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:
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 ofWilmington, 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).
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.