Peckerwood is a place for garden, art, and conservation. It is the creation of professor of design, plant explorer, and founder of Yucca Do Nursery, John Fairey. The garden brings together rare, drought-tolerant plants native to the southern United States and the remote mountains of Mexico and Asia. The sculptural quality of these plantings echoes the international-caliber collection of Mexican folk art displayed in the gallery. The Conservancy assists Peckerwood Foundation in public outreach and strategic planning for the future of Peckerwood as a public garden and study center.
Peckerwood Garden: Looking Back and Going Forward
Preservation Weekend, Chicago, September 27, 2012
Media clips and publications:
Garden Design magazine, June 2012, The Plantman, showcasing photography by Marion Brenner.
New York Times article, Growing from His Mistakes, April 19, 2012
Peckerwood Garden marked its 40th anniversary in 2011. Click here to view a Peckerwood at Forty booklet, illustrated with beautiful photographs by Marion Brenner.
Watch a Central Texas Gardener interview with John Fairey, produced by Austin PBS station KLRU and first aired on April 17, 2010
Read the Peckerwood Garden Vision and Case Statement.
1971: Professor John Fairey acquires seven acres near Hempstead, Texas and plans and constructs Peckerwood. Fairey, a silent partner in Waller Nursery, uses this connection to plant trees and shrubs suitable for the soil conditions, seasonal sun, wind changes, and erosion control. Over the years gradual acquisition of more land expands the garden to 39 acres
1983: A severe tornado ravages the garden, tearing off canopies of mature trees and changing the light conditions. Over the next five years, Fairey repairs the trees, rearranges understory plants and introduces new, rare, and unusual plants that thrive in the Texas sun
1986: Yucca Do Nursery is established in partnership with Carl Schoenfeld to sell plants and seeds from Texas, the Southeast, Asia, and Mexico. The profits are used to support Peckerwood Garden
1988: Plant expeditions are organized to collect seeds and plant cuttings from the mountains of Mexico. Over the years, Fairey has made more than 90 such expeditions leading to the estimated 3,000 species of rare plants and cultivars at Peckerwood. Seed exchanges begin between Peckerwood Garden and the University of California at Berkeley, Harvard University, North Carolina State University, University of California at Santa Cruz, the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, and Cholipo Arboretum Foundation in Chungchong Namdo, Korea
1997: Fairey and Schoenfeld are awarded the American Horticultural Society Commercial Award for the commitment to excellence in commercial horticulture
1998: With the assistance of the Garden Conservancy, the Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation is formed to operate the garden for the public and to identify and conserve threatened and disappearing native Mexican flora. The Garden Conservancy continues to provide guidance to the Foundation as the garden transitions into a public entity
2002: Architect Gerald Maffei designs a new residential wing and new office for the garden
2007: The original residence is converted into an art gallery under the design guidance of Grace Riggan
2009: The Foundation purchases Yucca Do Nursery, with its greenhouses, offices, residence, and parking area providing support facilities for the garden
2013: John Fairey receives the prestigious Arthur Hoyt Scott Award and Medal from Swarthmore College's Scott Arboretum
Spring 2013 Open Dates
February 16 -17
March 16 - 17
April 6 - 7
May 11 - 12
Tours at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Plant sales from noon to 5 p.m.
Admission and Tours
$10 per person for tours.
Garden tours free to Garden Conservancy members.
The Mexican Folk Art collection is temporarily closed for tours until the collection can be stabilized and documented.
Visit the Peckerwood Garden website or call 979.826.3232 for reservations and private tour rates.
Located just south of the garden at the nursery.
The garden is located about 50 minutes from downtown Houston and 2 hours from Austin at 20571 F.M. 359, Hempstead, TX 77445.
For more detailed directions and additional information, visit the Peckerwood Garden website.