Garvan Woodland Gardens Offers Tranquility in Hot Springs
Named one of the top five gardens in the country, Garvan Woodland Gardens is a 210-acre woodland fantasy located on a Lake Hamilton peninsula.
The botanical retreat showcases the essence of nature — towering pines, lush plantings, waterfalls and cool lake breezes that trace the 4.5 miles of wooded shoreline. Philanthropist Verna Cook Garvan began the gardens as a personal project several decades ago, before donating them to the University of Arkansas School of Architecture as a tribute to natural preservation.
Formally opened in 2002, Garvan Woodland Gardens continues to follow Verna Garvan’s dreams as well as the plans laid out by UA researchers. One of the highlights of the gardens is the architecture, inspired by renowned architect and Arkansas native E. Fay Jones who believed architecture should reflect and fit within the natural beauty surrounding it. Jones designed the Garvan Pavilion, which serves as the center of activity for the gardens. His influence is seen in other structures in the gardens, such as the Anthony Chapel.
Special events are scheduled throughout the year, including Daffodil Days and Tulip Extravaganza in springtime, and Fall Flower Days in October, which celebrates a rainbow of 8,000 chrysanthemums in bloom. Don’t miss the popular Holiday Lights at Garvan Woodland Gardens, which illuminates the area’s winter beauty with 4 million Christmas lights during much of November and all of December. This holiday event is so popular, it lures visitors from across the state and the region each year.
NEW TREE HOUSE FOR KIDS
Garvan Woodland Gardens will unveil a new kid-approved addition in summer 2018. The garden is teaming up with the Fay Jones School of Architecture & Design to create a magical treehouse within the Evans Children’s Adventure Garden.
The treehouse is set to open during the “The Great Treehouse Adventure: Play Up High” event. Construction is already underway for the treehouse, which will float among the branches of pines and oaks. The treehouse structure will blend in and feel like a natural part of the forest.
The treehouse will also be a place to teach children about nature through interactive exhibits and structures. The interpretive elements will enable children to learn and explore by stimulation, rather than just reading plaques.
For more information about the gardens or the new treehouse, visit GarvanGardens.org.