Quilt Gardens Along the Heritage Trail

  • DowntownWakarusa

    More than a million vibrant blooms

  • 19 gigantic gardens and 21 hand-painted super-sized murals
  • 7 welcoming communities
  • Viewable FREE May 30 – October 1.

The Quilt Gardens along the Heritage Trail joins quilting, gardening and art into a one-of-a-kind event. This colorful patchwork of quilt inspired gardens and quilt-themed murals is linked by the roads that form the Heritage Trail.

Download the 2015 Quilt Gardens along the Heritage Trail Map

Quilts have always played an important part in the Amish communities of Northwest Indiana. Elkhart County, the heart of Amish country, took this heirloom craft one step further by creating their annual Quilt Gardens Tour beginning late each spring and continuing on to October.

The tour wanders the back roads of the nationally recognized Heritage Trail as it courses through old-fashioned communities where horses and buggies travel past verdant farms and through quaint 19th century towns and villages like Goshen and Nappanee. There are 19 gardens, each planted to represent a quilt design, including the traditional Grandma’s Fan, a pattern dating back to Victorian times. You’ll see this pattern at Glory Gardens, an Amish operated greenhouse in Shipshewana. The Double Wedding Ring, comprised, among other flowers, of Hawaiian Blue ageratum and red and white Eureka begonias, is highlighted at Krider Garden in Middlebury, itself recreated from the 1933 Chicago World Exposition. Nearly 290 decorative pomegranates are part of the lush décor at Ruthmere, the magnificent Beaux Arts mansion on the river in downtown Elkhart. So it seems fitting that this year their famed Pomegranate Window is replicated as a quilt garden, many of its colors garnered from plantings of Sizzling Burgundy salvia and Deep Rose Eureka begonias.

More this century than hundreds of years ago, Pink Swirls at Linton’s Enchanted Gardens is the largest of the gardens with more than 8,488 plants spread over 2,100 feet and filled with coral pink Titan Punch vinea accented with deep orange marigolds. Beautiful to behold, as is the handcrafted wall hanging on display that was made by quilter Connie Kauffman. Both serve another purpose–to raise funds for breast cancer research. To further the cause, Vera Bradley Pink Swirls totes, filled with goodies, are available for sale.

Besides the gardens, there are also 21 quilt murals hand painted on the sides of public buildings such as the Dancing Leaves mural in Wakarusa, a town famed for its jellybeans sold at the historic Wakarusa Dime Store.

For information on what to do and where to stay in Amish Country, (800) 262-8161 or amishcountry.org.

Story by Jane Ammeson