One Tank Travels: Garvan Woodland Gardens

We invite you to have “More Fun Per Gallon” in Arkansas this year. Each day we will be blogging on different Arkansas destinations  which can be reached on one tank of gas or less. This is basically every corner of The Natural State. We hope these suggestions help you in planning a trip to remember. This week: Garvan Woodland Gardens

Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs, which is ranked as one of the top five botanical gardens in America, is celebrating Fall Flower Days beginning October 1 through November 16.

According to a news release sent by Garvan staff, volunteers and staff gardeners have planted around 8,000 garden mums in a rainbow of colors throughout the flowering border areas of the Gardens. There will be an opportunity to buy the mums when they take them out of the ground in November.

The Garden’s summer blooms (impatiens, begonias, and zinnias, and foliage of coleus and caladiums) are over for the season but fall has more color in store at the Gardens. These rainbow of colors and shapes are from just one plant, the chrysanthemum.

According to information provided by Sherre Freeman, who works at Garvan, “hundreds of cultivars provide an array of colors and bloom shapes, making mums the divas of the autumn garden. The blooms last for weeks, not days, and the sheer number of flowers per plant will convince anyone that this flower really likes to show off. Consider the mum’s impressionistic abilities and its longevity, and you have a plant that pulls its weight in the garden.”

Along with mums, there are hundreds of asters, pansies, violas, million bells, and petunias, plus the foliage of ornamental chard and mustards.

Special events are also set to take place this fall including a Gardening 101 Workshop this week ( Sept. 27). The event includes and ‘Early Fall Walk’ ( 9:30-noon) and Tree Identification from 1-3. During the morning event, Garden Director Bob Byers takes participants on a walk through the Gardens to identify fall features in the landscape. In the afternoon, retired University of Arkansas at Monticello professor Eric Sundell will instruct participants how to identify native trees of Arkansas. Participants will receive a copy of the Arkansas Forestry Commission’s handbook, Trees of Arkansas, and a key that they can take home as a reference. Cost is $5 for GWG members; $15 for non-members. Advance registration is recommended.
Janet Carson also hosts a “Fall Planting” workshop on Oct. 11 from 9:30-3 p.m. During the event, U of A Cooperative Extension Horticulture Specialist Janet Carson will spearhead this one-day workshop along with Garden Director Bob Byers. This hands-on workshop focuses on small flowering trees; shade trees; pruning, care and maintenance of trees; a planting demonstration and assessing tree damage. Cost to participate in the workshop is $45 for GWG members and $55 for non-members. Price includes lunch. Advance reservations and pre-payment are required.
Garvan Woodland Gardens is open daily from 9-6.  Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $5 for children ages 6-12 and is free for children ages 0-5.  For more information about what’s blooming call 501-262-9300 or visit their website at They also have a neat blog at



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