Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Hidden no more: 6 gorgeous gardens will be open for viewing

The annual Hidden Gardens of Fort Worth Tour is a harbinger of spring in Tarrant County, and the six homes graciously opening their garden paradises Sunday will delight all who enter.
The annual Hidden Gardens of Fort Worth Tour is a harbinger of spring in Tarrant County, and the six homes graciously opening their garden paradises Sunday will delight all who enter. Courtesy photo

The annual Hidden Gardens of Fort Worth Tour is a harbinger of spring in Tarrant County, and the six homes graciously opening their garden paradises Sunday will delight all who enter. Presented by Historic Fort Worth, the various-size gardens on the tour are in Fort Worth’s historic Mistletoe Heights neighborhood.

“Mistletoe Heights was one of the earlier neighborhoods developed in Fort Worth, and it was beautifully done,” said Historic Fort Worth spokeswoman Suzy Coleman. “The tree-lined streets, ornamental light fixtures and mixture of stately mansions to quaint bungalows co-exist in charming harmony.”

The properties range from a modest-size garden in a 1920s Craftsman bungalow and a 1917 Craftsman cottage with native plants to a new prairie-style home with garden sculptures and a contemporary granite patio.

Tourists will also love a 1917 airplane bungalow with a barn red carriage house converted to a greenhouse and a 1950 ranch-style home with a secluded pool, terraced yard and kitchen garden. One garden is on a stately 2-acre property with a greenhouse, fairy gardens and secluded dining area.

A special sunset tour and dinner are planned before the public tour to honor the generosity of the participating homeowners. Chairing the event are Melanie and Flavious Smith, and honorary chairs are Sam and Isabelle Hulsey. Committee members are Francie Allen, Patty Callahan and Gail Landreth to randomly name only a few.

The special ambiance in these hidden garden treasures will be enhanced by local artists doing plein-air paintings in each location. Their outdoor creations will be on sale, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Historic Fort Worth.

Tickets are available at Historic Fort Worth, online at www.historicfortworth.org or at Archie’s Gardenland on Camp Bowie Boulevard and C.C.’s Touch of Nature on West Vickery Boulevard. Admission is $20 per person in advance or $25 on tour day. Call Coleman at 817-336-2344 to inquire.

Festival to feature Scottish musicians, professional athletes and highland dancers

For those who are a wee bit Scottish (and even if you’re not), the upcoming Texas Scottish Festival & Highland Games next weekend at UT Arlington’s Maverick Stadium needs to be on your calendar.

Top Scottish musicians, professional athletes and champion highland dancers will be featured attractions. Attendees can also enjoy plenty of food offerings and beverages from Scotland and Great Britain. Shoppers will find a nice assortment of vendors with merchandise and souvenirs.

“It’s our 30th anniversary, and we’ve grown into one of the major Scottish festivals in the USA,” said Ray McDonald, who manages the event. “We have come a long way since the early days in Arlington. As the top Scottish festival for entertainment, we even draw guests from Scotland and Europe, and I hope more locals will discover us. Many of our entertainers have gone on to win major music awards.”

Headline acts Friday include Madi Davis (recently a finalist on The Voice) and popular Celtic rock band The Killdares. Crowds will love the live music performed continuously throughout the festival in various tents. Acts include Scottish fiddler Brian McNeill and folk singer Ed Miller. Celtic groups featured are: Clandestine, Jiggernaut, Piper Jones Band, Scottish Thunder, Murder the Stout, Scotland Rising and many more.

And what would a Scottish event be without bagpipe bands and pipe and drum performers? Where else can you see pros tossing the caber or throwing the hammer and stone? Highlander magazine has rated the Texas Scottish Festival the No. 1 Scottish festival in North America for entertainment and talent.

Highland dance competitions will draw a crowd, and a contest for the “Bonniest Knees” should be interesting. A dog show of Scottish breeds will be adorable, and activities will keep the youngsters entertained. Consider participating in the whiskey tastings and shortbread contests to ramp up the fun.

According to McDonald, vendors from Scotland and Great Britain will have authentic tartan wear, kilts, crafts, records, books and unique Celtic-designed crafts, jewelry and art.

The festival is open 5 p.m. to midnight Friday, 9 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission prices vary, so check the website www.TexasScottishFestival.com for details or call 254-675-3992.

Thrift shop makeover continues sales to fight domestic abuse

One of the area’s most popular resale shops, Berry Good Buys, has just reopened after a total makeover. The well-known thrift store at 1701 W. Berry St. has been a favorite spot for local shoppers since it opened in 1988, and all the proceeds in the store benefit the programs at SafeHaven of Tarrant County as it combats domestic abuse.

“With an average of 200 customers every day, this favorite little thrift store always presents an opportunity to find something that is unique and fun to add to any home or wardrobe,” said SafeHaven spokeswoman Keeli McNair.

“Not only is Berry Good Buys the perfect place to save money and find one-of-a-kind vintage fun, the store also provides assistance to the women and children that come to SafeHaven for services.”

The store has been closed for the past several weeks while much-needed renovations were made. A $100,000 grant from the Amon G. Carter Foundation enabled updated signage, a fresh coat of paint, new floors, exterior siding, and new air-conditioning units to be installed.

“These improvements will provide lower maintenance and energy costs, increased visibility in the community and an upgraded atmosphere for shoppers, volunteers and staff,” McNair said.

The store serves as the primary donation center for all in-kind donations to SafeHaven, including clothes, hygiene items, household goods, toys and school supplies for families who arrive at the SafeHaven shelter with only a few possessions.

Berry Good Buys is now open weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. To inquire about donating items to the store, contact Barb Reese at 817-502-7168, or call the store at 817-921-2793.

Events at a glance

  • Relay for Life of Northwest Tarrant County is from 6 p.m. to midnight Friday at the Lake Worth High School track, 4210 Boat Club Road. Individuals and teams are invited to participate to remember loved ones lost and take action to fight cancer. Sign up at www.RelayforLife.org/NWTCTX or contact Christi James at 817-570-0608 or christi.james@cancer.org.
  • Handbell Concert by the Bell Conte Ringers is at 7 p.m. May 15 at Arlington Heights United Methodist Church, 4200 Camp Bowie Blvd. The concert is titled, “Gos-Bell Express,” and handbell musicians will be joined by clarinet, violin, percussion, string bass, piano and organ. Call 817-737-3161 to inquire.
  • Beastro at the Fort Worth Zoo is from 7:30 p.m. to midnight May 20. Participants can sample appetizers, entrees and desserts from restaurants all over the Metroplex, and there will be open bars throughout the park, Beastro will feature music from Emerald City, The Project and Live 80. Proceeds from the event support the zoo’s local and international wildlife conservation and education efforts. Tickets are $99. Purchase at www.FortWorthZoo.org.
  • Plant Swap and Sale is Saturday at the Haltom City Public Library, 4809 Haltom Road. Hosted by the Haltom City Garden Club, the swap will feature garden-related craft booths, gardening workshops on the hour and raffles for prizes. Visitors are encouraged to bring plants to swap and plan on networking with other residents interested in growing flowers and food. Call 817-510-7065 or email sjlottes@gmail.com for details.
  • Kiwanis Run 4 Kids is Saturday at Dragon Stadium in Southlake. The 5K will offer participants a T-shirt and bag along with other gifts. Register at run4kids.athlete360.com.

Please send your SocialEyes news tips to freeder@star-telegram.com. Keep up with even more community news by liking our page on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SocialEyes.ST. Twitter: @FayeReeder

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