Garvin Woodland Gardens, located in Hot Springs, Arkansas, a short distance from Interstate 30, has the distinction of being named the 9th best public garden. There, among the two miles of walking trails, are an array of bulbs, antique rose gardens, waterfalls, pools and a bird sanctuary. The 4 1/2 miles of wooded shoreline is lined with blooms of all kinds. The rocky inclines in the garden remind visitors of the Ouachita Mountains which are in the area.
IN 1985 Verna Cook Garvan, an astute businesswoman, donated the land under a trust agreement to the University of Arkansas School of Architecture. She realized that the gardens were too much for her to handle alone.
Spring comes to the gardens, displaying a panorama of daffodils and jonquils, which dot the woodlands. There are thousands of them. The cardinals, wrens, and other native birds add colorful dimension to the blooming flowers.
In April, May, and the early summer months, the antique roses begin their show. The antique roses bloom profusely, along with the early native wildflowers, foxgloves, larkspur, and many old time bloomers. The pine trees surround the gardens. Dogwoods and azaleas bloom during this period. The flora and fauna create a show of their own.
Throughout the blooming season, there are various workshops held in the gardens. Educational programs are conducted for every level of gardener. A schedule of these sessions is available on the Garvin Woodland Gardens website. Pictures of the gardens are also on the site.
The Bonsai Garden is a beautiful assortment of plants, amid sandstone slabs. There is a teaching pavilion located in the gardens, where bonsai classes are taught.
As the summer season winds down, the gardens continue their splendor. In the fall and Winter, the holly, pansies, and flowering kale are only some of the plants that create a colorful fall. To add to the natural flora, the Japanese maple trees, oaks, and hickory trees put on their coats of many colors. The Japanese camellias bloom throughout the Winter months.
At the Yule season, the entire gardens become a Winter Wonderland, Thousands of brightly colored lights are displayed throughout the gardens. In 2009 LED lights replaced all of the other lights making the garden more green from a Conservation stand point.
These gardens are tended by many fine gardeners, who keep expanding their expertise in creating additional flowering areas throughout the acreage. Tours are conducted by local gardening club experts, and questions concerning the plants and other flora are answered. The names of the various plants are posted by the plants,
There is a welcome center on site, where gifts can be purchased. Food is available, also. The tour usually lasts for 1 hour 30 minutes. The general admission price is $8, but discounts are given to seniors and children under 12. For more information on these gardens, call 800-366-4664.