Located in Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas, the Garvan Woodland Gardens aims to educate the local community and foster research about the environment, while sustaining gardens and fostering a love of nature. Visitors will find a unique variety of gardens, educational programs, and fun community events for members of the entire family.
The land which now houses the Garvan Woodland Gardens was established during the 1920’s after the surrounding area was destroyed by a timber company. Long-time, local resident of Arkansas, Verna Cook Garvan decided to purchase the beautiful area that she loved so much to preserve it.
In the 1950’s, she began to garden and develop the area for the future residents. For the next 40 years, she carefully chose hundreds of flowers, plants, and trees to surround the trails and walkways she created through the woodlands. These carefully chosen items are now extremely rare and some are the originally plantings from 1956.
When Mrs. Garvan passed away in 1993, she generously donated the land to the University of Arkansas Department of Landscape Architecture. The gardens are now used to educate community members about the beauty of nature and the dangers it currently faces from deforestation and environmental factors.
Mrs. Garvan’s legacy has allowed generation after generation to visit the beautiful gardens and learn how to preserve the environment.
Anthony Chapel Complex:This garden provides a breathtaking area for weddings and private events. It features a bride’s hall, groom’s quarters, a meditation garden, a celebration garden, and the chapel. The chapel is made of soft wooden planks and is completely open within the landscaped gardens. It truly looks as if it grew straight out of the forest itself – it is a magical location to say, “I do”.
Dierks Promenade:This area serves as a transition from the Welcome Center into the Great Lawn and Gardens. It is a quiet, spacious, and peaceful area that would be perfect for picnicking with friends or meeting up to start your journey through the gardens.
Ellen Edmondson Great Lawn: The Great Lawn is more than 10,000 square feet of lush, green grass surrounded by colorful flowers and shady trees. This is known as one of the most colorful places in the entirety of Garvan Woodland Gardens!
Evans Children’s Adventure Garden: This garden is 1.5 acres of play area just for the younger members of the family to explore and enjoy! There are tons of interactive garden rocks, a 12-foot waterfall, trees to climb, and a cave complete with fossils!
Garden of the Pine Wind:This garden is approximately 4 acres of majestic rocks and flowing streams covered in colorful ornamental plants from all over Asia.
Bridge of the Full Moon:This 11-foot rustic stone bridge is considered the main focal point of the Garvan Woodland Gardens. It is named after Joy Manning Scott and her generous donation to the Gardens which allowed for the building of the bridge.
Sugg Model Train Garden:This garden features a large variety of operational model trains chugging happily throughout almost 400 feet of track. Train enthusiasts of all ages will sure to be delighted!
Garvan Pavilion:This pavilion is the main centerpiece of a 210-acre beautiful botanical garden an was generously donated by Verna Cook Garvan.
Hixson Family Nature Preserve:This area is approximately 45 acres of wild Quachita woodland and is meant to educate visitors on how to preserve the natural beauty of the area. More than 120 species of birds take refuge in the gorgeous towering trees nestled alongside a natural spring-fed lake which visitors can explore via the Birdsong Hiking Trail.
Millsap Canopy Bridge:This 120-foot wooden bridge is known as one of the most exciting walkways for pedestrians in the region. It stands more than 2 stories above the forest and allows for clear views of a large variety of canopy trees.
Perry Wildflower Overlook:This area provides visitors will overwhelming views of the pristine Lake Hamilton below while being surrounded by approximately 40 varieties of wildflowers.
Daffodil Hill:This area features an epic spring blooming of more than 235 varieties of daffodils each year, making it one of the most colorful shows in the country.
Warren’s Woodland Walk:This trail escorts visitors throughout the Gardens for approximately one-mile. It is named after a former employee, Warren Bankson.
Weyerhaeuser Bonsai Garden:This garden is one of the more intimate at the Garvan Woodland Gardens, it features more than 30 bonsai trees and a diverse collection of traditional Chinese plantings set on a marble slab backdrop.
Garvan Woodland Gardens, 550 Arkridge Road, Hot Springs National Park, AR 71913, website, Phone: 501-262-9300