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2019 Topics

Peckerwood Garden Lecture Series Topics

Peckerwood Garden Insider Tour Topics

  • September 21, TBD
December 21, TBD
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Friends of Peckerwood Day: Folk Art and Rare Plant Silent Auction

November 17, 2018 @ 3:00 pm5:00 pm

Visitors enjoy 1-hour guided tours of the garden led by knowledgeable docents, and a special celebration for John Fairey.

There will be an art auction and rare plant sale, mariachi, food, tequila, and fun in the garden. Entry is free to all supporters of the garden: if you have donated or attended any event in 2017 or 2018, please join us.

Please register ahead here: Register for free

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John Fairey Receives American Horticultural Society’s Liberty Hyde Bailey Award

Congratulations to John Fairey upon winning the American Horticultural Society‘s prestigious Liberty Hyde Bailey Award. The award recognizes individuals who have made siginficant lifetime contributions to at least three of the following horticultural fields: teaching, research, communications, plant exploration, administration, art, business, and leadership.

The 2016 awards will be presented on the evening of
June 2 during the Great American Gardeners Awards Ceremony at River Farm, the AHS’s headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.

Fairey has been creating beauty at Peckerwood Garden since 1971, when he purchased the first seven acres of what has expanded to thirty-nine. With more than 3,000 species of plants, many rare and endangered, Peckerwood is the consummate plant collector’s garden.

Over the years, Fairey has been recognized for his lifetime contributions. In 2013, the Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College awarded him the Arthur Hoyt Scott Medal for his “outstanding national contribution to the science and art of gardening.” John was also named a “Place Maker” by the Foundation for Landscape Studies, an award that will be presented in New York City in early May.

Peckerwood Garden, located in Hempstead, Texas, has been a Garden Conservancy partner since 1998. It is celebrated for its unique collection of rare plants, as well as its artistry.

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Garden Conservancy Houston, TX Open Day

Saturday, April 30

10:00 AM – 04:00 PM

Peckerwood Garden is proud to partner with the Garden Conservancy to bring you the April 30, 2016 Houston Open Day, a self-guided tour of 8 private gardens in Houston and a plant sale hosted by Peckerwood Garden.   This event is part of the Conservancy’s national garden visiting program, and a portion of the proceeds of this Open Day will benefit Peckerwood Garden.

Discounted ticket books for the Houston Open Day may be purchased at the Peckerwood Plant Sale, offering a savings of $16! Individual tickets are $7 per garden, discounted books are $40 for an all day pass. Tickets may also be purchased on the Garden Conservancy’s website, where you will also find extended garden descriptions.

jillPeckerwood Plant Sale – 1236 Studewood Street.  77008

During the Garden Conservancy Open Day event, Peckerwood Garden staff and volunteers will be hosting a special sale of plants found at Peckerwood Garden. The plants offered for sale are ideally suited to the Houston area and range from succulents to summer blooming natives. Select garden books will be available. The plant sale will take place at 1236 Studewood Street, Houston, Texas  77008 from 10:00 4:00 pm.

Special bonus for Houston Open Day visitors:  If you bring an Open Day Garden ticket stub to Peckerwood Garden on May 8th, you will receive 2 for 1 admission, a $10 savings.


Habitat Garden

802 Woodland Street

Description:  A garden planned to provide a habitat highway for birds and pollinators that celebrates the spring with wildflowers.  This is a smaller Woodland Heights garden.  Once the spring extravaganza is over, the perennials are the focus of this compact but impressive cottage garden.



The Art Compound

1901 West 14th Street

Houston, Texas  77008

Description:  The property of a prominent artist, Dixie Friend Gay, this garden is an ongoing project by the owner and her son.  The garden, home, and art studios are located on an acre of land off a tributary of White Oak Bayou in the Clark Pines neighborhood, built by the artist in 1992.  The garden is a collection of native and tropical plants intermixed with beautifully placed art and found objects.  Features of the garden include a beautiful mixed-media gate by the artist, artfully designed meandering plant beds and a goldfish pond.


Alba Garden

744 West 43rd Street

Houston, Texas  77018

Description:  This garden is situated on an acre and a half in the Garden Oaks neighborhood. Stepping through the garden gate into this urban Eden it is evident that a true gardener lives here.  Mostly hidden from street view, this garden features a 15,000 gallon garden koi pond approximately 30 feet long, bisected a wooden bridge.  Though the pond is the highlight of the garden there are also flagstone pathways curving around beautifully tended beds, planted to provide a habitat for birds, butterflies and bees.  The garden features unusual collections of native and Houston-hardy plants.


Baldridge Residence

2111 Bolsover Street

West University Place, Texas  77005

Description:  This neo-traditional garden is located in West University Place.  It is the home of prominent garden designer Cedar Baldridge.  The main space of the backyard is situated around a pool and water feature, flanked by containers of citrus.  Architectural features include a Chippendale trellis for the owners beloved sweet peas, beautifully detailed gates, flagstone terrace and a collection of 1940s Saltorini outdoor furniture.  The planting design includes espaliered magnolias and citrus trees, a topiary holly colonnade, olive trees and cutting flowers.

Kyle-Lasseter Garden

No. 5 West 11th Place

Houston, Texas  77005

The recently built home of architect Dillon Kyle and Sam Lasseter is located in the gated neighborhood, West 11th Place, near the Museum District. The garden is inspired by vernacular southern gardens.  The backyard garden is centered on a circular pool with brick coping set in a manicured lawn edged by repurposed brick paths and planted beds.  Small raised water gardens are placed asymmetrically within the lawn area.  The owners’ casual lifestyle and love of gardening is evident in planning of the outdoor spaces.  An eclectic container garden is set off by a brick serpentine wall and informal seating areas with vintage furniture. A mixture of recycled pavers are set in loosely planted mixed beds.

Camberg Garden

3250 Reba Drive

Houston, Texas  77019

Description: This new garden, designed by Cedar Baldridge, surrounds a recently built Bobby McAlpine house in River Oaks.  The traditional front yard and drive with lawn and foundation planting accentuates the dramatic neo-traditional vernacular architecture and beautifully detailed fence and gates. The more contemporary rear courtyard is centered around a small pool.  The space includes a boxwood and seasonal flower parterre, crape myrtle screen set in gravel, a small lawn and container garden.  The plant palette includes boxwood, camellias and multi-trunk Natchez crape myrtles.

Bellaire Meadows (3)Bellaire Meadow

505 South Third St

Bellaire, Texas 77401

Description:  This Texas native garden is located in the suburban city of Bellaire.  The owner’s love of the Texas Hill Country is the inspiration of this garden.  An exemplary use of Houston hardy native plants in the context of a suburban setting, this garden keeps the integrity of the design while still in keeping with the neighborhood.   An existing pool dictated the shape of the planting bed in the delightful rear garden.  An inspired contemporary water feature was added updating the feel of the space.  Mature olives in mammoth white pots anchor the expertly designed planting of the backyard.

Auden Glade (4)Southside Glade

6510 Auden Street

Southside Place, Texas 77005

Description: Part of the success of the garden in Southside Place is the juxtaposition of the owners’ contemporary art collection and the unique plant selection of the garden’s landscape architect, Mark McKinnon. Bold texture and colors are evident in the foundation planting at the front of the house. The garden has a contemporary feel. The garden was designed around a large sculpture/ water feature that is set in the large swimming pool. A shade garden with unusual plant specimens runs the length of the pool garden behind a modern shade structure. A substantial potager garden with raised vegetable beds is located on the property.

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New horticulture director begins work at Peckerwood Garden in Hempstead

Adam Black, an expert in rare, unusual and endangered plants, has been named director of horticulture at Peckerwood Garden in Hempstead.

“I look forward to working in such an important, fascinating and beautiful garden,” said Black, who comes from the Forest Pathology and Forest Entomology Laboratories at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Peckerwood, about an hour northwest of Houston, is receiving national attention for its vast collection of plants from Mexico, Asia and the United States, some of which are no longer found in the wild. Located at the convergence of three climate zones, the garden serves as a testing ground for plants that are beautiful as well as durable and suitable for the Houston area as it grows hotter, drier and also prone to flooding.

Retired Texas A&M professor John Gaston Fairey started the garden as his own in 1971. Over the years he mixed the familiar, such as magnolias and pines, with drought-resistant sun-loving plants like palms and agaves. “You just have to learn to live with these things, ” he told the Houston Chronicle last fall. “To be optimistic whatever happens.”

Today the garden has grown from 7 acres to 40 acres, including a former nursery property, and the Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation manages it and offers educational programs. Peckerwood also is a preservation project of The Garden Conservancy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving exceptional American gardens and landscapes.

“Adam not only has the expertise and experience necessary to maintain and preserve Peckerwood Garden, he also possesses a long-standing passion for plants,” said Sarah Newbery,Peckerwood’s foundation board president. “He has many ideas for developing a broader network of support and expanded offerings to garden visitors, and we are extremely excited to see those ideas come to fruition.”

To visit Peckerwood Gardens, call 979-826-3232 to set up a tour, or check the site,, for information about public tours.

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Peckerwood Garden Foundation and the ICAA present author Caroline Seebohm in an illustrated talk about her new book:

Rescuing Eden: Preserving America’s Historic GardensCaroline Seebohm headshot

Caroline Seebohm, author

Photographs by Curtice Taylor

Published by The Monacelli Press

Canopy---Google-Maps-1Thursday, November 5, 6 -8 pm

Canopy: 3939 Montrose Blvd, Houston

Admission:  $20/$15 PGCF and ICAA members, includes refreshments

6 pm   Cocktails

7 pm   Presentation and book signing

Memberships available online or at the door.

Rescuing Eden presents 30 American gardens that are particularly distinctive in the stories of their creation and their “rescue” for the enjoyment and appreciation of future generations.  Ranging from the historic gardens on Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay to Peckerwood Garden outside Houston, these gardens represent a range of distinctive styles and help tell the story of gardening in America.  Caroline Seebohm is a design historian and biographer, whose books include Boca Rococo, a biography of Palm beach architect Addison Mizner, as well as biographies of Marietta Tree, Conde Nast, and Florida sculptor Ann Norton.

Curtice Taylor is a well-known landscape and garden photographer whose work is widely published.

The book will be available for sale at the event.

RSVP and questions:

Purchase tickets at

Seating is limited; please reserve by November 2.

Event sponsored by

ICAA logopwgarden_square_300x300_2_edited-1Mcdugald Steele logo

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2018 Garden Conservancy Houston, TX Open Day

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Saturday, April 28

10:00 AM – 04:00 PM

Peckerwood Garden is proud to partner with the Garden Conservancy to bring you this Open Day, a self-guided tour of 4 private gardens in Houston that is part of the Conservancy’s national garden-visiting program.

A portion of the proceeds of this Open Day will benefit Peckerwood Garden.


Admission to each private garden is $7 per person.

Peckerwood Garden staff and volunteers will be hosting a special sale of plants found at Peckerwood Garden and perfect for your own.  The sale will take place at Itch Acres 415 Martin Street, Houston TX 77018.


See below for additional locations to purchase tickets in advance and on the Open Day.  You may also purchase tickets on the Garden Conservancy’s website, where you will find extended garden descriptions and can map your own tour:


Admission to each private garden is $7 per person, or discounted tickets (6 for $35) will be available at the following locations on the Open Day: 802 West Temple Street, 2434 White Oak Drive, 6502 Taggart Street, and 6801 Hazen Street.


Special bonus for Houston Open Day visitors:  Free admission certificates will be available at all locations to Peckerwood Garden events located in Hempstead, TX.


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Sustainably Green

22709 Albans Rd

Houston, TX 77005

This lovely naturalized cottage garden contains many pollinator-friendly plants, special plant collections, and “green” and sustainable features on a standard-sized West University lot. Elements include a custom-designed green wall/fence, which adds approximately 135 square feet of vertical gardening with ornamental and edible vegetation; a 1,000-gallon above-ground, galvanized rainwater tank for roof-water collection; below-ground tanks for rainwater collection and storage through a porous driveway pavement system; water storage systems for plant watering; a concrete porch made with recycled glass; an exterior deck made of recycled plastic-bag/wood waste product boards; a naturalized dry creek that works as a detention swale for sixty to seventy percent of normal site runoff; and a rain garden created from porch roof runoff. Flowering, edible, and fruit-bearing plants are incorporated effortlessly into the landscape throughout the front and back.

*Note: this garden is listed as the garden of Steve Stelzer and Kathleen English in the 2018 Open Days Directory.

Directions: From US 59, take the Kirby exit south. Albans Road is 2 blocks past Bissonnet Street. Head west on Albans Road to reach garden. Park along street.

Open Days 2018: April 28
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission to this garden is $7 for members and non-members without tickets purchased in advance. Or, purchase a day pass for $24 to see all four private gardens on this date; available at each location.

  • This is a new garden
  • This garden allows photography
  • This garden is handicap-accessible

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Itchy Acres Artist Community


HOUSTON, TX, 77018

Welcome to the Itchy Acres Artist Community, an informal, unofficial small neighborhood of artists, musicians, and other creative souls tucked into the northern edge of Independence Heights. Artists Paul Kittelson and Carter Ernst moved to their heavily wooded lot covered in giant ropes of poison ivy back in 1989. Over the years their artist friends joined them, drawn to the natural landscape despite the ivy! Their adjoining yards are filled with plants, wildlife, dogs, and sculpture—and a peacefulness only nature can bestow.

*Plants on sale from Peckerwood Gardens at this location.

Directions: Itchy Acres Artist Community is located just north of the Heights, about a mile from Loop 610 on Martin and Thornton streets between Yale and N. Shepherd. Travelling on Yale, turn left onto Martin Street. Number 405 is the entrance for this event, and parking is available on the street or at our nearby neighbor’s, NSM Industries.

Open Days 2018: April 28
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission to this garden is $7 for members and non-members without tickets purchased in advance. Or, purchase a day pass for $24 to see all four private gardens on this date; available at each location.

  • This is a new garden
  • This garden allows photography

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Selia Qynn’s Garden Habitat

10037 Hazelhurst Drive

Houston, TX 77080

Selia Qynn’s home is a backyard habitat certified by National Wildlife Federation. It is located on a three-acre plot in Spring Branch. Her garden comprises three adjoining properties. It features a 12,000-gallon pond with bog, lily and Koi areas divided by stepping stones and an island. Additionally, there are numerous water features throughout the garden, including fountains, ponds, waterfalls, many sitting rocks, art installations and animal habitats woven together by lush plantings.

Directions: From I-10 take the Gessner Road exit and head north. Cross Long Point Road to Hazelhurst Drive and turn right. The garden is on the right.

Open Days 2018: April 28
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission to this garden is $7 for members and non-members without tickets purchased in advance. Or, purchase a day pass for $24 to see all four private gardens on this date; available at each location.

  • This garden is handicap-accessible

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Heights Pollinator Café and Shade Garden

414 West 13th Street

Houston, TX 77008

The Dotys are longtime Heights residents who decided to update their garden in 2016. The front garden is shaded by several camphor trees, which made for poor lawn growing conditions. They sought help from a local design and landscaping company. The problem was overcome by designing a garden that was shade-tolerant, low-maintenance, and attractive. This was achieved by using several waves of ground covers (instead of lawn) and other adaptable plants along the house. A large ceramic vessel is placed under the “V” in the roofline to help divert water away from the house. Sarah wanted a garden along the side of their home that would attract birds and pollinators. Originally this side yard, which runs along the alley, was a long strip of lawn. The grass was removed and a winding path using decomposed granite edged with chop stone was put in. This space was turned into a “Pollinators Café.” The majority of the beds are irrigated with drip tubing. The plants are mostly native, and something is meant to be in flower most of the year. The garden was knocked back by Houston’s two-day hard freeze two weeks after it was installed, in December 2016. It came back with only a few plants needing replacing. The deluge of rain from Hurricane Harvey has not disturbed the garden much at all even though the entire garden was underwater. Another fun feature is the back deck, which Rich has painted into an airplane runway.

Directions: From I-10 you exit Heights Boulevard and head north. Go up to 14th Street and turn left. At Rutland Street turn left again. Then turn right on 13th Street. The house is on the left. This is a residential neighborhood, and all parking is street parking.

Open Days 2018: April 28
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission to this garden is $7 for members and non-members without tickets purchased in advance. Or, purchase a day pass for $24 to see all four private gardens on this date; available at each location.

  • This is a new garden
  • This garden allows photography
  • This garden is handicap-accessible

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America’s Best value cars of 2013

Most savvy car buyers are aware that as soon as a new car gets driven off a dealer’s lot it immediately takes a dip in value. However, not all vehicles depreciate at the same pace over time. Wouldn’t it be great to know which new cars were likely to be worth the most when it’s time to sell? Automotive Lease Guide has been forecasting automotive residual values for more than 50 years, and is considered an industry benchmark for this calculation. For the past 13 years, ALG has been giving Residual Value Awards to vehicles and brands likely to retain the most value after three years of ownership. Let’s take a look at the winners for 2014.

The Jaguar F-TYPE is a cool-looking car, and the Convertible S model is even cooler — especially when it’s road-tested in the middle of winter, the way I did.

The car’s sleek exterior lines shouldn’t be marred by something as mundane as ordinary door handles. So the Jaguar F-TYPE uses what the British automaker calls “deployable door handles” that retract into the body of the car when not in use and pop out when needed.

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Rites of Spring at Peckerwood Garden

Rites of Spring at Peckerwood Garden

COME AND CELEBRATE THE BIRTH OF SPRING here at Peckerwood garden with a dinner prepared by nationally recognized chef Monica Pope. The evening will begin with a walk in the garden with guides to share their knowledge of the diverse plant collections, followed by custom cocktails and visiting with friends old and new. Enjoy Monica Pope’s locally sourced meal in the greenhouse, curated by designer Sara Eliason. Musical accompaniment will complete this beautiful evening.


5:30 pm  Meet at the garden for a guided tour

6:30 pm  Custom cocktails under the trees

7:00 pm Dining outdoors

  Tickets to this event are $125 and may be purchased through the website. or by calling Bethany at the garden 979-826-3232.

Please purchase your tickets by April 20th.

Dress: festive/outdoors (comfortable shoes) Directions can be found at

Peckerwood Garden is a preservation partner of the Garden Conservancy, one of just fifteen in the U.S.