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Fort Worth’s Hidden Gardens — 5 Private Retreats You Need to See

Historic Neighborhood Highlighted in This Year's Special Tour

BY // 03.13.20

Now in its 17th year, the Hidden Gardens of Fort Worth Tour will showcase five private gardens in Fort Worth’s historic and charming Westover Hills neighborhood. With gardens of all sizes, this year’s tour will provide plenty of green inspiration.

The annual Hidden Gardens of Fort Worth Tour is presented by Historic Fort Worth, Inc., and 100 percent of the proceeds from the tour benefit its preservation programs, including Fort Worth’s two cattle baron mansions, the Ball-Eddleman-McFarland House, circa 1899, and the 1904 Wharton-Scott House, known locally as Thistle Hill.

The tour will take place Sunday, May 17 with admittance to tour each of the five gardens from 12 pm until 6 pm, rain or shine. To maintain the privacy of the gardens, locations are disclosed to ticket holders only.

Historic Fort Worth, Inc. is dedicated to preserving Fort Worth’s unique historic identity through education, stewardship and leadership. This year’s gardens tour will celebrate all three aspects of that mission statement.

The first garden is a classical beauty. Symmetry in both the home’s design and its landscape create a sense of harmony. Standing alongside a golf course’s expansive fairway ― a tiled fountain will welcome visitors into a private paradise.

Another garden on the tour sports an arched dining courtyard and a serene koi pond. There is a “living garden room” complete with fireplace. It is just a short distance away from the inner courtyard, loggia and pool areas, as well an enormous saltwater aquarium.

Other gardens run the gamut from modern and minimal, to a storybook cottage garden. And, one stately home is even reminiscent of a French chateau. It was built by prominent oil barron W. T. Waggoner’s widow in 1930. In this garden, visitors will be treated to classically styled water fountains, mixed with formal parterre flower beds.

gardens – outdoor living room
A lovely outdoor living room, on this year’s Hidden Gardens Tour.

Tickets will go on sale April 1. They are $25 and can be purchased at the following locations: Historic Fort Worth Inc., Archie’s Gardenland, Calloway’s Nursery and C.C.’s Touch of Nature. Local artists will be painting “plein air” in each garden during the tour. This artwork will be available for sale and a portion of those proceeds will also benefit Historic Fort Worth, Inc.

A special Patrons’ Evening will be held beforehand on Friday, May 15, where Lou Martin will be recognized as the honoree of the 2020 Hidden Gardens of Fort Worth Tour. The evening will be comprised of a tour of the five featured Westover Hills gardens, followed by a gourmet seated dinner inside Thistle Hill mansion.

Louella “Lou” Baker Martin is a fourth generation Fort Worthian whose ancestors arrived in Cowtown in the 1870s. Generations of her family have had deep ties to the campus of Texas Wesleyan University, where she served for many years on its board. Through the generosity of Lou Martin and her husband Nick, Texas Wesleyan University recently gained the new 44,000 square foot Nick and Lou Martin Student Center.

Martin has spent 36 years on the Woman’s Board of Cook Children’s Hospital as well. Last year she served tirelessly as president of the Jewel Charity Ball, an organization devoted to raising funds for Cook Children’s ― another cause very close to her heart.

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