This Week's Podcast: Native and Natural: Gregg Tepper
Click on the small black arrow on the bar to listen, or the MP3 to download the show:Our guest this week is Gregory Tepper, the Director of Horticulture at Mt. Cuba Center in Hockessin, Delaware. Gregg has been a native plant enthusiast for over 25 years and lectured on the subject in the US as well as at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and Wisley in England. He has designed native plant gardens in Delaware, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Mt. Cuba Center is a non-profit horticultural institution located on nearly 600 acres. It was the brainchild of Mr. and Mrs. Lamott du Pont Copeland. In 1935, the Copelands built a stately Colonial Revival manor house near the village of Mt. Cuba, outside of Wilmington, Delaware. Mrs. Copeland, in particular, was increasingly concerned about wildflowers and the impact on them by development and unscrupulous practices (plants dug from the wild, for example Trillium grandiflorum, left). In 1983, Dr. Richard Lighty was hired by the Copelands as their first Director of Horticulture. The Copelands expanded their efforts to the study of the native plants of the Appalachian Piedmont -- the region of gently rolling hills that lie between the Atlantic Coastal Plain and the Appalachian Mountains of the eastern United States. And so, a private estate was becoming a botanic garden and research center. (West Slope Path, below.) Then again, the plantings at Mt. Cuba are not all exclusively filled with native-plants. In the most gardenesque areas, woodland plants from places beyond the Piedmont are incorporated. There are, however acres of purely indigenous plants in maintained meadows, woodland and wetland. Gregg has some definite notions about what constitutes natural, naturalistic and native-plant gardens, and that’s something we focus on in our discussion, which you can hear by clicking on the arrow in the bar, above.
Everyone who loves the wildflowers of the Eastern part of the US must make a trip to this remarkable and beautiful public garden.
For more information: Mt. Cuba Center.