The John Fairey Garden (formerly Peckerwood Garden)

The John Fairey Garden, in Hempstead, Texas, is a place for gardening, art, and conservation. It is the creation of John Fairey, design professor, plant explorer, and founder of Yucca Do Nursery. 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. We hold a conservation easement on the property and assist the John Fairey Garden Conservation Foundation in public outreach and strategic planning for the garden's future as a public garden and study center.


The John Fairey Garden receives a Garden Conservancy Gardens for Good grant to help the garden recover from the ravages of the winter storm in Texas in February. The garden reopens in June, with two new works of art—a mosaic mural and "Footbridge for John."

Peckerwood Foundation announces name change from Peckerwood Garden to the John Fairey Garden. Read the press release.

On March 17, John Gaston Fairey dies at the age of 89 years. 

Randy Twaddle, formerly president of the board of the John Fairey Garden Enviromental Foundation, is named executive director of the John Fairey Garden.

Peckerwood opens a plant nursery, a resource for hard-to-find specimens for the regional community and beyond.

Ownership of garden transferred to Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation. Conservation easement signed and filed, to protect the garden and its over 3,000 species of plants in perpetuity. The easement is held by the Garden Conservancy, which begins monitoring in November 2016.

The Foundation for Landscape Studies names John Fairey as its 2016 recipient of the Place Maker award, and the American Horticultural Society awards him the Liberty Hyde Bailey medal in recognition of  lifetime contributions to several horticultural fields.

First "Taking Root" luncheon

John Fairey receives the prestigious Arthur Hoyt Scott Award and Medal from Swarthmore College's Scott Arboretum.

"A Conversation with John Fairey" keynotes our Preservation Weekend 2012, held at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

The Foundation purchases the Yucca Do Nursery property, with its greenhouses, offices, residence, and parking area providing support facilities for the garden.

The original residence is converted into an art gallery under the design guidance of Grace Riggan.

Architect Gerald Maffei designs a new residential wing and new office for the garden.

Peckerwood Garden is named a preservation garden of the Garden Conservancy. With our assistance, 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. We continue to provide guidance to the Foundation as the garden transitions into a public entity.

Fairey and Schoenfeld are awarded the American Horticultural Society Commercial Award for the commitment to excellence in commercial horticulture.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

For more information, visit

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Foundation for Landscape Studies honors John Fairey with its Place Maker award.

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Peckerwood Garden Tree Documentation Project

High-tech project takes the measure of the oaks

Profile of John Fairey

"American Gardener" magazine, September/October 2015