Peckerwood Garden

Peckerwood Garden

Peckerwood Garden is a Garden Conservation Foundation garden located in Hempstead, Texas. The garden was founded by John G. Fairey, who gathered seeds of rare and endangered plants through a series of expeditions into Mexico.

The garden is located between Austin and Houston, and sits at the border of three climatic zones, supporting a wide-ranging collection of plants native to the southern United States, Mexico, and Asia.

The arboretum brings together examples of many different species of Acer, Ilex, Liquidambar, Magnolia, Styrax, Taxus, Quercus, many of which are recent plant discoveries from remote mountain ranges in Mexico. It is also features outdoor sculptures and a collection of folk art from Mexico and the United States.

In 1998, with guidance from the Garden Conservancy, the non-profit Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation was formed to ensure the preservation and continued development of the garden and its educational and conservation projects. THe Foundation's goals include preserving existing collections, supporting continued plant explorations and trials, and developing, maintaining and preserving the land and facilities of Peckerwood Garden.

The garden is also associated with YuccaDo Nursery, which sells seeds and plants propagated from plants in the garden.


In John Fairey's words (see

"Thirty years ago I came to Texas to teach first-year design in the school of Architecture at Texas A&M University and in 1971 purchased the land that forms the nucleus of my garden. The site with its clear, spring-fed brook reminded me of "magical places" in South Carolina where I grew up and what began innocently, as a pursuit of a sense of place, fast evolved into a passion. This enthusiasm continues unchecked, and the garden is still evolving on a site that has grown to 19 acres and abounds with new projects and purpose. There are many ways to describe Peckerwood Garden: it is a collection of more than 3,000 plants including many rarities; it is a conservation garden containing examples of numerous threatened species, many of which are no longer found in the wild; it is a laboratory garden testing a wide range of "new" plants and our Mexican discoveries. It is a garden with a mission to encourage other gardeners to see a beauty in landscape that is consistent with our plants and climate; it is a pioneering garden exploring new plants and cultivation methods and aesthetic concepts for other gardeners. It is a garden that looks to the future, not to the past. Yet, most essential, it is my studio, a place where artistic and horticultural research are fused to create an environment that stimulates all of the senses, including the most elusive of all, our sense of time. My background and education as a painter have trained me to see the garden as an ever-changing interaction of texture, color, rhythm, and space; it is a series of rooms constructed with a wide variety of plant material in which trees, shrubs, light, shade, paths, steps, and water create and balance the composition...spaces created are arranged so that when walking, one catches glimpses of other spaces; there is not a beginning or ending but a progressive journey of discovery."

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