Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a course at the Mt. Cuba Center. It was myself, a friend, and 12 other people. After witnessing the sights I saw there I can't help feeling there's something wrong with the world. The cost of admission was $10 and includes a two hour tour of the gardens and a free plant at the end of it. Had I known only 14 people were going to show up I'd have tried a lot harder to get more friends to join me.
Mt. Cuba has a certain stigma in the gardening circle I'm in. Basically everyone agrees that because they're in a woodland setting they have a lot more is blooming in the spring time when the majority of full shade plants bloom. They're right of course but that's no reason to miss out on learning.
Earlier this year I went to the Philadelphia Flower Show (the largest flower show of it's kind in North America!) and I went to Mt. Cuba Center's Spring Wildflower Celebration.
Cost of Admission:
Philadelphia Flower Show - $26 dollars and I felt ripped off.
Mt. Cuba Wildflower Celebration - Free and they hand you a plant for being in the first 500 people... I left there feeling like I must have spent $50 to get in.
Maybe it's just the medium but Mt. Cuba was so much better on so many levels. There's something about walking through an actual garden that carries a single theme of colors and views the whole way through that never fails to be awe inspiring. Where as the Philadelphia Flower show is like walking through a massive garage of broke down parade floats. Flowers are arranged for design ascetic and views. Plants from far off parts of the world are highlighted without any regard or consideration for the environment. I suppose this highlights a difference between non-prophet organizations and landscaping businesses.
My point is having more flowers isn't necessarily better. This was the first time I've been to Mt. Cuba in the late summer/fall time. And I'm happy to say I had just as nice a time as in the spring.
My day began resting on the terrace waiting for the class to begin.
google image search for what they should look like. The flowers put on quite a show but are a little small for my taste. They are fragrant but I wasn't able to get close enough to them. As for the "Tresses" they don't really look like hair to me and I question the origin of this common name. They might go good next to a pond area where one can sit down and relax.
Tomorrow comes part 2 hopefully. There were lots of other plants I didn't get to photograph or did but the images didn't turn out as I'd like.