These gorgeous gardens in Arkansas showcase the natural beauty of our state as well as its botanical diversity.
I love visiting gardens in Arkansas especially in the spring, but they are also beautiful in the summer and fall.
I hope that you enjoy some of these amazing Arkansas gardens.
NOTE: Many of these gardens do have an admission fee. Be sure and check the websites for prices and hours.
Gorgeous Gardens in Arkansas
Garvan Woodland Gardens
Garvan Woodland Gardens is located on the outskirts of the city of Hot Springs. This is a stunning four season garden managed by the University of Arkansas. There are 210 acres at Garvan Gardens with over 4,000 different plant species.
These gardens are stunning year round and also have a variety of architectural masterpieces. You will definitely want to see the amazing “treehouse.” It is a special structure that cost about two-million dollars to build.
Spring at Garvan Gardens is a sight to behold as tens of thousands of tulips bloom in an array of vibrant colors.
As you wander the gorgeous pathways you will walk under a canopy of trees, cross over lovely bridges, enjoy koi filled ponds, pass tumbling waterfalls, and see the lapping waters of Lake Hamilton.
Winters are extra-special due to a huge display of holiday lights throughout the gardens.
Botanical Garden of the Ozarks
The Botanical Garden of the Ozarks are located in the city of Fayetteville. Here you will find 12 themed gardens. Some of these include a butterfly garden, a Japanese garden, and a children’s garden.
These gardens showcase the natural beauty of the Ozark Mountains. They also have an emphasis on educating visitors about the plants of the area and providing “how-to” knowledge and inspiration for local gardeners.
The focus on education extends to children as they provide hands-on nature and science learning experiences for the younger set.
Moss Mountain Farm
Moss Mountain Farm is the home, gardens, and studio of horticulture expert and celebrity P. Allen Smith. If you are a gardener you may know P. Allen Smith from his television show on PBS.
The farm is a stunning place located on a hill overlooking the Arkansas River not too far from Little Rock.
You will have to plan your visit to Moss Mountain Farm well in advance as all visitors must be part of a tour group. People come from all over the country to visit and most tours fill up quickly. Check their website to schedule a tour
The Gardens at Crystal Bridges Museum
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is one of the premiere museums in the state of Arkansas. The museum is surrounded by 120 acres of Ozark Mountain woodlands with about 5 miles of trails.
The land surrounding the museum has natural springs, streams, and geographical features as well as a large number of native plants and animals.
The trails and grounds are definitely part of the museum experience!
On the trails you will also see various art exhibits including crystals that have been installed from some of the quartz mines in the state. You will also see a variety of trees, shrubs, and blooming plants, including dogwoods, azaleas, hydrangeas, native trout lilies and many other species.
Here is a trail map and brochure that you can download to explore the gardens of the museum.
Wildwood Park For the Arts
Wildwood Park for the Arts is located in west Little Rock. Admission is free except for festival days. In addition to the botanical gardens there are various art exhibits and performances offered throughout the year.
One of the most interesting gardens in the park is the Asian woodland garden which was designed by the above mentioned P. Allen Smith in the 1990’s.
There are several trails that lead through the woods or along the edge of the small lake. My favorite spot at Wildwood Park for the Arts is the gazebo at Swan Lake.
Wildwood Park is a lovely place to simply walk and wander.
The Old Mill at T.R. Pugh Memorial Park
The Old Mill is an iconic spot in Central Arkansas. It is located in T.R. Pugh Memorial Park in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Although it is old, it was never actually a mill, instead it was constructed in 1933 and is a recreation of an 1880’s water mill.
Best of all this installation features the sculpture of the famous artist Dionicio Rodriguez and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Admission is free at the Old Mill and the gardens, although gorgeous year round, are particularly stunning in the spring. You can see the entire place in just a few minutes or while away a few hours on a bench relaxing and taking in the lovely scenery.
Peel Mansion Museum and Botanical Garden
The Peel Mansion Museum and Botanical Garden is a historic home located in Bentonville.
The mansion was built in 1875 by Samuel Peel and his wife, Mary Emaline Berry Peel. It is currently a museum that has been beautifully restored and furnished with period antiques as well as items that originally belonged to the Peel family.
There is even an interesting Arkansas ghost story associated with the house.
The property has 2.5 acres of landscaped gardens. These include a perennial garden, a rose garden, a cutting garden, and a vegetable garden. Best of all there is a section of a once larger apple orchard which was original to the time that the house was built.
Wye Mountain Daffodils
Wye Mountain, located near the small town of Bigelow in Central Arkansas comes alive in the spring when the daffodils bloom.
This is not a true botanical garden. It is simply a 7 acre hillside near the Wye Mountain United Methodist Church. However this unassuming hillside blooms in a riot of yellow in the spring becoming a soul restoring place of beauty.
The church holds an annual Wye Mountain daffodil festival. The dates of the festival change depending on when the daffodils bloom but it is typically in early March. Be sure and check their facebook page for more information.
Admission to the hillside to see the daffodils is free although the church does accept donations. Wye Mountain is the perfect spot to take spring and/or Easter photos.
A visit for photos and to experience the daffodils at Wye Mountain is an annual event for our family!
Blue Spring Heritage Center
The Blue Spring Heritage Center is a must see if you are near the town of Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
This botanical garden and nature preserve is situated on 33 acres of land and features a spring that produces more than 38 million gallons of water per day, making it the largest spring in Northwest Arkansas.
The spring is an azure-blue pool which is surrounded by planting beds and lush foliage.
You will also find a variety of activities and attractions, including guided tours of the grounds, nature trails, and educational exhibits.
South Arkansas Arboretum
The South Arkansas Arboretum is one of the 52 state parks in Arkansas. It covers 12 acres and is both a botanical garden and nature preserve located in El Dorado, Arkansas. The purpose is both educational and recreational for visitors and locals.
The arboretum is managed by the South Arkansas Community College. It has both native and non-native plants as well as 2 miles of paved walking trails.
The arboretum features a diverse collection of trees that are native to the South Arkansas region, including oak, hickory, magnolia, and dogwood trees. Many of the trees are marked with small signs to help visitors learn to identify them.
Compton Gardens and Arboretum
Located in Bentonville, Compton Gardens and Arboretum is a 6.5-acre oasis. It is free to visit and features both natural and cultivated areas. There is a diverse collection of trees and plants including a native plant garden.
The beautiful trails through the gardens allow you to experience a variety of landscapes. There are some pieces of art scattered along as well as picnic areas and benches for sitting and enjoying the peaceful setting.
When are the Best Times to Visit the Gardens in Arkansas
When should you visit the botanical gardens in Arkansas?
First be aware that Arkansas is a state with four distinct seasons.
The weather in autumn is often gorgeous and clear and you can enjoy the changing colors of the leaves in these Arkansas gardens.
Summers in Arkansas are green and lush, but often uncomfortably warm. If you do visit an Arkansas garden in the summer please be prepared for hot and humid weather. You might want to wear a hat to shield you from the sun and bring plenty of water to drink.
Winter brings its own beauty to the gardens of Arkansas. Although it can be cold, Arkansas rarely gets snow. In fact, we often have gorgeous warmer days in the winter. There is something special about walking under twisting bare branches silhouetted against a bright blue sky.
However…I would suggest visiting the gardens in Arkansas in the spring if at all possible. It is the best season for seeing the gorgeous flowers and new growth.
Be aware that spring does tend to come and go quickly in our state. Winter becomes summer with just a short break in between. Daffodils and tulips are blooming in March and by April the trees in the state are fully leafed out.
Bonus Garden to Visit
Although it is located in Memphis, Tennessee, the Memphis Botanic Garden is very close to the Arkansas border and is easily accessible for those in the eastern part of the state.
The garden boasts 96 acres with 30 specialty gardens including a Japanese garden, a rose garden, and an herb garden. You can also learn about urban home gardening and find a place for the kids to play here.
Locations of the Arkansas Gardens by Region:
- Moss Mountain Farm
- Wye Mountain Daffodil Field
- The Old Mill at T.R. Pugh Memorial Park
- Wildwood Park for the Arts
- Botanical Garden of the Ozarks
- Compton Gardens and Arboretum
- Blue Spring Heritage Center
- Peel Mansion Museum and Gardens
- Crystal Bridges Museum
- Garvan Woodland Gardens
- South Arkansas Arboretum
Thanks for stopping by, I hope that you enjoy the beautiful gardens in Arkansas.