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NOV-DEC 2016

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28 N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 6 F O R known EVERY JUNE, THE FRANCONIA NOTCH REGION of New Hampshire becomes a garden planted only by Mother Nature as purple lupines fl ood the fi elds. Lupine buds whirl up the stalk, forming a sort of wildfl ower spike. Although they come in a rain- bow of hues, the vast majority in Franconia and Sugar Hill are a deep, royal purple. Lupines are in full bloom throughout June, the month that marks Franconia Notch's annual Celebration of Lupines festival, which will mark its 24th year in 2017. By nature, the wildfl owers are wild and sprout up along highways and byways, back roads and off roads, so one of the best ways to take them in is during a scenic drive. e Franconia Notch Regional Chamber of Com- merce off ers a lupine map showing where to fi nd fi elds of the long-lasting blooms. Two of the largest are in Sugar Hill, where visitors can also stop by Polly's Pancake Parlor — a restaurant, gift shop and bakery in an 1830 carriage house. Another is next to Sugar Hill Sampler, a sprawling gift shop and museum housed in a 200-year-old barn where visitors can buy handmade jewelry, candles, soaps and carved wood bowls. Guests can enjoy a free Inspirational Walk on a mowed path through the lupine fi elds with poetry readings along the way or take in the lupines during a wagon ride. One weekend features an open-air market and festival with vendors, artisans, businesses, live music, demonstrations and more. W W W . F R A N C O N I A N O T C H . O R G THE QUILT GARDENS of northern Indiana's Amish Country will celebrate their 10th anniversary next year, and the Elkhart County Convention and Visitors Bureau will celebrate with special activities, such as photo scavenger hunts and artwork at each gar- den, said Sonya Nash, director of group and experiential sales. Since planting the fi rst two quilt gardens in 2007, the project has grown to include 19 gardens at sites along the 90-mile Heri- tage Trail, a scenic loop that winds through six cities and towns in the heart of northern Indiana's Amish Country. e gardens are no small undertaking. Sites must apply to participate and agree to plant the gardens by May 30 and main- tain them until October 1. Every year, a review group identifi es about 70 patterns from a database of 2,000, some dating back to the 1800s, for the sites to choose from, said Nash, who recently placed an order for 150,000 plants for next year's gardens. e CVB off ers step-on guides for groups that want to see the gardens as well as other sites, such as the Amish farmer who rais- es camels or the Amish coffi n-maker. Das Dutchman Essenhaus, home to the largest quilt garden, has eight shops, Indiana's larg- est restaurant and a hotel that features Amish-made furniture and quilts. Amish Acres in Nappanee is a heritage resort with a historic 1800s farmstead, a round-barn theater and a restaurant. W W W . A M I S H C O U N T R Y . O R G GARDENS FRANCONIA NOTCH, NEW HAMPSHIRE N. INDIANA AMISH COUNTRY Courtesy Elkhart County CVB L U P I N E F R O M F R A N C O N I A N O T C H Q U I L T G A R D E N S

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