Situated near the center of Weatherford, Chandor Gardens is an enchanting oasis. Weatherford is a smallish town 25 miles west of Ft. Worth with a population in the high 20,000’s. Away from Interstate 20, it remains a traditional West Texas community with small local businesses, older homes, and a family oriented atmosphere. The edge of the town along the Interstate 20 Hwy. has new strip malls sporting all the main chain stores strung along the highway creating the buzz of a big city.
The Chandor Gardens were designed and constructed by Douglas Chandor, an English artist who painted famous people on both sides of the Atlantic. Several of these still hang in the National Gallery. The above picture shows him in his studio with his painting of his wife on the left of the photo.
Ina is the reason he came to live in Texas. The low cut gown shows her bare back. He claimed her beautiful back that he first saw in that gown at a party was what first attracted him.
Chandor had come to the US because although his work was renowned, he wasn’t making much money and hoped for better prospects here.
Being from England, he could not have possibly known what gardening in barren, hard land would entail. Work began in 1936 with picks, shovels, dynamite, and mule-drawn plows in a cow pasture full of the usual West Texas rocks.
Many fountains and ponds are the original ones designed and created by Chandor, himself. The above fountain has glass bottle bottoms cemented in place in the center fountain and along the base. No one knew that the glass used was from bottles until a recent renovation and cleaning of the statue.
Chandor had a faithful gardener, Alphonse Harrison who worked along with him. Harrison’s hard labor helped make the gardens possible. Chandor painted his portrait and hung it in his home at a time when that was not acceptable.
This view shows that same pathway from the opposite side. One of the major plants in the original gardens was wisteria vines. They cover this pergola made from native tree trunks. The wisteria vines had become invasive and most were removed in recent years.
“There is always music among the trees in the garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it.” Minnie Aumonier