Blooms of Hope

Carolina Fernandez-Lovo, Contributing Writer
(Tuesday, August 7, 2012)
Fort Wayne, Indiana Every year, bright blooms provide a beautiful sight – and hope. With 900 square feet and more than 100,000 different plants and flowers, the Quilt Gardens at the Wellfield Botanic Gardens in Elkhart, Indiana, create a colorful patchwork and plant the seeds of hope for a cure.

If you haven’t yet visited the Wellfield Botanic Gardens, now’s the time to go! “All of the 19 gardens in the Quilt Garden on the tour and trail are at their prime. The blooms and gardens are peaking,” says Sonya Nash of the Elkhart County Convention and Visitors Bureau, who helps oversee the project. The Quilt Gardens are part of a unique partnership between the Elkhart County Convention Bureau and the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer, and are part of “Hope Blooms Along the Heritage Trail”, a garden tour hosted by the Elkhart County Convention & Visitors Bureau each year.

The Quilt Garden Tour has been bringing color and cheer to Northern Indiana since 2007. Created by the Elkhart County Convention & Visitors Bureau, the tour began in two locations and has since expanded into seven communities and 19 gardens, and thousands of flowers. Named one of the top 100 Events in North America in 2010 by the American Bus Association (ABA), the gardens attract visitors from across the country through its running dates of Memorial Day to October 1.

Star of Hope Quilt
As part of the garden display, the Quilt Gardens includes a Vera Bradley-inspired pattern. This year, the garden is based on a special quilt – the Star of Hope – featuring Vera Bradley’s breast cancer awareness color, Tea Garden, and was specifically created for the Foundation by fabric artist Diana Bennett. From Millersburg, Indiana, Bennett has personally been touched by breast cancer within the lives of her family and friends, and wanted to help support research for a cure using her creative talents.

With 5,188 plants and blooms in bright pinks and oranges, featuring begonias and marigolds, Bennett’s latest quilt has been recreated into a blooming 19’ x 19’ flowering quilt of hope, helping to visualize our dream of finding a cure for breast cancer. The labor of love took volunteers, including breast cancer survivors more than a day to plant.

Garden Party
Bennett’s quilt will be on display at local retailers through August (see schedule), and visitors will have the chance to enter to win the gorgeous tapestry. Raffle tickets are available for purchase for two dollars with all of the proceeds benefitting the Vera Bradley Foundation. The winner will be announced at the annual Taste of the Gardens all-day event with local foods and wear, a fashion show, a silent auction and more to be held Saturday, August 25, 11 am – 6 pm at the Wellfield Botanic Garden. This garden truly is a sight to see! It can be viewed now until October 1, 2012.

For more information, visit:
Elkhart County Convention Bureau
Quilt Garden Tour
Hope Along the Heritage Trail

See photos »