May’s Marvelous Blooms

May's Marvelous Blooms

May’s Marvelous Blooms has me joining Share Four Somethings in 2022. Share Four Somethings has four categories for reflection: something loved, something gleaned, something braved (or saved), and something achieved.

May had me adding Vinca flowers in the garden, planting vegetables in our small greenhouse, and painting the fence. I’m thoroughly enjoying all the garden elements being in the concentrated space of our little side yard; yet, the space still allows various “rooms” with differing views.

Something Loved

I visited Chandor Gardens in Weatherford, Texas. I enjoyed the beautiful and varied garden “rooms,” the many water features, the brick walkway, the bridge from the old driveway to the front door, and the architectural delights that pop up around every corner. I find this garden to be so inspiring to my soul, and restful for my spirit.

Brick walkways meander through large shade trees under-planted with shade loving plants. My favorite fountain is the Tiered Fountain just off the home’s south patio. This area provides a sweeping view of the gardens. Though the original Italian pergola is no longer graced by climbing roses, the columned architecture makes this lawn area inviting. Each garden area seems to evoke a different delight. I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing and photographing the beautiful Chandor Gardens!

The original garden was begun in 1934 in Douglas Chandor’s in-laws’ cow pasture. Chandor took a cactus covered, caliche hillside and created a beautiful 3.5 acre masterpiece which consists of seven interlocking gardens, eight water features, in which he incorporated English and Oriental highlights. Having attempted to tame various pieces of land myself, I greatly admire Chandor’s accomplishment to conquer a cactus covered caliche hill and coax forth a beautiful garden that exists 88 years later.

Chandor built his art studio in 1936. When Douglas Chandor was questioned about “his passion for gardening, he replied that he was given the skills to paint in order to build his garden. And Chandor desired to inspire other men to take up gardening. His garden reflects Chandor’s ability to transform thought and landscape into a place of beauty.”1

“I love the sunny skies of Texas but I want to see her open prairies dotted with gardens-streams and flowers. That’s why I worked out this garden in my mind before we built our home here in Weatherford. We planned the garden first, then snuggled a house into it.”2

An Englishman by birth, Douglas Chandor was a sought-after painter for England’s prime ministers. He painted Queen Elizabeth II twice. Adopting Texas as his new home, Chandor set about painting our presidents, vice-presidents, first ladies and numerous other famous people. He painted over 300 portraits, but a few of his most noted are of: President Herbert Hoover, President Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Eleanor Roosevelt. Five of his paintings are exhibited in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.

Similar to how Claude Monet’s home and garden in Giverny, France were created both as an external outlet and internal inspiration for the artist, Chandor turned his little estate into a beautiful tiered garden with many “outdoor rooms” for enjoyment. His art studio was expanded in the 1940’s and made into the Chandor’s residence.

Chandor lovingly cared for his garden for 16 years until his death in 1953. His wife kept their gardens open to the public until her death in 1978. The garden were neglected for the next 16 years until the Bradford’s purchased the property in 1994. After restoring the home and gardens, the property was once again opened to the public.

The Bradford’s “felt if they could restore something that was once so beautiful, that it was worth it. They felt that a garden is an expression of God’s love and what better way to live your life.”3

Eighteen years later, the city of Weatherford acquired the 16.5 acre property (2002) with its restored 3.5 acre gardens. The gardens are maintained by the Parker County Master Gardeners.

Chandor included Oriental elements throughout his garden. My favorite is the White Chinese Bridge that originally connected Chandor’s home to the driveway. Other Oriental elements: Japanese water garden, Chinese pagodas, a miniature replica of Mount Fujiyama (diorama built into the wall), the Moon Gate, Trellis Pond, and the Chi-Ling fountain (handmade from coke and 7-Up bottles, marbles, and ceramic tiles in the likeness of statues found in New York City). Chandor’s garden is fashioned after a Chinese scholar garden.

Chandor did include an English Bowling Green for lawn bowling. There is also a beautiful Gazebo at the end of the bowling green. Chandor began his garden with a European Boxwoods which are now over eighty years old and very tall. Chandor incorporated the famous Italian ‘Cantoria’ by Florentine sculptor Luca della Robbia (1400-1482) into the wall outside of his studio’s north-facing window, and it is beautiful.4

I find it interesting that the English born Chandor incorporated Oriental religious symbols in his garden, and the American born Bradford’s restored the gardens to the glory of our Creator, God. Overall, I found the garden and ‘the story behind the garden’ truly inspiring.

Something Gleaned

Stacey Pardoe shared A Fresh Take on How to Love God With All Your Heart – Stacey Pardoe  Stacey shared about our many commitments as women and how these commitments tug at our hearts and our time. Stacey compares these commitments of living a life with many responsibilities to a full plate. She then exhorts, “Don’t view Jesus as the main course on the plate of your life; instead, ask him to undergird every part of your life, and remind yourself Jesus is the plate holding your world together. Jesus wants to be your foundation.  He wants to be the uniting force upholding everything you undertake.”

Stacey encourages us, “The image of a full plate can help us understand what it looks like to love God with our whole hearts while also loving the people he places in front of us.  When a loving relationship with God is the foundation for our lives, we become His vessels.  The love we pour onto others is no longer our own human love; instead, it is the overflow of the love God first offered us.” May you be spurred forward in loving God with all your heart by reading Stacey’s post.

Something Braved

I have encountered two baby rattlesnakes this month. Yikes! The first snake was on the driveway curled up next to our garage door, and the second snake was curled up next to the base of my birdbath in my little garden area. I’m thankful for the Lord’s protection!

Something Achieved

I went wedding dress shopping with my middle daughter. We met in Central Texas and shopped at a standard wedding dress store in the morning, had a nice lunch at Panera Bread, then ventured to a little wedding boutique in a neighboring small town.

It was fun to watch my daughter interact with her sisters and her friend (future maid-of-honor). We all had a wonderful day with the bride-to-be! After finding a favorite dress in each store, she chose to ponder her selections for 24 hours, then decide. Though both were beautiful, the bride-to-be chose the one that made her smile the biggest. We’re thrilled with her choice!

I’m confident she’ll be a beautiful bride! I guess wedding dress shopping is more of a milestone than an achievement, but with the numerous choices available, it felt like an achievement. Ha!

The Lord Bless You

Thank you for joining me in Share Four Somethings for May’s Marvelous Blooms. I look forward to hearing all that you have loved, gleaned, braved (or saved), and achieved this month – either in your post or in the comments below.

My prayer is for the Lord to bless you,

“And God is able to make all grace [every favor and earthly blessing] come in abundance to you, so that you may always [under all circumstances, regardless of the need] have complete sufficiency in everything [being completely self-sufficient in Him], and have an abundance for every good work and act of charity.” ~2 Corinthians 9:8 AMP

Recommendation:

April Showers of Flowers April Showers of Flowers – Strength with Dignity

Share Four Somethings March Share Four Somethings March 2022 – Strength with Dignity

References:

1 History of Chandor Gardens. Retrieved May 26, 2022, from History – Chandor Gardens Foundation | Chandor Gardens Foundation

2 Chandor Gardens History. Retrieved May 26, 2022 from Chandor Gardens History (pcmg-texas.org)

3 Chandor Gardens. Retrieved May 26, 2022, from Chandor Gardens | Weatherford, TX – Official Website (weatherfordtx.gov)

4 Chandor, Douglas Granvil (1897-1953). Retrieved May 26, 2022, from TSHA | Chandor, Douglas Granvil (tshaonline.org)

Amplified Bible (AMP) Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Pardoe, Stacey. A Fresh Take on How to Love God with All Your Heart. Published May 11, 2022. Retrieved May 26, 2022, from A Fresh Take on How to Love God With All Your Heart – Stacey Pardoe

Bible Gateway Blogger Grid Member #bgbg2 #BibleGateway

I’m linking up with the Share Four Somethings community through the linkup found here: HeatherGerwing.com #sharefoursomethings

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Leave a comment

16 thoughts on “May’s Marvelous Blooms”

  1. Baby rattlesnakes! That’s so scary! I image you always need to stay on alert. What a fun milestone to mark with your daughter. Weddings are such joyful occasions and we need more of those these days!

  2. Rattlesnakes…yikes!! 🐍
    Wedding dress shopping 🛍 👰‍♂
    I am not a very accomplished gardener. I need things that take care of themselves because I forget to water & detest weeding. But I love flowers!

  3. Two rattlesnakes!?! Not sure how I well I would have “braved” those – and where is the mama!!? I enjoyed your posts this evening – and here’s to a month ahead without a snake in sight!!

    1. Thank you, Jennifer, and I agree with a snake free summer! They’re expanding the neighborhood, so I think the bulldozers have emptied the nest and there have been several baby snakes sited in recent weeks by other homeowners, but no parents seen anywhere, so maybe they went deeper into the country while their kids came toward the neighborhood.

  4. Chandor Gardens sounds like a beautiful place to visit – I hope I might be able to see it someday! Congrats on the upcoming wedding!

  5. Lisa, sounds like May was a lovely month for you! The Chandor Gardens sound so lovely! We have two curated gardens near us that I love visiting at different times of year.
    Such fun wedding dress shopping too, memories you will treasure always!
    Snakes! Yikes! Reminds me of the time I woke up to a black snake in my bathroom and became acquainted with TWO more around my house that day! But they were not poisonous. Praise God inded for His protection!

    1. Gardens are so refreshing and inspiring, Donna! Oh dear, I’m so glad the three snakes weren’t poisonous! But my, aren’t they so disconcerting when you find them in or around your house? Wedding dress shopping was a precious memory for all of us, I’m so thankful.

    1. The snakes were a little disconcerting, Megan! The wedding dress day was very special, thanks for rejoicing with us!

  6. Baby rattlesnakes, YIKES!!! Snakes at all, no thank you! How fun to be wedding dress shopping with your daughter! I think helping your daughter find the right dress is an achievement.

    1. I was thankful for the Lord’s protection from the snakes! And we had a lot of fun wedding dress shopping, Cindy!

    1. It was a lot of fun to wedding dress shop, Heather! Thankfully, He helped me see them, then sent help via my son to remove the snakes from the premises.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.