Garvan Woodland Gardens is Arkansas' botanical garden. Located near Hot Springs National Park, the Garden's gently-sloping Ouachita Mountain terrain covers 210 acres of a forested peninsula jutting into Lake Hamilton. The gardens showcase floral landscapes, free-flowing streams and waterfalls, as well as breathtaking architectural structures in a natural woodland setting. This woodland habitat is home to hundreds of natural and exotic plant and animal species and is nestled near one of the nation's oldest and most intimate national parks.
The 210-acre site that is now Garvan Woodland Gardens was purchased by Arthur B. Cook in 1920. His daughter, Verna C. Garvan, began transforming 30 acres of the property into a garden by adding rare plants to the existing vegetation. With Warren Bankson, she cut paths through the forest and continued adding new plants. In 1985, she donated the entire site to the University of Arkansas Department of Landscape Architecture. Public tours began in 1986. A master plan was developed in 1995 and the Gardens have continued to develop since then.
The Japanese sub-garden is known as the 'Garden of the Pine Wind'. It was designed by David Slawson and covers more than four acres It features a 'Full Moon Bridge', three cascades, a 12-foot waterfall, two springs, four pools and a pond of more than a half-acre in size. Slawson used existing landscapes as inspiration for this spectacular rock and stream garden.
Garvan Woodland Gardens is a department of the University of Arkansas' School of Architecture.
Japan a great stone garden in the sea.
Echoes of hoes and weeding,
Centuries of leading hill-creeks down
To ditch and pool in fragile knee deep fields.
Leafy sunshine rustling on a man
Chipping a foot-square rough hinoki beam;
I thought I heard an axe chop in the woods
It broke the dream; and woke up dreaming on a train.
It must have been a thousand years ago
In some old mountain sawmill of Japan.
A horde of excess poets and unwed girls
And I that night prowled Tokyo like a bear
Tracking the human future
Of intelligence and despair.