Mt. Cuba Center’s new garden demonstration shows that natives can indeed go to the ball. The newly redesigned formal South Garden retains the foundations of the original 1949 Marian Coffin design while using only native perennials to demonstrate the beauty and utility of native plants in a formal setting. The garden changes seasonally with a color palette that picks up on the warm tones of paths and bricks in the garden area that’s adjacent to the main house.
“We redesigned the South Garden as a mixed border inspired by English gardens in order to fit the character of the house and show how you can use native plants in a more traditional garden setting,” said Travis Beck, Director of Horticulture, in a press release. “Mt. Cuba Center is renowned for its woodland and naturalistic gardens; this was an opportunity to show something different.”
Mt. Cuba Center’s staff selected plants that would tolerate the bright, hot conditions and provide excellent three-season floral and foliage display.
Featured plants include three Mt. Cuba Center introductions: Solidago sphacelata Golden Fleece, Gillenia trifolata Pink Profusion and Symphyotrichum laeve var. laeve Bluebird.
The South Garden demonstrates that a formal garden can be a hub of pollinator and butterfly activity when native plants are used.
NewTerrain July 1, 2016.