Blooming guava, chatting neighbors and lazing garden gnomes were all part of the scenery on Sunday during Historic Fort Worth’s garden tour.
Hidden Gardens of Fort Worth featured six gardens along its tour trail, and five of the homes were in the 109. The self-guided tour began at noon and lasted until 6 p.m.
The organization has held garden tours for more than a decade, and funds raised during the event help maintain Thistle Hill and the McFarland House, special events coordinator Suzy Coleman said. About 1,000 people usually tour the gardens.
“We go to a different neighborhood each year,” she said.
Coleman said one of the older homes on the tour, built in 1929, is located at 2811 Simondale Drive.
“We all call it the castle house,” she said.
The home’s garden paths wind among oaks and cannas, past a wishing well and through a trove of garden visuals, including a tucked-away fairy garden.
Over at another house on the tour, 4955 Riverbend Court, homeowners Elizabeth and Jim Webb greeted visitors.
Rays of light glinting through ruddy branches above an enormous stone pathway made a spectacular entrance into the garden.
“This is one of our favorite places,” Elizabeth Webb said, referring to an outdoor, super-sized, stone sofa equipped with weather resistant cushions.
Elizabeth said she and Jim enjoy having coffee outdoors in their rocking chairs but “really, there’s not a place here around the yard that we don’t enjoy.”
Home six on the tour, owned by former Star-Telegram gardening columnist Maggie McNeely, was the grand finale.
Bursts of color, a hidden mirror, and people filled the home’s backyard garden.
McNeely grew up in England and fell in love with gardens there, she said. Her favorite part of her garden depends on the season because each part of the garden is in its prime at different times.
She said her garden’s first awakenings are the hellebores in February.
“By May, the roses are finished and the summer perennials begin to color up,” she said.
McNeely, who has worked on her garden at 5228 Wharton Drive for more than 30 years and also gives garden tea parties and tours, said she has never seen so many people enjoy themselves in her garden in one day.
“Watching other people enjoy it has been such a reward and joy for me,” she said. “It has been the most joyful day in my garden in my life.”