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Mt. Cuba Center 1938-1985

Former owner:
Copeland, Lammot du Pont Mrs.
Copeland, Lammot du Pont
Landscape architect:
Sears, Thomas Warren 1880-1966
Coffin, Marian Cruger 1876-1957
Kelsey, Seth
Frederick, William H. (William Heisler) 1926-
Garden director:
Lighty, Richard W.
Architects:
Victorine & Samuel Homsey, Inc.
Physical description:
1 folder+ 48 35 mm. slides
Type:
Mixed archival materials
Place:
United States of America, Delaware, New Castle County, Greenville
Delaware
Greenville
Mt. Cuba Center (Greenville, Delaware)
Date:
1938
1938-1985
Notes:
Mt. Cuba was the private estate garden of Lammot du Pont Copeland and Pamela C. Copeland. The 630 acres that now comprise the property were acquired beginning in 1935. Development of the gardens began soon after, with some early design work by Thomas W. Sears (initial tree planting and formal areas around the house) and Marian Cruger Coffin (the south terrace and round garden). More importantly, Pamela Copeland's interest in preserving indigenous plants led to Mt. Cuba's becoming a center for the preservation and study of Piedmont flora. More than 1,800 taxa are represented in the collection. Various habitat areas, such as woodlands, fields, and a series of ponds, highlight native plants. Of particular note is the largest cultivated display of wildflowers in the Mid-Atlantic region. Other features of the garden include a lilac path, the Coffin-designed round garden with its seasonal plantings, a cutting garden, and a rock garden. Today, Mt. Cuba Center is a non-profit institution committed to promoting an appreciation for plants native to the Piedmont, encouraging their use in gardens and supporting their conservation in nature.
Persons and firms associated with the garden include: Lammot du Pont Copeland (former owner, 1935-1983); Pamela C. Copeland (1935-2001); Thomas W. Sears (landscape architect, 1930s); Marian Cruger Coffin (landscape architect, 1949-early 1950s); Seth Kelsey (landscape architect, 1960s); William H. Frederick, Jr. (landscape architect, 1970s); Richard W. Lighty (garden director, 1983-1998); and Victorine & Samuel Homsey, Inc. (architects, 1935-1937).
Summary:
The folder includes worksheets, a brochure, site plans, plant lists, photocopies of correspondence and articles about the garden, and other information.
Publications:
Garden has been featured in Rosemary Verey and Ellen Samuels, The American Woman's Garden (Boston: Little, Brown, 1984), pp. 74-79
Garden has been featured in Morrison H. Heckscher, "Living with Antiques: Mt. Cuba in Delaware," Antiques Magazine (May 1987), pp. 1078-1087
Garden has been featured in Nancy Fleming, Money, Manure & Maintenance: Ingredients for Successful Gardens of Marian Coffin, Pioneer Landscape Architect, 1876-1957 (Weston, Mass.: Country Place Books, 1995), pp. 4-5 and 103-108
Garden has been featured in Claire Sawyers, "Mt. Cuba: Implementing a Policy," [magazine article, ca. 1986]
Topic:
Gardens
Local number:
DE017000
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens

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