Thistle Hill is located near down town Ft. Worth on Pennsylvania Avenue. It was built in 1904 for Electra Waggoner by her husband at the time of their marriage. In 1910 the Scott family purchased the residence. The current gardens were built by Mrs. Scott.
The ornamental elements were added by Mrs. Scott who was a founding member of the Fort Worth Garden Club, later named the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. She was instrumental in having the pergola and tea house built and in 1912 opened the grounds to the public.
Much of the architecture in the garden is original such as the pergola over the path as well as the benches. Original irises that grew when the house was built are still located in the garden. Urns in the sensory garden were recreated to match the originals that remain there. Thistle Hill is one of two gardens with heirloom and heritage plants in Fort Worth.
The Master Gardeners and Thistle Hill staff have plans to restore the garden to its original form. A cistern, well and water tanks were in the back of the garden along the original brick wall. They provided water for the household. The carriage house still exists and is used for storage. Previously it housed horses, carriages and automobiles.
Thistle Hill became a Master Gardener project in 1993. Sue Fair is the project lead. The Master Gardeners currently work in the garden on Wednesdays at 9:00 am, however you can set your own times.
Future plans for the garden are to start a children’s group for a hand’s on experience. The original iris garden will be restored. The tear drop shaped bed first built in 1907 was recently made into a children’s sensory garden. The plans to restore the garden to its original form are well underway.
Original garden designs have been recreated by a landscape restoration architecture firm. When completed the gardens will include many of the original heirloom plants.