ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Garvan Woodland Gardens, Arkansas
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Garvan Woodland Gardens, Arkansas
Garvan Woodland Gardens
A masterpiece of landscape
architecture, the gardens are
located in Hot Springs.
A Path at Garvan Gardens
Paths lead through the
beautiful gardens, allowing
visitors to roam the grounds.
Waterfall at Garvan Gardens
Numerous waterfalls and
other water features add
beauty to the gardens.
Hot Springs, Arkansas - Garvan Woodland Gardens
Garvan Woodland Gardens
Waterfalls and lush forest scenery combine to create
one of the most beautiful places in Arkansas,
Garvan Woodland Gardens.
A World Class Botanical Garden
On a 210 acre peninsula that extends into
Lake Hamilton at
Hot Springs, the University
of Arkansas has created a world class
botanical garden.

One of the most spectacularly beautiful
places in the Natural State, Garvan
Woodland Gardens was the dream of
founder and benefactor Verna Cook Garvan.

While walking through the lush, beautiful
gardens today, it is difficult believe that this
was once a piece of clear-cut property.
Loggers harvested every tree from the land in

Mrs. Garvan, however, became enchanted
with the beautiful peninsula after her family
purchased it during the 1920s. Following the
death of her father in 1934, she assumed
control of the family's large manufacturing
business (ABCO). Verna Cook Garvan made
history as one of the first female Chief
Executive Officers of a major Southern
manufacturing company.

Over the years, she maintained her love for
the future site of the gardens and refused to
let the trees be cut from the property again.
As second growth forest slowly grew on the
site, she began to envision converting it into
a garden and possible home site.

In 1956, she began planting the gardens,
personally selecting and placing each new

Over the next forty years, Mrs. Garvan
continued to expand the growing garden.
Over this time period, more than 160 different
varieties of azaleas were planted there, along
with camellias, magnolias, roses,
hydrangeas and more. The result was a
magnificent woodland garden that became
one of the most beautiful places in Arkansas.

Upon her death, Mrs. Garvan left the
wonderland she had created to the
Department of Landscape Architecture at the
University of Arkansas.

The University today continues her dream of
a growing, expanding garden that would be a
place of learning and beauty for the people of
Arkansas and visitors from around the world.

The scale and scope of Garvan Woodland
Gardens is amazing. A stream with
numerous waterfalls winds its way through
the complex, which also features walkways,
stone bridges, overlooks, a pavilion
designed by famed architect E. Faye Jones, a
chapel, a miniature railroad and more.
The gardens are closed in January, but can
be visited every other month of the year.
During the holidays, they are the setting for a
spectacular lighting display.

Current hours are:

February 1 - March 31:
10 a.m. - 5 p.m., seven days each week.

April 1 - September 30:
9 a.m. - 8 p.m., seven days each week.

October 1 - November 21:
10 a.m. - 5 p.m., seven days each week.

November 22 - December 31:
12 noon - 9 p.m., seven days each week.

The holiday lights are switched on each
evening from November 22 - December 31 at
5 p.m.

Please click here to visit the official website
of the gardens for current hours and other

Garvan Woodland Gardens are located off
Exit 7 from the Martin Luther King, Jr.,
Expressway (Highway 270) in Hot Springs.
Blooms at Garvan Gardens
Hundreds of varieties of
blooming plants grow at
Garvan Woodland Gardens.
The grounds are open to the
public seven days each week
from February through
Gurney's 125 x 125
Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
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