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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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New Docent Training

 New Docent Training for Peckerwood Garden will be scheduled for Winter soon. Join us for 2 Winter new docent classes TBD.

 Register at: TBD

(email if interested in participating when scheduled)


Take a Leadership Role at Peckerwood Garden!

Peckerwood Garden has been widely acclaimed for design originality, the breadth of its collections, and its education and conservation programs. The garden features an extraordinary variety of plants that are well-suited to Houston and Austin area climates, including Pinus, magnolia, agave, prunus, Camellia, Quercus, and many other species collected by John Fairey and his colleagues during their plant expeditions in Mexico.
Peckerwood Garden is open for tours in part to raise funds to sustain the garden, continue our plant research, and our desire to share our collection of plants with like minded, interested people. Tour groups may consist of horticultural groups, garden clubs, art groups and/or any interested parties – on Open Days we get a wide range of interests.

About the Classes.
The class will be 2 hours and will teach the basics, including key locations, key points in history, key plants. Part will be classroom and part will be in the garden.
What happens after?
After these 2 classes, you will assist a primary docent as Second for a minimum 3 tours in Spring and will attend at least 2 of monthly sessions before leading part of a tour.
You can be a Docent.
Interested people should not feel intimidated by the subject matter or breadth of information. This is a process and is about enjoyable but educational tours.

Focused training will follow in monthly sessions that are open to all active volunteers. Maps, notes, outlines, and digital files will be available for your use.  Contact Bethany Jordan with questions at or at 979-826-3232.

A Docent is a teacher, serving Peckerwood Garden and the community in the field of education. Docents are knowledgeable, enthusiastic people who act as liaisons between the Garden and the general public. Docents facilitate personal interaction, education, and enrichment between Garden visitors and the garden, artwork, specimens. They develop expertise through ongoing training, research, and education.