About Douglas Chandor
Douglas Chandor was born in Surrey, England, on August 20, 1897. Chandor attended Radley College, Berkshire from 1910-1914, and promptly left college to enlist in the 1st Life Guards of the British Army.
He later transferred to the Scottish Lovat Scouts, but was soon discharged due to his bout with typhoid and an injury that impaired his knee. During his time with fellow soldiers, Chandor began his first attempts at portraiture, and upon his discharge, was admitted to the Slade School in London.
After six months of study, he progressed as a portraitist and within two years held his first one-man exhibition.
His talent was sought world-wide, thus producing painted portraits of Edward, Duke of Windsor, the young Prince of Wales, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Queen Elizabeth, just to name a few of his some 200 recorded paintings.
In 1934, Chandor married Ina Kuteman Hill of Weatherford, Texas, and soon embarked on his greatest masterpiece with four acres of barren land as his canvas. The project began in 1936 with the aid of picks, shovels and dynamite - and a man’s fortitude to construct a "living artwork."
Chandor devoted sixteen years to his gardens before he suffered a major stroke from which he never recovered. He died January 13, 1953 at the age of 56. On March 4th of the same year, Ina Chandor opened the gardens to the public for a nominal fee of $1.00. She used the proceeds to help absorb the high costs associated with the gardens’ maintenance. The gardens were drawing several thousand visitors annually. Ina joined her late husband in 1978, and the gardens slowly died with them.
Today, the grounds show new life - a place to escape from the cares of the world. It is a gardener's paradise for people young and old, horticulturist or amateur, or just someone who appreciates the beauty of nature.
Douglas and Ina Chandor are buried at Old City Greenwood Cemetery in Weatherford.