History of flowers in Communal Amana
During the communal era, leaders of the Amana Colonies discouraged growing flowers. Vegetable gardens filled the yards and surrounded the communal kitchens. Land was not to be wasted, so grape trellises were attached to the sides of homes to provide fruit for wines and jellies. Trellises also shaded the homes in the summer. After the end of the communal era in 1932, things changed and flower gardens replaced many of the vegetable gardens. The Amana Colonies’ started its love affair with flowers.
Colonies in Bloom events
On two special weekends during the summer growing season, some local gardeners open their yards to visitors to stroll through and see the fruits of their hard work. The Colonies are blest to have many talented gardeners who are dedicated to their hobby. If you are able to come both times, you will see the changes in the blooms from the best yards and gardens on display for “Colonies in Bloom”.
The event is free and you can fill an entire day traveling through the Amana Colonies to the selected homes. Each one is different and unique. Master gardeners tend some as well as other residents who just love their gardens. Come see flowers and green plants along with vegetable gardens. Some are rare plants and beautiful displays of color. You will get tips on how these masters grow their favorites.
There are two dates, one in June that features the early blooming flowers and one in July for the later varieties. If you are lucky enough to come for both “Colonies in Bloom” weekends, you will see the change throughout the season. Maps of the homes/yards are available at the Amana Colonies Visitor’s Center, so make sure to stop by for a map and directions.
Look for the flags
Look for the small German and American flags out front of the house. These flags signify homes that welcome you into the back yard to see additional flowers.
Aside from the special gardens designated on the map, many homes and businesses in Amana have beautiful flowers on display all summer as you drive through the seven villages.
“We loved the place in Middle Amana that not only had a beautiful garden, but also had music playing and served wine. The lady told us that all our senses should be stirred as we look at the flowers.” Joanne and Dave
Plan for next year…
This event is held each year, so if you missed this year, plan now to come enjoy a leisurely stroll through the beautiful flower gardens next year.