Yesterday I took some time to go and check out all the buzz surrounding Garvan Woodland Gardens. Any time I’ve ever heard someone mention Garvan Woodland Gardens, their sentence has always ended with, “You have to go see it, its beautiful,” or something to that effect. So, I figured it was about time that I did.

Garvan Woodland Gardens is basically a huge botanical garden that covers a wide area complete with koi ponds, waterfalls, smooth walkways, and many species of animals. The gardens are a  little way away from the main bustle of the city, but that’s definitely a good thing, I mean come on…who would want to go to a serene nature preserve within the sights and sounds of the city? Garvan Woodland Gardens was founded by Verna Cook Garvan, CEO of ABCO (A. B. Cook Industries) which was her father’s business, as CEO Verna was one of the first female Chief Executive Officers of a major southern manufacturing business. Mrs. Garvan took great care and time to personally pick out where each pathway would lead and also which trees needed to be cut to lay them. For 40 years Mrs. Garvan planted thousands of species of different flowers and plants that now form a superb collection. The gardens are now run by the Department of Landscape Architecture through the University of Arkansas.

I know that strolling through gravel pathways surrounded by blooming flowers and trees isn’t exactly everyone’s idea of a fun time, it’s not too high up on my fun list either. But, different people have different tastes and I’m writing this blog to appeal to many different tastes. So, if you’re into the nature and outdoor scene, this is the place for you! Once you make it to the Welcome Center in front of the gardens, you receive a map of all the different trails going through the gardens along with the names of the different categories of gardens inside the facility. The winding trails inside the gardens can lead you to a number of different attractions and features. You could spend hours in this place! For example, the Garden of Pine Wood, the Hixon Family Nature Preserve, and Dierks Promenade are some popular features available for your pleasure, just to name a few.

I actually did enjoy myself, prior to what I thought before entering the gardens, as I walked around the beautifully landscaped gardens and I would very highly recommend Garvan Woodland Gardens to anyone who enjoys walking and observing nature. I would also highly recommend this spot as a great date destination, a worker told me that they have hundreds of weddings and proposals a year there, so who could argue with those stats? So, overall if you don’t like walking, getting a little hot (its all outside), and/or observing some beautiful scenery then avoid this place, however if you do like any of those things you have to check out Garvan Woodland Gardens for sure.

Location: 550 Arkridge Rd, 71913

Contact:, (501) 262-9300