Delaware’s Mt. Cuba in the running to be named one of nation’s best botanical gardens

Mt. Cuba fans can help the Delaware garden be named one of the country’s 10 best. Photo courtesy of Mt. Cuba Center.

Delaware’s Mt. Cuba Center is one of 18 public gardens from around the country that USA Today is touting as among the best.

Your vote can help land the former du Pont estate that focuses on native plants in the Top 10 in a contest that pits it against nationally ballyhooed venues such as the New York Botanic Gardens and the Chicago Botanic Garden.

“We’re honored to be included among this exceptional field of North American botanical gardens,” said Jeff Downing, executive director at Mt. Cuba in a press release. “The USA Today 10Best contest is a great way to highlight these amazing cultural and community resources at a time when getting outside and reconnecting with nature can be so valuable.”

Even though Delaware might be the second smallest state, its voters have lifted other First State venues into the limelight. 

In 2018, area voters put Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library into the list of Top 10 Holiday Historic Home Tours. 

In 2014, area voters helped give Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, the title of best public restroom for it’s awe-inspiring green wall hallway and individual bathroom pods.

Mt. Cuba once was one of the state’s least-known public gardens, required appointments to tour its formal and naturalistic gardens and walk its beautiful paths. But it’s opened up in the last decade, allowing membership during warmer weather that gives more people access to its 12,000 acres of land. 

Mt. Cuba’s gardens focus on native plants. Photo courtesy of Mt. Cuba Center.

The gardens are home to more than 1,000 species of native plants, some threatened by extinction. Surrounding the gardens are more than 1,000 acres of natural lands featuring Appalachian Piedmont landscapes, flora and fauna.

Mt. Cuba, one of more than 3 public gardens within 30 miles of Philadelphia, supports research through its trial garden, education, partnerships, and more.

Voters can cast a ballot for their favorite botanical garden once per day until polls close on July 6 at noon The winners will be announced on July 17.

To vote for Mt. Cuba Center, go to:

For more on Mt. Cuba, go to

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About the Contributor


Betsy Price

Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.

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