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.
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.
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.