Dedicated as a Garden for Peace on June 8, 2003, Chandor Gardens, with its meandering paths and various water features, exemplifies the beauty and wonder espoused by all of the organization’s designated sited.
From it’s meager beginnings, the chalky hill 25 miles west of Fort Worth was an unlikely place for a garden. But under the skillful care of internationally acclaimed portrait artist Douglas Granville Chandor, the land in his wife’s hometown of Weatherford was transformed into a world-class garden. The Chandor’s began creating their living artwork in 1936 and over the next 16 years, turned his vision of individual garden rooms connected by walks and enclosed by hedges into a reality. Renowned for capturing both the style and ambiance of ancient Chinese gardens as well as the subtlety of formal English Gardens, the 3.5 acre estate featured winding pathways, fountains, grottos, and a 30-foot manmade waterfall.
Douglas Chandor used his talent as a portrait artist to fund his passion for gardening and during his travels to paint portraits of the rich and powerful, including President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Queen Elizabeth II, he gathered art objects and garden ornaments that now grace the grounds.
Following his death in 1953, his wife opened the gardens to help defray the cost of maintenance. Following her death in 1978, the gardens fell into disrepair and it wasn’t until 1995, when Charles and Melody Bradford purchased the site that restoration and recovery began. Over the next eight years, the garden was restored to it’s original beauty and in 2002, the Bradford’s sold it to the City of Weatherford. After renovations by the city, the gardens were opened to the public in the fall of 2002, serving as a place to rest, rejuvenate, and reconnect with the beauty of nature.