Peckerwood Gardens has been in the making for 30 years. John Fairey has been cultivating new “natives” and self-sustaining plants that can be found from regions in the United States, Mexico and Asia. The only fertilization in the process is during initial planting, then it’s on their own – they say about 50% plants are a success! These methods are used to ensure the plants hardiness and adaptability to the Texas climate.
Mr. Fairey has developed a two-man horticulture super team with Chris Camacho, who also happens to be a tour guide extraordinaire. Between the two of them they maintenance over 40 acres of land!
The garden is only open for public tours 10 days a year. Tim and I made our way to the gardens this past April open weekend Sunday.
The tour starts with a variety of oak, some pecan and full sunlight flower beds. Chris explained that some of the plants are un-identified species but still thriving in the garden! He also explained how plants in high altititudes, very cold climates, and even plants subject to intense wet conditions and then intensely dry climates are all ideal plants that can thrive in the conditions provided by the Texas sunshine.
The second part of the tour provides beautifully arranged gardens with some my Texas favorites: giant agave, palms, yucca, aloe vera, succulents, and a new favorite, the Skirting Palm. The old leaves fall to create a skirt effect! Although unnecessary, most often these old leaves are removed to create a more clean asthetic look. It’s these types of tidbits that make the tours so rich with information.
Around the bend from the succulents the garden transforms from full-sunlight into a tranquil shaded retreat. A myriad of partial sun-light plants gently sway in the breeze. Japanese Maple’s trees are found tucked away along side the Magnolia and Cypress along the spring fed stream.
Three foot coloured Iris stand proud basking in the dancing sunshine. The foliage of the trees also provides mottled sunlight for more fragile shade plants like ferns. The picturesque setting offers a grand finale for the garden tour. A lovely stroll takes us back through the property to the entrance and a chance to buy from their plant nursery.
The garden is a truly amazing and eye opening experience. The volunteers and staff at Peckerwood Gardens are extremely pleasant and very knowledgeable. A perfect weekend day trip in the Texas springtime!
Remaining Open Days 2009:
October 17, 18
November 7, 8