Insider Tour: North Dry Garden & Palm and Magnolia Circle
The area north of Dry Creek is home to some of the oldest plants in the garden since it is part of the original purchase. Here you’ll find a wide selection of magnolias, conifers, succulents and mahonias — many collected during trips to northeastern Mexico. Almost as interesting as the plants are the circuitous paths, the Blue Wall and other landscape features, such as steel step risers and lumber edging. Once a very sunny garden, now the area north of the creek is much shaded by pines, a Mexican oak, sweet gum and maples, which provides a challenge to the many succulents that reside below. Much of the ground is covered by Brazos pea gravel and river rock which evokes a heightened sensation of being in a non-traditional garden.
Araucaria angustifolia – Parana pine – most adaptable relative of true monkey puzzle and Norfolk pine.
Cryptomeria japonica – Japanese Cedar
Magnolia kwangtungensis – Chinese magnolia with beautiful rusty hairs on new leaves and pendulous flowers.
Magnolia grandiflora ‘Variegata’ – Variegated Southern Magnolia – mostly reverted to green
Clethra pringlei – Mexican Summesweet – John Fairey Mexican collection
Podocarpus matudae – Mexican Podocarpus – John Fairey collection from Mexico
Casimiroa pringlei – Pringle’s Sapote – small edible fruits, John Fairey introduction to cultivation. Original tree lost in 2016 floods.
Amyris texana – Texas Torchwood
Decatropis bicolor – John Fairey collection – citrus family but no edible fruit, just ornamental foliage/flowers
Yucca treculeana var. canaliculata – Imposing giant form of this species
Mahonia pallida – Mexican Pale Mahonia
Mahonia x media – Asian hyrid Mahonia
Clematis pitcheri – wide ranging and variable, most Texas plants are dark purple, this Mexican collection is light purple
Brahea moorei – Dwarf Rock Palm – One of John’s favorite palms, good planted in groups.
Chamaedorea radicalis – good hardy palm for shade
Torreya taxifolia – One of the rarest conifers in the word, from one small area in Florida, threatened by disease.
Torreya grandis – Chinese counterpart to our two US native Torreya species (FL and CA).
Cephalotaxus fortunei – Fortune’s Plum Yew
Magnolia biondii – Deciduous magnolia
Philadelphus sp. – a small leaved Mock Orange from Mexico.
Eryngium venustum – spiny leaved carrot relative that John collected in Mexico
Macrozamia sp. – Australian cycads
Zamia vasquezii – Mexican cycad
Cycas panzihuaensis – Chinese cycad
Agave bracteosa – Squid Agave
Roldana aschenbornianus – Mexican flowering shrub covered in yellow flowers in spring.
Illicium anisatum ‘Murasaki-no-sato’ (Purple Glaze Anise) – new growth purple, fades to green with light green variegation.
Dioon edule regional forms – Mexican cycads
Berberis lycium – very important in Chinese medicine, has proven to have numerous beneficial properties
Bouvardia ternifolia – Mexican collection – hummingbird magnet
Amorphophallus paeoniifolius – one of the “corpse flowers”
Quercus rysophylla – Loquat leaved oak – one of the largest individuals in the country
Justicia fulvicoma – Orange Shrimp Plant
Zamia pumila – Dominican Republic
Clethra pringlei – as seen earlier, but a huge specimen
Mahonia chochoca – Mexican collection with nice tree form, yellow winter flowers
Nolina nelsonii – original wild collections.
Mahonia sp. – new species discovered by John Fairey
Mahonia chochoca – Curly leaf form
Magnolia martinii – view from afar of the upright (fastigiated) form
Keteleeria davidiana – great heat tolerant conifer
Puya species – several species and hybrids in this area – some have jade green to aquamarine blue flowers
Brahea species – several unknown species – a very poorly studied genus
Neobuxbaumia polylopha – columnar cactus with reasonable humidity tolerance
Hechtia sp. – a giant xeric bromeliad collected in Puerto Purification, Mexico
Trithrinax campestris – Argentine Silver Thatch Palm
Sabal uresana – Sonoran Blue Palm
Magnolia tripetala x macrophylla – hybrid native deciduous bigleaf magnolia
Pinus pseudostrobus – Mexican smoothbark weeping pine
Liquidambar styraciflua – Mexican version of our native eastern US sweetgum
Liquidambar acalycina – Chinese Sweetgum
Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Rotundiloba’ – Interesting selection with round leaf lobe tips
Magnolia ashei – Rare localized species in FL
Taiwania cryptomerioides – beautiful heat/humidity tolerant conifer from Taiwan
Parrotia persica – deciduous tree with great peeling bark patterns, good yellow fall color
Exbucklandia populnea – Malayan Aspen – not a true aspen, but in the witch hazel family
Abies firma – Momi Fir – Japanese subtropical fir – takes heat/humidity
Carex socialis ‘Coahoma’ – beautiful native sedge for shade to partial sun
Cinnamomum chekiangense – hardy cinnamon
Magnolia officinalis var. biloba – notch-leaved magnolia
Machilus thunbergii – beautiful evergreen dense shrub
Magnolia laevifolius – small-leaved species, often sold under the old names M. dianica or M. yunnanensis
Magnolia grandiflora ‘DD Blanchard’
Cunninghamia unicanaliculata – long leaved “china fir”
Magnolia grandiflora ‘Emory’ – very tight columnar form
Magnolia insignis – famous for being a red flowering evergreen species