Garvan Woodland Gardens

A koi fish charges through the water to see if we have any food for him. We didn’t.

I’m talented at losing things for brief periods of time, such as these pictures of Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs. I went to the 210-acre forested peninsula on Lake Hamilton earlier this fall with my aunt as a Saturday get-a-way with our dogs. It was definitely interesting and was still filled with plenty of flowers despite the approaching cold weather.

One of the things I like about the place is its Hixson Family Woodland Nature Preserve. The Garland County Audubon Society says it has more than 100 different birds including the pileated woodpecker, tufted titmouse and the occasional bald eagle.

A Pileated Woodpecker we passed on our Sept. 10 hike.

The Garvan Woodland Gardens opened nine years ago and is a department of the University of Arkansas’ Fay Jones School of Architecture. It was initially the beloved property of Malvern businesswoman Verna Cook Garvan, who dreamed of tranforming it into a public garden for all Arkansans to enjoy. She donated the private garden to the university in 1985 (26 years ago) with the understanding it would be developed into a first-class botanical garden.

It’s easy to get lost within the property that includes Evans Children’s Adventure Garden, Garden of Pine Wind (has a cool koi pond, see top picture), Singing Springs Gorge and Millsap Canopy Bridge, Three Sisters of Amity Daffodil Hill and Anthony Chapel where more than 355 couples were married in 2010 and 2011.

I can’t wait to go back in late spring, early summer, especially since it was that gorgeous in late fall. Until then, below are some of the pictures I took: