• s chandor bowling green 1909 w
  • s chandor bridge 1898 w
  • s chandor home bridge 1971 w
  • s chandor bowling green stream 1891 w
  • s chandor fountain 1884 w

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Chandor Gardens

Secrets from the Garden

Chandor Gardens Newsletter - May 2021

Thanks to April's weird record-setting cold snap, May has thus far been beautiful and mild, with cool breezes, drizzly days, and placid evenings. This late-lasting spring is not typical around these parts of the country, so take advantage of it while it lasts! With the beautifully lush Garden and the gorgeous mild weather, now is a perfect time to get photos done in the Garden. To inquire about or schedule a photography session, please call us at 817-598-4334.

Keep up with us on Facebook and Instagram and we'll keep you posted there too.

See you in our beautiful spring Garden,
The Chandor Gardens Staff


Photography Specials

Prom Photography Specials

During Prom Season 2021, we would like to invite you to come and get those heirloom shots of you on your special day, to be cherished for years to come! We are offering a Prom Photography package through the season for just $10 a couple on Saturdays from 9 am to close at 3 pm.

There will be no additional admission for parents and/or photographers. For additional information, please call us at 817-598-4334.


Pelich Portrait Comes Home

Last week a third Douglas Chandor original portrait took up residence at Chandor Gardens.

Upon the passing of Olive Beaton Pelich this past January, Chandor Gardens Foundation Inc. learned that she had so thoughtfully bequeathed the portrait by Douglas Chandor of her late husband, Joseph Pelich Jr, to the Chandor Gardens Foundation Inc. The Foundation is extremely honored to be entrusted with this exquisite example of Douglas Chandor's artistic talent.

Pelich Portrait

The portrait is of a then twelve-year-old Joseph Pelich, Jr. of Fort Worth, Texas, which Douglas Chandor painted in 1936-37.

In the book Chandor's Portraits, the following is noted about this portrait: "The painting of children is a nerve-trying, raddle-daddle job, if for no other reason than that the children seldom keep still. The freckled little fellow in the present portrait, the artist says, was worse than most. He fidgeted throughout, until at the last sitting, he happened to drift into thoughts and dreams of his own." (Vaughan, 1942, p 60)

Douglas was able to palpably capture young Joseph's momentary meditative mood.

This portrait has been said to parallel Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's refrain in his poem "My Lost Youth."

"A boy's will is the wind's will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts."

It only seems fitting that this portrait now resides in the artist's home, a home designed by the subject's architect father, Joseph Pelich.

This stunning portrait can be viewed in the studio above the fireplace at Chandor Gardens.

Pelich Portrait
Yoga Frog

Yoga Classes

Tuesdays & Thursdays
5:30 to 6:30 pm
Class Sizes Limited
Call to Make Reservation: 817-597-1503
Fee: $12 per class for drop-ins, or $60 per month for monthly unlimited classes
Led by: Loretta Benham

Instructor Loretta Benham offers yoga classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Chandor Gardens. Loretta's mix of energetic sequences incorporated with stillness through breath work and meditation to quiet the mind will provide a healthy addition to any workout regimen. Bring your mat and wear comfortable clothing.

In inclement weather, classes will be held in the Great Room. For more information call 817-597-1503 or 817-613-1700.


Cycad Saga

We, too, thought we were done with the cold temperatures for spring, and our staff went out and planted beautiful primordial Cycad specimens all throughout the Garden, but the late April freeze had them scrambling. As a prehistoric species dating back to the age of the dinosaurs (we aren't kidding, stegosaurs and sauropods loved to feast on these ancient plants). These gymnosperms are NOT cold hardy at all, so we were racing against time to wrap them up in advance of the historically late in the season drop in temperature.

However, they were completely successful in preserving these rare, high-quality specimens. We are happy to announce that the Cycads made it through unscathed, and it is now officially Cycad Season in Chandor Gardens!

Wrapping a Cycad next to the Small Falls

above: Stephen, David, and Cindy wrap a Cycad next to the Small Falls to protect it from the frosty biting temps.

Cycad wrapped

above: A Cycad specimen is tied and then wrapped to insulate it from the bitter breeze.

Cycad after surviving the freeze

above: The same Cycad a week later, freed from its bindings to absorb the sun's rays once more.

Large Cycad

above: One large and lush Cycad sits on the south entrance to the Millstone Pond.

These primordial plants are as interesting as they are rare. Cycad fossils date back to at least the Permian and possibly the Carboniferous periods (320 million years ago), the age of giant swamps and freakishly large dragonflies and insects. However, it was during the Dinosaur era, the Mesozoic, that they reigned supreme and provided a backdrop for many of the dinosaur dioramas we all imagined as children, with our plastic facsimiles and fold-out paper landscapes.


Bromeliad Blooms


Our Bromeliad collection has made its way into the sunshine at last and glows in the dappled light as green Japanese Maples frame them in the background. After the brutal winter storm in February and the frigid encore in April, it's a relief to see the warm weather once more. It's even more bittersweet this year, as the ice storm ruined many large Bromeliad collections across the state and greater southern US area, killing thousands upon thousands of this epiphytic family. We were so blessed that our greenhouses withstood the storm, and our modest collection remains on view.

Gift Shop is in the Chandor Gardens Mansion

Gift Shop

Take the Gardens home with you. There are postcards, note cards, prints, and t-shirts sporting fabulous images of Chandor Gardens in our gift shop. We feature unique handmade items by a variety of local artisans specializing in textiles, stained and fused glass, jewelry, painting, photography and much more.

Plant of the Month

Staghorn Fern

Staghorn Fern (Platycerium bifurcatum)
The Platecerium bifurcatem (Staghorn Ferns) are back! We shelter these enormous specimens in our greenhouse all winter as they cannot survive the cold temperatures here. As soon as it is warm and humid enough, they make their grand entrance! It is a bit difficult to hang these gigantic epiphytic ferns as it requires the use of tractors and chains. These massive specimens are quite interesting and different from your average Fern as they are free-hanging and are not the kind of plant that one would put in a pot with dirt. In fact, "Epiphyte" means "a plant that grows on another plant but is not parasitic, such as the numerous ferns, bromeliads, air plants, and orchids growing on tree trunks in tropical rainforests." So, in the wild, these plants will often grow in the crook where branch meets tree, but in cultivation grow wrapped around pieces of wood which can then be hung. Once hung, the brown Shield Fronds start overlapping more and more until an enormous specimen has developed. Come check out these magnificently odd plants hanging from the large Cedar Elm in the Labyrinth.


Parting Shot

Parting Shot - Light

Douglas Chandor's primary inspiration, both in his portraits and in his Garden, was light, the way it reflects and refracts, and all its unique properties. The layout of his Garden and the constant use of water features demonstrates this perfectly. Look at this view! We see green. We see texture. We see layers. And look at the way that the light hits certain features, making them seem to almost glow despite the dappled light conditions. That is no accident. Douglas Chandor utilized both light and dark in thoughtful and ingenious ways to give depth to all his works of art, both on canvas and in his once-rocky hillside converted artistically into the lush oasis it remains today.

Contact Information

Chandor Gardens
711 W Lee Avenue
Weatherford, TX 76086

Phone: 817-613-1700
Fax: 817-598-4354

Private Tours and Events
Available year-round by appointment

Public Hours
Monday-Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Saturday, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Sunday, noon to 4:00 pm
Closed all City Observed Holidays

Adults: $5
Children 12 and under: Free
(Children must be accompanied by an adult.)