Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs are located on the shores of Lake Hamilton and are part of the department of the University of Arkansas’ Fay Jones School of Architecture. Garvan is the only botanical garden in the nation that occupies all of a peninsula in a major water body and was named one of the top five botanical gardens in America in 2012.
The Garden of the Pine Wind, a four-acre, rock and stream garden located on the property, has landed Garvan further national recognition. It was recently voted the 5th best Asian garden in North America in 2013 by Sukiya Living Magazine -the Journal of Japanese Gardening.
According to copy featured on the website of Garvan Woodland Gardens: “The area offers a quiet place for contemplation and meditation. Around 300 varieties of Asian ornamental plants can be viewed here – including 60 types of Japanese and other Asian maples and Oriental dogwoods. In springtime, more than 40 giant-flowered tree peonies and hundreds of azaleas complement the maple collection’s attractive foliage.
David Slawson, a nationally recognized expert in Asian Art and garden design, used regional landscapes and the scenic ravines of the garden site as his inspiration for this spectacular garden. Key features include the Sunrise Bridge, based on Japanese precedents and named by the mayor of Hot Springs’ Sister City, Hanamaki, Japan; the picturesque Joy Manning Scott Bridge of the Full Moon, inspired by rustic bridges of China; three major cascades; a 12-foot waterfall; two springs; four pools; and a half-acre koi pond.”
Sukiya Living Magazine is a bi-monthly English-language print publication dedicated to the world of Japanese gardens and Japanese architecture. Every other month, this 44-page magazine discuses various aspects of Japanese architecture, horticulture, art, and philosophy.
For more information about what’s blooming at the Garden or admission and opening hours information, call 501-262-9300 or visit their website at www.garvangardens.org. They also have a neat blog at www.garvangardensblog.org.