of magnificent mushrooms may be growing in your own back yard. Join Tug DeLuce of the Chester County Mycological Association in search of seasonally available wild mushrooms in Mt. Cuba Center's gardens. Learn the identifying characteristics of native fungi and the important roles they play in an ecosystem. This foray focuses on finding edible and medicinal mushrooms, including morels and false morels, using environmental indicators. Dress for the weather, bring a water bottle and snack, and wear sturdy shoes for hiking on moderate slopes. Rain date for this class is Sunday, May 20, 2018 from 1 to 3:30 pm.
Weeds are an inevitable nuisance for gardeners, so being able to accurately ID them helps keep them at bay! Learn how to recognize the most common annual and perennial lawn and garden weeds using leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds. The spring section focuses on early season weeds, and the fall section covers species that should be removed before winter, making next year's garden more maintenance free. Ecologically friendly methods of managing weed infestations are discussed and demonstrated in both sections. Participants are welcome to bring in specimens for identification. Rain date for this class is Thursday, May 31, 2018.
A living wreath combines the decorative beauty of traditional holiday wreaths with live plants. Using Mt. Cuba Center's plant introduction, Viola walteri ‘Silver Gem', learn how to create and maintain a beautiful wreath to use as a stunning centerpiece on a patio table or as a unique wall hanging. Bring gardening gloves and a box to transport your arrangement home. All materials are included in the registration fee.
Continue to refine your botanical drawing and composition skills using color theory and exercises that reinforce botanical accuracy. Explore painterly techniques such as dry brush or watercolor washes that enhance your individual style while remaining true to the tenets of botanical drawing. Sketch, compose, and execute a finished piece applying the skills learned in all three sections. This is a four-session class. This course is part of the Botanical Art Series.