Take a peek inside these blooming beauties in Little Rock.

Secret Gardens Open Up
Credit: Art Meripol

A state known for its winding roads, lush flora, and sweeping views, Arkansas captivates spring-seekers. To commemorate the season, some of Little Rock's gardeners open their homes to the public during Quapaw Quarter's annual tour (May 6-7). (Homes and gardens included in the event change every year.)

You're Invited
The walking tour includes locations such as the Governor's Mansion and the Old Methodist Parsonage in addition to private homes. Like colorful hard candy, lavender, pink, and white azaleas populate Connie Hurst's lush landscape. The English-inspired garden of Anne Jarrard features a pergola decked out with a lavish chandelier and covered in Boston ivy and Carolina jessamine. The garden itself is sectioned into rooms, just as a house would be. Each one is designed for a specific purpose, be it a charming wedding or fun barbecue. "It's very important for a garden to have structure and bones," Anne emphasizes. Lovely flowers don't hurt either.

For more info: Contact the Quapaw Quarter Association, 1206 South Main Street, Little Rock, AR 72202; (501) 371-0075 or www.quapaw.com. Admission: $30 Friday night dinner; $25/day Friday and Saturday; $70 weekend package.

Stay Awhile
Two serene spots invite overnight visitors.

  • The Empress of Little Rock Small Luxury Hotel and Conference Center: 2120 South Louisiana Street, Little Rock, AR 72206; (501) 374-7966 or www.theempress.com. Rates: $130-$285.
  • Rosemont Bed & Breakfast: 515 West 15th Street, Little Rock, AR 72202; (501) 374-7456 or www.rosemontoflittlerock.com. Rates: $85-$135.

"Secret Gardens Open Up" is from the May 2006 issue of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.