Hidden gardens of Fort Worth, once belonging to cattle barons and titans of industry are amazing engineering marvels as well as symbols of the long-term investment wealthy people once made in their communities. Seeing them for myself gave me a glimpse into magnificent neighborhoods and an era in American history that has definitely gone by.

It wasn’t the plant selections in these gardens that impressed me, but the hard scape, sculpture and architecture of the grand homes. To be honest, some of the “gardens” were uninspired from a gardener’s perspective. I will say that the majestic old growth trees did take my breath away and it is challenging to find plants that can grab your attention with so much shade, but it is possible to select something besides impatiens.  (Just so you know.)

The first two gardens on the tour were my favorites. The waterfall that completely covered an extremely steep portion of the property was masterfully constructed and artfully incorporated seating areas for a place to pause and appreciate the natural beauty of what might have otherwise been a neglected, overgrown ravine.

Visitors got a workout and it was worth every step to enjoy the lush, wooded setting.

Sculpture should accent a garden, not be the only interesting thing in it. The owner of one of the gardens obviously knows this. Their choice of custom artwork created by Mary and Eddie Phillips was perfectly placed, adding modern and whimsical elements to the historic location.

The ride home was a trip back to modern reality for sure. What engineers were smoking when they created the road system around DFW, I have no idea, but I suspect it was the plans for merging lanes that they used to roll it up! Our merging dilemma wasn’t without some interesting observations.

Note: If you are driving on the highway and miss your exit, DO NOT try to back up! Yeah, we saw someone doing that.

Sitting on the fly over watching drivers jockeying for position, I noticed in the distance someone sitting on the guard rail. My first thought was what desperation would drive a person to do such a risky thing? My feelings about this all too common scene were mixed between compassion and disbelief.

When we finally did reach the ramp, there was a man sitting there with a sign.

Despite these realities out of my immediate control, yesterday was filled with a wealth of beauty and inspiration; first the tour of historic Fort Worth followed by the solar eclipse. I am grateful to have witnessed it all; who knows what news tomorrow will bring.

If Nasdaq’s IPO system redesigners use the same methodology as TDOT, the markets might be in for even bigger problems than how to sell debt to people with only virtual wealth.

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