Wildwood’s expansive gardens present trails, various flora

As autumn’s cooler climate looms and the delta variant of covid-19 persists, finding outside enjoyment…

As autumn’s cooler climate looms and the delta variant of covid-19 persists, finding outside enjoyment can be as straightforward as a wander in the park. That is virtually the case at Wildwood Park for the Arts, property to multi-concept trails and gardens in a secluded expanse on Little Rock’s western fringe.

In normal situations, 105-acre Wildwood is better regarded for the arts and enjoyment staged in its Lucy Lockett Cabe Festival Theatre. But the pandemic has limited these are living gatherings to occasional open-air performances. In the meantime, the park’s 105 acres are open day-to-day no cost of charge from late morning till sunset. In the course of two latest afternoon strolls, there was only a scattering of other readers, including to the perception of tranquility.

In the vicinity of the parking location inside Wildwood’s major entrance, guests can select up a map of the walking paths. Just forward stretches Swan Lake, described on the park’s website as “the focal issue of Wildwood’s gardens and trails.” Fishing is permitted in the lake, with a plan of capture and release.

At the east conclusion of the lake, the Gertrude Remmel Butler Gazebo provides photographers an architectural accent to the foliage lining the shore. The gazebo stands at the east end of Butler Arboretum, a centerpiece of the gardens with its winding paths among the native trees.

The Gertrude Remmel Butler Gazebo stands at the japanese close of Swan Lake. (Unique to the Democrat-Gazette/Marcia Schnedler)

Created by superstar gardener P. Allen Smith, the 10-acre arboretum is made up of the region’s biggest assortment of indigenous woodland azaleas, together with daffodils and Louisiana iris. Swings connected to quite a few trees provide a recreational respite for kids who may be bored by walking a path.

Tucked into the arboretum is Zahn Rock Garden, on a increase recognized as Butler Hill. Embedded in the slate and boulders are 56 types of crops, together with Texas bush sage, California poppies and native butterfly weeds.

Just north of the gazebo is 1 conclusion of the half-mile Ruth Allen Dogwood Trail. This route crosses a forested place and descends into a slender valley. The trail’s jap 50 percent was established by gardener Tom Neale and Boy Scout David Curtis.

Wild 40 Trail, the park’s longest walking route, zigzags for 1.9 miles east and south of Swan Lake. At its two primary entrances are kiosks that contains brochures with details about the park’s ecology. Between developers of the path have been Central Arkansas Grasp Naturalists and Central Arkansas Path Alliance.

Dodi Tea House is a highlight of Wildwood Park’s Asian Woodland Garden. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette/Marcia Schnedler)

Dodi Tea Residence is a highlight of Wildwood Park’s Asian Woodland Garden. (Unique to the Democrat-Gazette/Marcia Schnedler)

Two modest decorative gardens are planted in close proximity to the festival theater just west of the most important parking place. Boop H2o Garden combines indigenous flora with splashing h2o swimming pools. The plantings incorporate deciduous azaleas and loblolly pine. Among the Bruce Garden’s featured crops are bottlebrush buckeye and autumn fern.

North of the theater, the park’s most photogenic place is Asian Woodland Backyard. It was originally intended in the 1990s by P. Allen Smith as a memorial to Wildwood patron Doris Carre Gay. It was expanded a decade back to incorporate stepping-stone paths and a rock grotto with a waterfall. The garden’s plants are native to Japan, Korea and China.

A highlight of the Asian yard is the Dodi Tea Household, entered on a flagstone terrace. Its windows attribute panels of etched glass with floral layouts, an creative contact that enhances the normal surroundings. Many close by sculptures, together with Doug Zahn’s “The Middle Kingdom,” add an unique touch to a wander in the park.


Wildwood Park for the Arts

Address: 20919 Denny Highway, Minimal Rock

Several hours: Open up 9 a.m.-sunset Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-sunset Saturday, noon-sunset Sunday.

Admission: Free

Information: Go to wildwoodpark.org or contact (501) 821-7275.