peckerwood garden

looking through the woodland gardens

last weekend the garden conservancy was hosting an open day at peckerwood garden, a botanical jewel located in hempstead, tx.  walking through the well-designed conservation garden within an arboretum-like setting, you’d never guess that the property was once a flat open field.  in 1971, john fairey was invited to teach design courses at A&M in the architecture department and purchased this land on which to locate his home and studio.  mr. fairey eventually met and collaborated with carl schoenfeld and plant explorer lynn lowrey, researching native plants and traveling to collect and learn more about them.  now planted with many native and rare plant species from texas, mexico and most recently accompanied by these plants’ long lost asian relatives, peckerwood garden is a haven for the unusual but well-suited specimen.  the garden’s mission is to continue conserving, propagating and experimenting with these wonderful plants.  thanks to chris camancho, garden manager, for giving such an informative tour through a portion of the gardens’ 35 cultivated acres.  the images that follow show you a small slice of what we marveled at.

camera disclosure: it was a humid, overcast and rain-threatened day, but apparently i wasn’t aware that the macro function on the camera i was borrowing would always blur the landscape shots, thus the romantic atmosphere.

agaves (and tour goer for scale) against the residential background

various evergreen Quercus species (oaks) native to texas and mexico

Carya sp. (hickory)

Magnolia tamaulipana grove with Pinus eldarica (afghan pines) in the background

Acer saccharum (mexican sugar maple)

10 year old Quercus polymorpha (monterrey oak)

Agave, Dasilirion and some cacti i don't know the names of...

i loved the skirting effect of this palm

edge of water feature, set in rounded gravel

the material palette at peckerwood is simple yet well thought out.  stone, gravel, steel and wood lend a clean, modernist line to the planting areas.  these weathered materials compliment the colors, textures and origins of the plants they’re adjacent to.

stone collection set on stone

seating edge, softened by ferns

clipped and pruned

oak sapling coming up through a woodland border

a colorful Optunia (prickly pear)

the next open day at peckerwood garden is october 16 and 17, 2010.  it’s well worth the trip.  if you’re lucky, you might even find some plants propagated on site to take home with you (i added two more hesperaloes and a macho mocha mangave)!  thanks to peckerwood garden for opening your collection to fellow plant and design appreciators, and thanks to the garden conservancy for the efforts made to bring these jewels to the public.


4 thoughts on “peckerwood garden

  1. Hi Gorgeous! What a beautiful garden. I’m hoping that upstate has something like that for when I move back up. I love that you post a report on these visits-you’re really helping me get over my stereotype of TX as a place where there are only monster trucks and people in cowboy hats slurping down monster steaks! ;^)

  2. i’m not sure if upstate has a garden exactly like peckerwood (if only for the cacti and palm collection), but i bet that someone we both know and love will take you to some good ones…! here’s to breaking stereotypes…!

    • thanks stevie. i actually got the house numbers at the “local” big box store… i know, i know… but am actually happy with how they turned out. let us all know how your address sign update turns out when your numbers arrive…!

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