I am still glowing, beaming and sharing my experience on the Mount – Mt. Cuba that is. Yet another one of the horticultural experiences of the DuPont family in the Brandywine Valley, that does not disappoint. It has one of the best wildflower and native gardens in this country and definitely a wonderful horticultural treat in the Piedmont region.
The home of Lamont and Pamela Copeland, has evolved from a family home/estate to a National Treasure.
The road leading to this site was breathtaking – even before making the wrong turn on Mt Cuba road where Osage oranges littered the roadside. You don’t just find those anywhere. Nor do I usually get to pause, listen and watch waterfalls alongside the road…..
Then there is the gate…..the impressive gates that welcomed you to enjoy this special little retreat from the rest of the world. How intricate and elegant they are…I simply had a feeling that despite driving through rain for almost two hours, this was going to be an early birthday present to myself.
Mt. Cuba was hosting their First Saturday in The Garden Series it was supposed to be a Harvest Festival with hayrides, cider and apple cider donuts and a free plant to be given to all who visited for a mere $6.00.
I toured the conservatory which was not usually shown, but since the hayride was cancelled due to the weather, the docents offered this glimpse into Mrs. Copeland’s world. Very much a lady’s conservatory – every lady should have a conservatory…if she wants one. From the furniture to the wall treatments – subtle elegance was the theme carried throughout. When I went outside to visit the formal garden, I was in awe. I embraced the beauty that surrounded me.
From all angles, I saw beauty….natural beauty. So much so, I had to hold back my tears of joy for making the time to make this trip. I get newsletter updates from Mt. Cuba that cause my mind to wander as I enjoy the updates on events and seasonal photography. These updates were what made me think that this was the perfect excuse for a roadtrip….I could not have picked a better day. In 2009 a local artist, Andre Harvey of Rockland, DE created a piece of art called “Samara – Turning With The Wind”. This work of art captured my attention and took my breath away. The descendent’s of the Copeland ‘s are still active on the Management Board that keeps Mt. Cuba beautiful and important to those who are interested in the beauty, as well as the study of Appalachian Piedmont plants and their preservation.
When I re-entered the house to inquire how to reach the rest of the gardens, I was asked if I wanted tour guide. Initially, I said no, as I enjoy the peace of investigating nature, with only my camera(s), in silence and just allowing the moment to envelop me. I also did not want any of the docents to get muddy or cold. However, Mary P. offered to take me around.
I am so glad she did. I was reintroduced to plants I was familiar with and introduced to others that I knew nothing about. From the ferns, to the Euonymus known in the south as “bursting heart” to one of my favorite plants “Amsonia hubrechtii”, Mary proved to have a wealth of knowledge about this place of peace.
The round garden….
The ornamental grasses in the meadow and spotted throughout the gardens…
The art found throughout….all spoke to the thought process behind the making of Mt. Cuba.
I will not spoil it for you by telling you everything that is there except the waterway the was hand dug and re circulates will take your breath away, the borrowed views are just fantabulous and well in the Spring, the bulb displays are one of a kind. I love to visit gardens as they disrobe for yet a different season. I can’t wait til Spring to revisit Mt. Cuba often and repeatedly.
I dare say, make time to visit the Mt. Cuba Center…..sign up for their newsletter, I promise it will convince you that it is worth the day trip to the Brandywine Valley. It’s minutes away from Winterthur, Longwood Gardens, Haley House and the Brandywine River.
If you want to go to an awesome place of peace or find out more about Mt. Cuba, go to their website www.mtcubacenter.orgby