Garden Photo of the Day

GPOD on the Road: Springtime at Mt. Cuba Center

An emphasis on native plants

mass planting of yellow flowers next to a pond

Today Kevin Kelly is taking us along to visit a fantastic public garden.

I recently took a trip to Mt. Cuba Center, which is located in Delaware. It opened to the public in 2013, but its roots began about 80 years ago. The center’s mission is to inspire an appreciation for the beauty and value of native plants and to protect the habitats that sustain them. This is a bucket-list garden for anyone to visit. Here are just a few photos from my visit.

mass planting of yellow flowers next to a pondThe pond is a wonderful place to sit, relax, and take in all the beauty around you. Currently in bloom is Packera aurea (golden gagwort, Zones 3–8). Its basal evergreen foliage forms a great ground cover for shady, moist to dry woodlands.

small dark red flowers in front of light purple flowersTrillium foetidissimum (Mississippi river wakerobin, Zones 5–9). Mt. Cuba Center has an outstanding collection of North American trilliums. More than a third of the native species are threatened with extinction due to habitat loss and overgrazing by deer and feral pigs.

tree covered in white flowersThis is a spectacular specimen of our native Cornus florida (Zones 5–9).

small plant with two large leaves and a tiny flowersWith Podophyllum peltatum (mayapple, Zones 3–8), only plants that have two leaves will develop a single flower in the axil of the leaves.

mass planting of white flowersTrillium flexipes × sulcatum

field of small light purple flowersHoustonia caerulea (Quaker ladies, Zones 3–8) in a moss bed

looking out on pond surrounded by treesThis is a picture of the pond from the other side. The scene is so peaceful, and the bench looks so inviting.

unusual water plantOrontium aquaticum (golden club, Zones 5–10). This is an East Coast native that grows in shallow water in swamps, marshes, ponds, and bogs.

dark red flower and variegated foliageThis Trillium cuneatum (Zones 5–8) has such gorgeous leaves.

brick path surrounded by spring plantsThese tulips are planted on the side of a large fountain (which is just off the bottom of the picture). Cornus florida makes a wonderful focal point on the hill.


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View Comments


  1. Jay_Sifford 06/03/2022

    Kevin, thanks for the tour. When I visited there in spring several years ago, I was captivated by the magic of the spring ephemerals.

    1. imajayhawk 06/03/2022

      Mt. Cuba is a special place in the spring. Glad you were able to see it.

  2. nwphilagardener 06/03/2022

    Beautiful photographs that remind us why we should do our part to remove the invasive plants that make such native wildflower displays increasingly rare. Time to take a road trip to Hockessin, DE to enjoy this place which looks so peaceful in Kevin's photos. For those making a road trip, it is not too far from Longwood Gardens in Kennet Square, PA.

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 06/03/2022

    Great pics, Kevin.

    1. imajayhawk 06/04/2022

      Thanks. I love to share my photos.

  4. btucker9675 06/03/2022

    This is an amazingly beautiful garden... Every photo was perfection! Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. imajayhawk 06/04/2022

      My pleasure. I love Mt. Cuba.

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