|In The Gift Shop
Take the Gardens Home with you.
There are postcards, notecards, prints, calendars and even t-shirts sporting The 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.
Shop early for truly special holiday gifts!
Douglas Chandor designed this stone and brick pathway in 1936 as the initial feature of his garden. The Latin inscription in the walk is Douglas' message to his wife; "May this little garden flourish, consecrated to Ina, in the year of Our Lord Edward the Eighth, forevermore." 2011 marks the 75th anniversary of the installation of Ina's Walk.
What's New In The Garden
One of our newest projects here at Chandor Gardens is the completion of the extension on the Silver Garden's curved pergola. For several decades, the brick and stone pedestals to the west have stood empty, and in recent years they were used as planting niches. Designed to replicate the existing pergola, they are built using rough cedar. Design, construction, and painting was all performed in-house by Steven Chamblee, Toby Mize, and Lee Ann Nave.
711 W Lee Avenue
9:00 am to 5:00 pm
9:00 am to 3:00 pm
noon to 4:00 pm
Closed all City Observed Holidays.
Children 12 and under: Free
(Children must be accompanied by an adult.)
Private Tours and Events
Available year-round by appointment.
Private tours, weddings, corporate events, retreats and private parties scheduled year-round by appointment.
Book your Holiday parties in the beautifully decorated Chandor Gardens mansion! The mansion
accommodates up to 125 guests.
We are now booking weddings for 2012 and beyond. The Gardens can accommodate up to 200 guests.
|Chandor Gardens Newsletter
Welcome to the premier issue of Chandor Garden's newsletter! In it, we will keep you up to date on the latest developments at Chandor Gardens, as well as letting you in on the "inside scoop" of projects we have in store for the future.
Good communication is a two-way street, so please let us know how you like the newsletter, and we're open for suggestions for topics you'd like to see gracing our pages.
The Chandor Gardens Staff
Return to Splendor
by Steven L. Chamblee
Seems everyone has a story about Chandor Gardens. My own story dates to 1987, when a friend told me of the grand and glorious "Chamblee Gardens" in Weatherford. Naturally, I was amazed that I shared my uncommon name with a historic garden. I soon arrived in Weatherford, sure that everyone knew of this botanical masterpiece (my mind had conjured up a Texas version of Kew Gardens by now). I enthusiastically asked one puzzled person after another to direct me to my horticultural Mecca, but they all thought I was a loon. Apparently, my oasis was just a mirage. I stopped by a cafe before heading home and asked one last time. "Oh, you must mean Chandor Gardens," fell from the sweet lips of that dear grandmother.
I followed her exact directions and found myself looking through old iron gates up a long driveway that disappeared into a tunnel of vines and brambles. Scared but curious, I cracked the gate open and slipped inside. It was eerie and quiet, except for the dead leaves that crunched under my feet as I crept onward. A bizarre Chinese gate appeared to my right, leading into some sort of dead end that was choked with vines. To my left, a narrow slit between the bushes led down a path into some sort of dank pit. I spied a dust-covered motorcycle and a pile of clothes that looked like dirty laundry just ahead, and beyond that was a creepy-looking house. A dog barked from the shadows. I quickly decided I had seen it all, and scooted right on down the drive and got out of there. My dream was shattered, and I would not set foot on that property for another 14 years.
Today's Chandor Gardens is a different world. Skillfully crafted garden rooms, each unique in theme and function, are strung like pearls upon a thread of elegant pathways. Smooth hedges echo curves and alleys, accentuating the creative mind of their creator and paying homage to a whimsical elegance of days gone by. Beneath the canopy of live oaks and native cedar elms, waters splash, flowers dance, birds flutter and sing. Stones mimic creatures, bricks weave patterns, broken shards tell stories. Beams of sunlight splay into prisms of color through glass and crystals while now-silent millstones lead the way across blue waters. Indeed, the charm of Chandor lives on.
The primary source of Chandor Garden's character lies in the unabashed delight of discovery. Through one keyhole gate you find a brickwork path laced into the shape of a fish. A monochromatic relief sculpture set into the wall defies easy categorization--Greek, Roman, or the funeral of Dionysus? The waters trickling from the playful fish's mouth drown out the rest of the world--but why does the fountain's utilitarian base catch your curiosity and hold it captive?
Five impish elves play at the Pixie Pond; three are gazing about and two are searching--for what? Perhaps they are looking for a lost ball from the bowling green. (Yes, a bowling green, complete with sunken lawn and custom-crafted limestone walls.) Behind the lush cherry laurel hedge, the Mad Hatter statue stands guard over his domain. Sinuous paths draw you down to the main pond where a stone ship is moored in dark blue waters that reflect an ever-changing abstract painting on their surface. The power of the 20-foot waterfall beckons your attention, and you wonder who has sipped champagne in the small pool behind its veil.
Meandering down a patterned path of rough-hewn stone framed with holly ferns and arching Japanese maples, through a whitewashed colonnade, you meet Kuan Yin, the Chinese goddess of mercy. Consciously, you know she is a mere statue made of cement, but your inner self knows that somehow you will meet her again. After you have encountered the mystery of the Moon Grotto, the Chinese Moon Gate looms overhead. Close inspection reveals an intricate roof composed of authentic antique Chinese roof tiles, split terra cotta sewer pipe, and...are those really old beer bottles? A chorus of hollow voices from the eight roof tile characters atop the gate reverently responds "yes."
A few feet away, the garden opens up, revealing the main driveway once draped with 200 feet of arching wisterias. Just as quickly you descend down a path to encounter the truly awesome Dragon Fountain. Sparkling waters frame the bizarre fountain, encrusted with marbles, polished tiles, and devilishly disguised Coke and 7-Up bottles! Twin dragons scamper across the fountain under a dome spray of water, creating a masterpiece of clever ingenuity that begs contemplation. Appropriately, a small Buddha statue tucked into a wall niche does just that, flanked by symmetrical walls of brilliantly executed, multi-dimensional brickwork.
When you finally reach the Cave Grotto, with its gurgling waterfall, your mind makes a subliminal connection and you reach a little epiphany. You quickly turn around to realize that the Cave Grotto is at the opposite end of a wondrously-disguised garden axis, and that all these seemingly helter skelter rooms were all part of a masterful scheme designed to make you lose your senses--direction, time, worry, deadlines, etc. The garden has succeeded in slowly, undetectably--magically--enveloping you within its charming character. Child-like laughter is an element of the Cave Grotto, akin to the chuckles of delight a master magician can coax from his audience.
Finally, like an experiential crescendo, the Silver Garden appears over the hedges. Set upon classical architectural lines and lovingly sculpted into the earth, this garden sets the mind ablaze with visions of grand and glorious parties of yesteryear. The ambiance is elegant and sophisticated, yet open and inviting. A curving formal pergola frames the rear of the garden, gently snuggling the manicured lawn and color beds against the house.
Chandor's house reflects the same charm and ingenuity as the garden. Each room is distinctly its own, and wonder is found in the discovery of quirky details. From the arched barrel ceilings and hidden doors to linen canvas walls and patterned-brick floors, the house exudes a definitive character. The large studio room features scrub-finished walls, a large fireplace, and huge timber beams that support the 25-foot ceiling. Each window and doorway is unique and custom-made, and usually includes curving lines. Original drawings of the Garden still hang on the walls, and that curious door on the ceiling provides access to the beautiful cupola that crowns the main house.
For those who know her, Chandor Gardens is more than a tranquil sanctuary from the mad world we live in these days. She is more than a portal back through time to simpler days. She is a friend who continually delights us with surprises and teaches us about nature, grace, and ourselves. As in the Arabian proverb, she is the friend to whom we may "pour out all the contents of our heart, wheat and chaff together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away."
T'ai Chi in the Gardens
Saturdays in October: 10:00 am to 11:30 am
Join instructor Michael Anderson for a relaxing and therapeutic T'ai Chi class in the peaceful setting of Chandor Gardens. Michael has been teaching T'ai Chi/Chi Kung since 1996. He is also a certified Tibetan/Sei Chem Reiki Master Teacher, an intuitive counselor, and an Oriental Therapist. For more information or to sign up for classes go to:
Sunset Picnic Concert - The Kevin Townson Group
Sunday, October 16, 2011, 5:30 to 7:00 pm
Bring your favorite beverage and picnic for a night out with friends. Enjoy the beautiful gardens while relaxing to a unique blend of Latin-Jazz & Flamenco Music. Kevin Townson is a Classical/Flamenco guitarist and composer currently based in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He performs as both a soloist and with his Latin jazz group, The Kevin Townson Group.
To purchase tickets
call: 817-596-7333 or email:
In advance - $15.
At the door - $18.
Children 12 and under - Free.
Leesha's Closet Fashion Show - Fashion with a Passion
Sunday, October 23, 2011, 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Leesha's Closet along with Scentimentals & Fiddlestix Fancies invites you to a fashion show benefiting the Performing Arts Association of Weatherford (PAAW). This fashion show will help provide the WISD students with the opportunity to see and hear great performances, as well as allow the PAAW to continue expanding experiences for students. Join the event on Facebook (Fashion with a Passion). Hair and Make-up provided by Grace Salon. Lemonade donated by Fire Oak Grill.
Ticket reservation call: Leesha 817-304-5946
Ticket donations $5
Goblins in the Gardens
Saturday, October 29, 2011, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
A spook-free, daytime, trick-or-treat experience for the whole family. A themed area will be decorated for personal photos. Costumes are encouraged. Guest 18 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
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Cement Leaf Class - Great for Holiday Gifts!
November 4, 2011, 9:00 to 11:00 am
Bring your own leaves or use some from the Gardens. One or more leaves can be used to make small to large, one-of-a-kind cement creations: birdbaths, coasters, etc. All supplies are furnished, though you will need to bring a board to carry your cement leaf home.
Space is limited. Registration deadline is November 1st.
$15 per person
Contact Lee Ann Nave to make reservations.
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Chandor Gardens Annual Holiday Open House
Saturday, December 10, 2011, 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Celebrate the Holidays at Chandor Gardens! Enjoy a stroll through the gardens and a tour of the Chandor mansion all decked out for the season. Area singers and musicians will be entertaining throughout the gardens. Santa will be here for the kids (of all ages).
For additional information call 817-613-1700 or email
Our Holiday Open House is held in conjunction with the Parker County Heritage Society's Tour of Homes. This year's Candlelight Tour of Homes is the 30th time that owners of some of Weatherford's oldest homes have opened their doors and welcomed visitors. Tickets for venues other than Chandor Gardens are available at Weatherford Chamber of Commerce as well as the Doss Heritage and Culture Center. For more information or to purchase tickets online go to: www.parkercountyheritagesociety.com
John Tracy Christmas Concert
December 10, 2011 8:00 to 10:00 pm
After the Open House
Mark your calendar now to celebrate the season with an evening of music by Parker County's own national award-winning performing songwriter John Tracy as he shares his acoustic adaptations to favorite Christmas classics. Set within the beautifully decorated "Great Room" in the Chandor Mansion, John Tracy will draw you into the spirit of the holidays with a voice that is richly colored and always kind. His acoustic guitar musicianship will warm your soul and leave you filled with Christmas cheer.
Tickets are $15.00 and available for preorder starting Nov. 28 by calling (817) 933-9102 or at the door. To hear samples of what is in store for you, visit www.johntracymusic.com.
Plant of the Month
Few plants bring a sense of mystery and elegance to a garden like American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana).
Small white blossoms barely visible during the summer develop into dense clusters of magenta-colored fruits that smother the arching stems from early autumn to mid-winter, persisting long after the leaves have dropped. Every Autumn, my phone line lights up with people asking, "What is that amazing purple plant?"
American Beautyberry is a deciduous shrub native to eastern Texas, and I have seen plants as large as nine feet tall and wide. Amazingly versatile, it can grow and flower in sun or shade, on wet to moderately dry sites. It has an arching, wide-spreading, natural growth habit that needs a little elbow room to look its best in gardens. (If your garden style requires compulsive trimming, do NOT plant American Beautyberry. It looks terrible when hedged.)
For most folks, it's best used as a background planting. In formal gardens, white chrysanthemums complement it very well. In native gardens, it looks especially attractive when coupled with white asters, white Salvia greggii, and ornamental grasses. A white-berried version is available, which can be nicely paired with blue or purple flowers. Both versions are available at reputable nurseries.
For those in the know - A magnificent specimen of American Beautyberry can be found at the old Jim Wright home in Weatherford, located at 202 West Oak Street.
We look forward to seeing you in the Gardens.
-The Chandor Gardens Staff