Monday, March 7, 2011

Garvan Woodland Gardens

Last spring, Randy and I drove to Austin to visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.  The trip back to McKinney was planned so that we had the time to drive though the Blue Bonnet trails near Ennis, Texas.  I love flower gardens.  They are beautiful and very picture worthy.  The main reason for our trip to Hot Springs last week was to go to the Daffodil Festival at Garvan Woodland Gardens.

Garvan Woodland Gardens is 210 acres of beauty that sits on a wooded peninsula with 4.5 miles of shoreline on Lake Hamilton.

There is everything that you would expect in a botanical garden:  flowers, trees, shrubs, a koi pond, nature trails, The Chipmunk Cafe and a gift shop. 

The land was purchased in 1920 by Verna Cook Garvan,  Mrs Garvan's father owned the Acme Brick Company, made popular in the Road Runner cartoons.

Kidding ~

Dad used to love the Road Runner and Wile E Coyote cartoons.  He also loved the show 'Mission Impossible'.  So much so that one Saturday night, mom and dad left me home alone while they visited with friends.  Dad instructed me to watch Mission Impossible and take notes for him.  This was in the olden days, eons before VCR's were invented.

That also reminded me of the time I was home by myself one night and reading 'Helter Skelter'.  Deb told me that when she got home, my eyes were practically bugging out of my head.  I was never so glad to see a family member in my life.  Books about Charles Manson should never be read when you are home alone.

Anyway ~

Mrs Garvan's father did own the Malvern Brick and Tile Company in Malvern, Arkansas.  When he passed away in 1934, Mrs Garvan became the first woman CEO of a southern manufacturing company. Quite a feat, considering that fourteen years before, women had just received the right to vote.

Mrs Garvan spent 40 years developing and planting the gardens with very personal involvement.  When she passed away, she willed the property to the Department of Landscape Architecture through the University of Arkansas Foundation.  The gardens are now cared for through both private and public support.

Seriously, that was a beautiful gift that Mrs Garvan gave to us to enjoy.  The gardens are absolutely spectacular in every way. 

Daffodils are my favorite flower.  I don't think that God could have created a better flower to show us that winter is over and spring is coming.  Bright and sunny, sweet smelling daffodils just make me smile.  The Garvan Woodland Gardens had plenty of daffodils for me to enjoy.

It was a beautiful day and Randy and I ended up spending the entire day at the gardens.

We walked ...

... And we walked ...

... And we walked.

We got Roxy out of the car, paid her $4 admission and walked some more.

I would urge everyone to take the time to look at some spring flowers today.  Really look.  Go to the neighbors, look in your own flower beds, heck, drive to Lowe's.  It will do your heart good.

Have the BEST day ever! 
~ Dorothy

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