Wednesday, August 27, 2008


As a typical tourist short on time and long on desire I tried to cover a lot of ground today. In particular the grounds of Mt. Cuba Center and Longwood Gardens in the beautifully undulating landscape west of Philadelphia. Both were marvels in their own right.
Mt. Cuba Center, was once the home of the Copelands, has become a charitable foundation and a center for the growing and studying of plants native to the Piedmont Region, which runs from the Hudson river South to Alabama, and from the Atlantic coastal plain to the Appalachian Mountains. The natural setting is ideal for growing woodland, meadow, dry land and wetland plants of the region. Cultivars of natives are tested for garden worthiness. 2 of the introductions I grow in my own garden, Cornus sericea ‘Silver and Gold’ and Eupatorium rugosum ‘Chocolate’.What a treat to get a private tour by Vic Piatt and to get to have lunch with the crew that creates and maintains this beautiful place.

Native prickly pear hugs a rock in front of the house.

The tall tulip poplars ( Liriodendron tulipifera) create a colonade in the forest.

My new favorite plant Indian pink ( Spigelia marilandica).

Pitcher plants in the bog

My guide Vic, and fellow gardener, working at Mt Cuba Center over 17 years.