Chandor Gardens

One of the stops on the Weatherford tour of homes in December was Chandor Gardens.

chandorThis is one of my favorite gardens.  You can read more about it and its history in the link above this picture.

chandor1I don’t know what kind of holly this is, but it has been trimmed into a tree, as seen in the previous picture.

chandor2This might be a salvia, but I’m not sure.  It sure is blooming late.  Even though Weatherford is north of us, we’ve obviously had harder freezes this season.  Or it could be that this garden is more protected than mine since we’re on a hill in the open with lots of wind.

chandor3There are several water areas.  Since we were with family, I focused on enjoying the garden with them and not so much on pictures.

chandor5Every time I visit this garden, I’m reminded that I need more evergreen bushes in my yard because this looks lush even in the winter.

chandor6That is probably a small rose bush still in bloom.

chandor7This is a larger pond.  As I remember, it has a concrete bottom.

chandor8Another great aspect of Chandor is the hardscape that enhances the greenery but also draws ones eyes into the garden.  This serves to create a desire for more exploring.

There are other posts about this garden with more information.

“The problem we have is that 47% of Americans who pay zero income tax is voting on what to charge everyone else.”               Steven Crowder

Weatherford Home Tour, Part 2

Continuing the Candlelight Tour of Homes in Parker County, we come to an unusual house.

blackhouseThis house started as a two room rock house built in 1874 by the Postmaster of Weatherford.  In 1894, the rock was dismantled and used as piers for the first floor of the present house.  The design was a Queen Anne style with five rooms divided by a central hallway.

In 1904, the house was purchased by another family, who added the upper story that has five rooms.  Since that time, no other structural changes have been made.

Surely the dark paint was added much later.

blackhouse1The central hallway is covered with ornate wallpaper.


blackhouse3Off the front hallway to the right is a formal parlor, which also sports an elaborate treatment on the ceiling.

blackhouse4The whole house is decorated in a heavy Victorian style and is much too dark for my tastes.

blackhouse5One of the volunteers provided the information that the house is currently owed by a couple who have a decorating business in Dallas.  The open magazine shows pictures from this house.  So I’m guessing the inside was renovated by them with the formal wallpaper, drapes, and furnishings.

blackhouse6The next room from the parlor is the formal dining room.

blackhouse7Pretty fancy.  Since Magnolia trees aren’t prolific around here, large Bur Oak leaves could be used.


blackhouse9The kitchen is off of the dining room and is the only bright room in the house.


blackhousebWonder if this is for show or is used?

blackhousecUpstairs some of the bedroom walls are covered with shiplap.  It may be original.  But usually, during that time frame, it would have been covered with wallpaper.  So, the newest owners may have stripped them.

The trees are cut from heavy metal.  Wonder how they would look cut from corrugated cardboard?


blackhouseeThis doesn’t look like real stained glass but seems to be a thin veneer applied to the window.

blackhousefThis style of wallpaper suggests it could be original or at least, old.

blackhousegIn this bedroom, the bed is from Indonesia.

blackhousehFresh roses with Dusty Miller foliage is a nice touch.


blackhousejThis “foamy bath” water look actually was unappealing to me.  Probably just being too critical.

blackhousekI wondered if the draping of leaf garlands in many rooms was seasonal or not.




blackhouseoThis great metal planter was on the front porch.  I was tempted to ask the people sitting in the really cute metal chairs to get up so I could get a better picture of them.  But I held my tongue.

Everyone has different preferences in decorating.  This was not my style, but I could take away some of the Christmas decorating ideas.

“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.”     Albert Einstein

Rewind December

The middle of December we attended the 34th Annual Candlelight Tour of Homes in Weatherford.

museumThe first stop was the Doss Heritage and Culture Center.  You can read more about this stagecoach and the museum from a previous post.

One of the docents demonstrated how the movement of the stagecoach felt to the paying customers inside the coach by rocking it back and forth.  Although the inside was plush with tufted velvet seats, the ride would have been bumpy with the passengers tossed to and fro.

museum1These collectibles brought back memories of Saturday mornings at the movies.  The cowboy movies of Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Gene Autry, etc. seemed so exciting at the times.  In reality, they were pretty bland.


museum3The local ranching history exhibits are in the permanent collection.

museum4The chuck wagon was an important fixture of cattle roundups and drives.


museum6Homemade quilts provided some warmth on cold, blustery days on the open plains.

museum5And a reminder of how tough life was in Indian territory.  Note the epitaph “Killed by Indians.”

museum8The longhorn represents how much the livelihood of the people in this area was dependent on cattle for many, many years.

This is a great little museum and well worth a visit.

museum9The first house we toured was the Jim Wright home, which now houses the Fire Department Headquarters.  Actually, Wright only lived here for two years as a child.

museumaLots of fire department memorabilia throughout the house.


museumcThis picture was taken to show the fine handcrafted wood dowels and other parts of the banister.

museumdI think this is Lindheimer’s Muhly (Muhlenbergia lindheimeri).   Such a beauty.  When the sunlight hits the seed head, it has a shiny glint.

“Perhaps the most important thing we can ever give each other is attention.” Rachel Naomi Remen

Peel Mansion Gardens

This should be the last post from our autumn trip to Arkansas.  The Peel Mansion was built in 1875 by Colonel Samuel West Peel.  His wife used the garden areas for food crops to feed their nine children and staff.

Colonel Peel,  a pioneer businessman and US congressman, traveled on business and to Washington often.  So his wife ran the homestead and farm, which included a 180 acre apple orchard.

houseArk1We did tour the house, but I didn’t take pictures inside.  The house is in the left side of this picture.  It was definitely a grand house, even for today.  It lay in disrepair for many years after their deaths but has renovated with the original woods cleaned up and shining.

The Maidenhair Tree or ‘Ginkgo biloba’ is the oldest known species of trees on earth.  I’ve always loved the leaves on this tree and wish they would grow here in our clay and hot climate.  Just have to enjoy them when I have the chance to see them.

houseArkdThis was my kind of garden that meanders around with all different kinds of trees, shrubs, and flowers growing.  There seemed to be a surprise around every turn.

I love the tall Spider Flower (Cleome hassleriana).  Some internet sources state that it survives in zones 8 – 10, while another sources says all zones, and even other sources say a tender annual.  So it’s a mystery.

houseArk2The beds were filled with all sorts of flowers.  I love the red leaves that are scattered through the garden.  The source of them will be seen shortly.houseArk3


houseArk7Black and Blue Sage (Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’) is hardy in zones 8 – 10.  I bought one at a garden club meeting in Waco, so they must have it in the ground there.  But, I plan to grow it in a pot.

houseArk6This looks like a Dahlia to me.  They don’t survive in our Texas Fire Breathing Dragon sun.

houseArkjjThis is the tree responsible for those brilliant red leaves – a gorgeous Sugar Maple.

houseArk8From another angle, the bright red tree can be seen from many parts of the garden.

houseArkllI drool over this tree.

houseArk9This looks like it’s in the Coxcomb or the Gomphera family.





houseArkgLove the color of these zinnas.

houseArkhChinese Lantern Plant or Strawberry Ground Cherry (Physalis alkekengi) has a unique look.

houseArkhhI recognize the Castor Bean plant (Ricinus communis) from my childhood in West Texas.  So I’m sure it would grow here.  This plant is the source of castor oil: that dreaded remedy for colds we were given as kids.  Yuck.  That dates me, for sure.






houseArkmGuess it’s because spiky plants are common here, but the twisted branches of this little tree appealed to me.

If you know the names of any of the plants I did not try to identify, I’d love to hear what they are.

Thank you for reading my blog.  I enjoy hearing from you.

“If you have a garden and a library, then you have everything you need.”  Cicero

Compton Gardens

compton gardens9Our autumn trip last year included a visit to Bentonville, Arkansas.  Yes, the home of Walmart.  It’s actually a very pretty town with a small town feeling and lots of nice, older homes surrounding downtown.  Just a block or so from the center square is Compton Gardens and Conference Center.  It was originally the home of Dr. Neil Compton, a prominent physician who is credited with saving the Buffalo River, which had been threatened with destruction when the US Army Corps of Engineers renewed plans to build dams on the Buffalo River at Gilbert and Lone Rock.  Eventually, it became part of the National Park Service.

After serving in WWII, Dr. Compton returned to his hometown and opened a gynecology and obstetrics practice.

compton gardensaAfter his death, the house was renovated into a conference center.  The six and one half acres surrounding it are a refuge for the local citizens.

compton gardens8Being there in the fall, the trees were the most prominent feature.

compton gardensBut there were a few plants still blooming.

compton gardens1This American Beauty Berry (Callicarpa americana) still had berries but no leaves.  It’s a lovely bush that requires shade and non rocky soil.

compton gardens2

compton gardens3There was no sign providing information about this statue.

compton gardens4

compton gardens5

compton gardens7A very serene and calm place to stroll around.

compton gardensb

compton gardenscMost of the trees were unknown to me.

compton gardensdPretty little flower, but I don’t know what it is.

This was very peaceful place to enjoy nature.

“No one has ever injured his eyesight by looking on the bright side of things.”  unknown

Quigley’s Castle

Quigley’s Castle outside of Eureka Springs is one of those odd tourist attractions that makes one curious enough to stop.

quigleyElise Quigley had described her vision for the house, but had to make a miniature model before her husband Albert and an architect could understand what she wanted.  Using lumber from the property, Albert and a neighbor built the house in 1943.

Elise and her children made the bricks for the outside from the collection of rocks she had accumulated since her childhood.

QuileyOn two sides of the two story home are large windows to provide light for tropical plants that grow in a three foot deep gap between the windows and where the flooring begins.  So the plants grow directly in soil.

Quiley2This shot looks up to the second story garden space.  Planks were laid to create shelves for pot plants.

Quiley3This picture was made from the second floor looking down in the growing space.

Quiley1In one corner upstairs is a collection of shells and plants.

Quiley5Some of the plants reach up to the second story.  I think this one is a Hibiscus.

Quiley4On one wall hung a collage Mrs. Quigley created from butterflies and shells.  It looks like some kind of resin was poured on top since it has a reflective finish.

Quiley6It actually works like a mirror:  The window and railing are behind us as I take the photograph.

Quiley7It’s a small house, so it’s amazing that they had five children living there.  Although two sons were serving overseas in WW II, so I’m not sure they ever lived there.


QuileyaThe kitchen seemed especially claustrophobic to me.

QuileyaaAlthough Mrs. Quigley lived for forty years in this house, it is amazing how much hand rock work was done in the yard.

QuileybI also don’t know if this was done completely by her or if her family helped.



QuileyccMr. Quigley inherited the 80 acres from his father and continued the lumber business of his family.


QuileyddHow was she able to get all that cement during the war and the years following it?

QuileyeLook at the size of these rocks.  It makes my body ache to just think of the heavy lifting involved.


QuileyfAll kinds of trees with intertwining vines grow on the property.

QuileygA sign by this furnace provided the following information. In 1998 the brick chimney in the kitchen began to leak smoke, so this furnace was installed. It heats the whole house, two outbuildings, and the hot water heater in the house. The fire in the furnace burns a little over a half cord from October to mid-April.

Since Mrs. Quigley died in 1984, someone else must live in the house now or maybe it’s heated for the tourists.

QuileyggJust think of the time involved in all of these projects.

QuileyhLoose stacked rock fence.


QuileyiHens and Chicks growing in this planter.

QuileyiiThe tall slim towers are a puzzle.  There must be some kind of poles inside to keep them upright.


QuileyjjPyracantha bushes at the back of the house.

QuileykI do like the small rock baskets.  Chrysanthemums and Pansies add some color.

QuileykkPeriwinkle or Vinca flowers scattered throughout the yard brightens up an autumn scene.






QuileynnNext to the parking area is an interesting tree with a burl.

QuileyoThe bright red tree is a Sugar Maple, I think.

QuileyooThis house and the yard may seem tacky to many people.  But I was impressed with the work behind it all.  It’s important to have a passion about something.  And it’s obvious that that she loved nature, specifically plants and rocks.  So I applaud her for living her dream.

“Never be afraid to sit awhile and think.”   Lorraine Hansberry

Christ of the Ozarks

Now that December is over, the next few posts will focus on our November trip to the Arkansas Ozarks.  There we encountered a very different landscape than our home in central Texas.  On the east edge of Eureka Springs are the grounds for the well-known annual Easter Passion Play.

chapeljA faint outline of the back of the Christ of the Ozarks statue is seen beyond the trees.  We arrived in the late afternoon and were the only ones there except for the workers in the Bible Museum.

chapelb Christ of the Ozarks, weighing over two million pounds, was built by hand in 1966.  It  is made of 24 layers of white mortar on a steel frame.  The foundation is attached to the rock of the mountain.  The hands from wrist to fingertip measure approximately 7 feet. The statue’s arm spread from fingertip to fingertip spans 65 feet and its overall height is 67 feet.

We only saw the outside of the buildings where guests enter for the play.

We had an escorted tour of the Bible Museum that houses 6,000 Bibles ​in 625 languages as well as 3,000 artifacts. Some of the rarest Bibles include an original first printing of a 1611 King James Version, the only Bible signed by all of the original Gideons in 1898, the first Cherokee Bible, as well as a page from the Gutenberg Bible.

The Museum also features a fascinating collection of important translations and historical exhibits including:  a Greek New Testament published by Erasmus in 1516, Martin Luther’s German translation and William Tyndale’s New Testament and an original 1611 King James Version – known as the Great Bible because of it’s size.

chapelcThis small church is over a 100 years old.


chapeldThere was no indication as to the origin of this copy of the Liberty Bell.

chapelfIt looked to be made from clay, but I don’t know that for sure.

chapelePass and Stow were the names of the two men who recast the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.

chapelgThis is an actual piece from the Berlin Wall.  It has special meaning to us because we were living in Germany when “the wall fell”, meaning that the communist East Berlin government opened the gates and let their people leave.   We were able to visit there within a few weeks of that historic event and even chipped a few chunks out of the wall as souvenirs.

chapeliThis was a peaceful, quiet visit with an opportunity for reflection on many things.

“I am an error
And I will reveal myself
After you press ‘send’.”
Erica Oakland