It’s June as I write this, and time to bring on the “Quilt Gardens and Murals Along the Heritage Trail.”
This is something rather new in Amish Country, but it seems to have caught on. A number of places in the various towns of Amish Indiana (including Elkhart, Bristol, Middlebury, Shipshewana, Goshen, Nappanee, and Wakarusa) participate in the display. The quilt murals are painted on wood and mounted on the sides of buildings. The quilt gardens are just what they sound like—gardens made to look like quilts.
Some of the twenty or so gardens are planted on slanted surfaces created just for the gardens. Others are on flat ground, but a viewing platform has been built to offer a better view. We drove around and took pictures of a few:
This garden (above) was seen at Das Dutchman Essenhaus in Middlebury. It was built on a natural hill. It is one of the largest that we saw, and had a grass path running through it so that people could stand in the middle and have their picture taken. The quilt pattern is called “Dresden Plate” and they chose it because of their popular restaurant.
This second garden was found at Menno-Hof in Shipshewana. A viewing platform had been built in front of the quilt garden. Notice that the quilt pattern is a replica of the Menno-Hof logo, found on the upper part of the barn behind it.
This third garden (above) was found near the second one, this one at the Farmstead Inn. The ground was built up to more of a slope here, to show the garden to better advantage. The pattern is called “Goose Tracks.”
Many of the locations have brochures and maps of the entire collection, and some have fliers describing their particular garden. The garden at Essenhaus in Middlebury, for example, is over 3,200 square feet in size and contains 7,700 flowers—begonias, marigolds, ageratums, and petunias. The garden at Menno-Hof contains 4,752 flowers—marigolds, ageratums, and begonias.
Peak time is August through September, so the brochure said. When we saw them in late June, some still needed to grow in a little, but others already looked wonderful.