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Northern Indiana’s Amish Country is in the midst of creating the 2010 Quilt Gardens Tour for your blooming pleasure. From Memorial Day through October 1, the 17 gardens and 17 murals on display were juried by a committee of master gardeners, horticulturalists and professional landscapers. You can get the story behind the creations via each display’s on-site storyboard and the audio-tour available via your cell phone.
There are many original patterns including Paths to Peace at Menno-Hof (Shipshewana), Windmill at Krider Gardens (Middlebury), and Friendship Circle in Elkhart’s City Center Park. All gardens and murals are located along the 90-mile Heritage Trail Driving Tour that winds through Amish Country. This Trail takes you down rural highways, country lanes and charming main streets. Pick up the free driving tour CD at the Elkhart County Visitor Center or other participating vendors along the route. Or download the mp3 version from their website before you go.
Two of my favorite stops along the Tour include:
American Countryside Farmers Market (Elkhart) – don’t miss their Giant Dahlia quilt garden and pick up some flowers to create your own masterpiece. The Market is housed in the world’s largest wood-peg barn and features lots of locally grown produce, organic meats, homemade noodles, granola, whipped honey spread, handmade rugs, plants and artist-in-residence works.
Das Dutchman Essenhaus (Middlebury) – check out the Modified Weathervane quilt garden>, then step inside for a family-style Amish meal featuring favorites like broasted chicken, roast beef, made-from-scratch noodles, bread with apple butter and your choice of 29 varieties of pie! The Village Shops at Essenhaus include Dutch Country Gifts, The Cabin, The ClothesLine and The Quilt Shop. The Essenhaus Inn offers 89 generously sized rooms decorated in an old-fashioned style along with modern conveniences.
Have you ever been to Indiana’s Amish Country or checked out Elkhart County’s Quilt Garden Tour?