Visiting Wellfield Botanic Gardens Elkhart Indiana

Wellfield Botanic Gardens Elkhart IN

In our latest “Visiting Midwest Gardens” feature, Flower Chick ventures into Indiana for a visit to Elkhart and the Wellfield Botanic Gardens. A week long Hoosier State visit continues with a three day stay in Fort Wayne, before heading to Indiana’s capital city for a visit to the gardens of Indianapolis …

First stop is Elkhart, a northern Indiana city of about 55,000 residents just a few miles south of the Michigan border. Located in the Zone 5 growing region, Elkhart is a river city – the St. Joseph River meanders right through the downtown area.

Elkhart is easy to reach by car from the Indiana Toll Road – the city is 110 miles east of Chicago and 150 miles north of Indianapolis. Flower Chick embarked early on a Saturday for a long awaited visit to Elkhart’s most popular attraction, the beautiful Wellfield Botanic Gardens

Wellfield Botanic Gardens Hibiscus

A Vibrant Red Hibiscus Blooming At Wellfield Botanic Gardens In Elkhart

Did You Know? There has long been some question over the origin of the city’s name. Some claim Elkhart is so named because the city’s famous Island Park is shaped like an elk’s heart. More plausible is the city was named after the notable local Shawnee Indian Chief “Elkhart” …

Let’s start our exploration with a visit to the gardens before heading to downtown Elkhart for a little shopping …

Wellfield Botanic Gardens Entrance

Wellfield Botanic Gardens Elkhart Indiana

This beautiful garden is 36 acres in size, half of which are water.  Everywhere you look you’ll see water features which really make this peaceful space stand out. Wellfield resides on a historical piece of property originally known as the “North Main Street Well Field.”

The property has been a source of hydraulic energy and drinking water for the City of Elkhart since the mid-1800s. Wellfield Botanic Gardens has a long-term lease agreement with the City of Elkhart, which still owns and operates 13 active wells on the site, still providing the majority of drinking water for the community.

Wellfield Botanic Gardens Elkhart

Serene Water Views Abound at Wellfield With Streams, Ponds, Waterfalls, Fountains and Aquatic Plants

Flower Chick was impressed by the well-maintained gardens and stunning plant combinations at Wellfield. Roses, hydrangeas, dahlias, salvia, lilies, coreopsis and many more flowers were in bloom during our visit in mid-June.

Wellfield Botanic Garden Dahlias

Picture Perfect Dahlias Soaking Up The Sunshine At Wellfield On A Warm June Day

Only one acre in size, the gorgeous “Island Garden” is loaded with splendid views using the intentional landscape design called miegakure, a garden design concept that can be observed in many gardens in Japan and China, usually translated as ‘hide and reveal’. Miegakure design is meant to obscure or ‘hide’ some portion of the garden from the viewer from any single viewpoint.

Wellfield Botanic Gardens

Wooden Bridges, Stone Lanterns, Boulders, And Waterfalls All Add To The Ambience Of The Island Garden

The Island Garden is laid out in such a way that the entire garden composition is not seen from any one point, as is often the case with Western garden design. A stroll-style garden, the Island Garden is intended to be walked around and experienced … rather than viewed from one place. Carefully composed views are created so that visitors move from one scene to the next as they travel along the pathways.

Did you know?  In Japanese gardens, rocks are considered the bones of the earth. They are an essential part of a garden and are thoughtfully chosen and placed before the plants and structures.

Experience The Tranquility Of A Japanese Garden From Your Home or Office …

Wellfield Botanic Gardens

Over 100 Tons Of Boulders Are Found On The Japanese Inspired “Island Garden” 

Dogs are welcome at Wellfield and I spotted two happy hounds on my visit. Members have the option to purchase a Family Dog Registration ($30 add-on per dog, annually). Dogs are allowed to accompany their owners during general admission hours, but are not permitted in the Children’s Garden or at special, ticketed events.

Keep Your Pup Hydrated While Hiking, Camping or Picnicking With Your Best Friend

Wellfield Children's Garden

Look Up! Look Down! Look all Around! There Is So Much To See At The Children’s Garden

Some of the highlights of Wellfield’s Children’s Garden include a Meadow Crawl Tunnel, beneath native Indiana tallgrass prairie species including wildflowers and other plants. A cool wetland boardwalk and water cannons. The Floating Lily Pad Bridge which connects the Children’s Garden to the Adventure Path across South Pond. A sustainable, living ‘green roof’ of Sedum and Indiana wildflowers on top of the existing Well House. Plus be on the lookout for pond creatures like the turtle sunning on a rock below …

Wellfield Botanic Gardens

Many Turtles Call Wellfield Home – An Ideal Place For Them To Swim, Sun & Thrive

Wellfield Botanic Gardens is a great place to stroll and then sit to enjoy the views and nature all around.  There are well placed benches to rest and observe all the serene scenes.  A perfect place to unplug and relax amongst the beauty.

Wellfield Botanic Gardens

Peaceful Vistas Surround You At The Lovely Wellfield Botanic Gardens in Elkhart

Feeling a tad overheated as you walk around the gardens?  Well duck into the shade of the Woodland Conservation Garden!  This three acre oasis on the north side of Wellfield was once a neglected, overgrown and weedy area, where decades of dredgings from the ponds were discarded. Ten years ago this area was transformed and restored to a healthy, Oak-Hickory forest filled with native Indiana shrubs, trees, and wildflowers …

Identify Native Indiana Wildflowers, Ferns and More Using This Helpful Field Guide

Wellfield Woodland Gardens

Walk Through The Council Ring To Enter The Woodland Conservation Garden

Did You Know? The Council Ring was the signature piece in many gardens designed by Jens Jensen, a mid-western garden designer/landscape architect in Chicago in the early to mid 1900’s who collaborated with Frank Lloyd Wright and began what is referred to as the “Prairie School of Landscape Design.” Because a group sitting on these stones would be gathered in a continuous circle, there would be no head of the table, no hierarchy, but a simple affirmation that all members of the community are important to it.

Wellfield Woodland Conservation Garden

Follow The Trail Into The Woodland Conservation Garden And Experience The Sights & Sounds Of Nature

A quarter-mile loop trail winds through the forest, showcasing tall trees, openings in the canopy where understory growth can flourish, and small wildflower meadows. A tranquil and ever changing landscape to take you away from life’s little stresses.

Wellfield Botanic Gardens by

Eye Catching Garden Statuary Adds To The Experience And Charm Of Wellfield

The Mission of Wellfield Botanic Gardens is to celebrate the inseparable relationship between water and life, inspire creativity and lifelong learning, foster stewardship of our natural world, and grow community.  Mission accomplished with this masterpiece of a garden.

Shopping In Downtown Elkhart …

Wellfield Botanic Gardens are situated at the northern end of Elkhart’s “Miracle Mile”, a stretch of Main Street over the St. Joseph River into downtown. The city’s heartbeat, downtown Elkhart is an eight block long area brimming with shops, restaurants, service businesses, and more.

Stash Consignment Elkhart

Stash Consignment In Elkhart Specializes In Buying & Consigning Quality Clothing & Accessories

Heading south from the gardens into downtown, Flower Chick had her eye on Stash Consignment, an upscale women’s fashion boutique where the best looks are available at dime on the dollar prices.

Stash specializes in buying and consigning of fashionable, everyday and high-end items. They also pride theirselves in the consignment of excellent quality pieces for up to 90% off retail prices. Stash sells authentic designer items and stands behind everything they sell so you can shop with confidence.

Flower Chick found some bargains including a J. Jill top, Banana Republic shorts and a Loft sweater … all at great prices and some new with tags.

Reduce, Reuse & Recycle – Save Money And Help The Environment … Tips Here

Dutch Kernel Popcorn Elkhart IN

Dutch Kernel Popcorn & Candies Serves Up Over 50 Varieties Of Popcorn

Before heading out of downtown, you’ll want to stop at Dutch Kernel Popcorn, a small northern Indiana chain of popcorn shops. Pick up a bag of Salted Caramel & Almond Popcorn … what a treat!

They also offer in house made chocolates and a nice mix of other candy. A cute, welcoming store with friendly staff! (Love the popcorn light fixtures too :-)

Vintage Popcorn Decor For Your Home – View The Fun Options Here

On The Way To Fort Wayne …

From Elkhart, it’s about 90 minutes southeast to Fort Wayne via Indiana Route 33. You’ll pass through Goshen, a small city where a fun stop is at the historic Olympia Candy Kitchen.

Olympia Candies Indiana

Did You Know? Goshen’s history dates back to 1831. It is named after the Land of Goshen, an area in Egypt …

Tucked at the corner of Main and Clinton Street in downtown Goshen (pronounced “GO-shen”), the Olympia Candy Kitchen is one of the area’s longest running businesses, open since 1912. A beloved local gathering spot, Olympia is part diner, part soda fountain operation, and part candy store …

Olympia Candy Kitchen Goshen IN

The Olympia Candy Kitchen Has Been A Beloved Destination For Over A Century

Flower Chick had her eye on a box of mixed creams, featuring alluring flavors like lemon, mint, orange, peanut butter, raspberry, strawberry, and vanilla butter cream. If you’re in the mood for lunch, sidle up to a seat at the counter and delve into traditional diner favorites like Indiana’s favorite sandwich, the breaded pork tenderloin. Of course, there’s plenty of ice cream treats too, like fabulous nut sundaes, ice cream sodas, and milk shakes …

Can’t Get To Goshen? Make Old Fashioned Ice Cream Sodas Using These Retro Finds

Jennie Thompson Garden in Ligonier

Continuing southeast toward Fort Wayne on Route 33, you’ll come to the intersection of 33 and Route 6. Turn left (north) on 33 into the historic small city of Ligonier (pronounced “Ligg-oh-NEER”) for a stop at the Jennie Thompson Memorial Botanical Garden at the entrance of Kenney Park …

Jennie Thompson Gardens Indiana

The Pretty And Inspirational Jennie Thompson Garden In Ligonier IN

This garden, flush with annuals and charming walking paths, was created in 1993 from a generous foundation grant from the garden’s namesake, Jennie Thompson. She was a local resident who bequeathed a substantial sum to the city of Ligonier for beautification projects, including this garden locale.

Jennie Thompson Gardens

A Colorful Array Of Garden Beds With Annual Flowers At The Jennie Thompson Gardens

Every year, the city receives an ongoing grant from the foundation for upkeep and maintenance of this garden. Approximately 12,000 annuals are planted here, with city staff and locals providing ongoing care.

Enjoy walking the brick paths through the Jennie Thompson Gardens to view 25 different flower beds or find a park bench and enjoy the solitude and soothing sounds of water trickling from the fountain.

Jennie Thompson Memorial Garden Ligonier IN

A Scenic Spot To Have A Picnic Amongst The Robust Flower Beds

The colorful annuals in the beds included New Guinea impatiens, dusty miller, polka dot plant, sweet potato vine, coleus, and sweet alyssum. Perennials spotted comprised of hostas, ferns, baptisia, liatris, iris and daylilies.

View A Large Selection Of Easy Care Perennials For Your Yard … Click Here To See

Did You Know?  New Guinea Impatiens and SunPatiens are hybrids that have been called “sun impatiens” because they tolerate more sun than the standard variety. However, they still do not like full sun all day. New Guineas are generally grown from cuttings and have larger leaves and larger blooms, up to 3 inches across than the shade loving impatiens.

Jennie Thompson Garden Ligonier

Flourishing Shade Perennials At Jennie Thompson Garden Include Hostas & Ferns

A Stop At Dari Sweet …

A few miles south of the town of Kimmel on Route 33, you’ll spot the lively JR’s Dari Sweet Drive Inn on your right. As the name implies, this community staple serves a variety of ice cream treats and tasty casual menu items like their famous Willie Whopper pork tenderloin sandwich (an Indiana favorite) …

JR's Dari Sweet

JR’s Dari Sweet A Delightful Place To Eat Outside Or In Your Car

Open seasonally in the warmer weather months, JR’s Dari Sweet has served the area for decades. Their annual spring opening date is always eagerly anticipated, and it’s a popular gathering spot all summer long …

Flower Chick and her hubby enjoyed tasty twist cones (vanilla and chocolate soft serve ice cream swirled together … yum!)

From here, it’s about 35 minutes to Fort Wayne and a visit to the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory. Join us there as we continue our Indiana gardens spotlight tour! (more coming soon :-)

Wellfield Botanic Gardens Elkhart

A Graceful Swan Couple Enjoying The Ponds At Wellfield Botanic Gardens

See more beautiful Indiana Gardens visited by Flower Chick by Clicking Here

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