Mt. Cuba Center

Mt. Cuba Center in Hockessin, Del. was named the best botanical garden in North America.

A native plant oasis not too far from Lancaster County has been named the best botanical garden in North America.

Mt. Cuba Center in Hockessin, Del. won the top spot in USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. The site, a former du Pont home, has formal gardens and acres dedicated to native plants.

To pick the best gardens, a panel of experts and 10Best editors pick initial nominees. The top 10 winners were chosen by popular vote.

The same contest named The Bulls Head the top beer bar in the country in 2018.

Strasburg Rail Road is also nominated for the best scenic train ride. Voting ends Aug. 17.

Mt. Cuba Center’s gardens are open through November, Wednesday through Sundays.

The site also conducts extensive research trials to find the best varieties of plants. The latest results cover helenium and phlox. Previous research looked into coreopsis, asters and monarda.

The garden also has virtual tours of the gardens. You can switch between seasons to see how the gardens change (or get a look at winter on a hot day).

The only other garden a day trip away is United States Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C. The other gardens are scattered from Maine to California.