In late March we arrived for one of Peckerwood Garden's Open Days tours. Spiky entry garden is courtesy of well-known mail order nursery Yucca Do founded by John Fairey on the site. Peckerwood acquired the property several years ago when Yucca Do relocated which added 20 acres to the gardens for a total of 39 acres including parking, offices, and greenhouses which are now used by the Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation.
We're off to a great start with blue skies and coolish temperatures.
I'd seen so many photos of the garden that I didn't expect many surprises. One big surprise was how many non-spiky plants are in the garden. In fact a good deal of the garden is an arboretum featuring oaks brought back from plant hunting trips to Mexico over three decades. Most of the existing trees on the property were wiped out in a 1983 tornado leaving plenty of room for specimen plants.
The Weeping oak is very cool
Beautifully elongated leaves on this one, possibly Chinquapin Oak, which grows well in San Antonio.
Lead volunteer John Lomax (blue cap) is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide. All the volunteers are personally trained by John Fairey. I didn't take notes so many of the plants will go unidentified like this tree with leaves that turn red in spring.
Wish I could remember. I'm loving those silvery palms which were everywhere.
No name for this tree with the fantastic textured trunk either.
Conifers, rare in my semi-arid climate, grow well in this more tropical climate and acidic soil.
Another surprise was an extensive collection of rain lilies.
More of those silvery palms
On to our first look at the dry garden.
Yuccas burned when the adjacent garage caught fire are bouncing back. (I think that was the story but there was so much to remember).
Mature plants allowed only a few paths where we could (carefully) walk through. We'll get a closer look at John Fairey's home toward the end of our tour.
Pristine gravel always impresses, especially considering the garden relies primarily on volunteers and contributions.
Art like this metal sculpture is featured throughout the gardens
Wisteria arbors attract attention in the midst of so much green
Even the arbors serve as art in the garden
Oh to have this much space for palms!
This large circle of trees anchors a "cross hall" cutting through the garden. The scale here is huge!
We turn to our right and follow the "hallway" through a woodland garden.
It's a lot to take in on one visit.
Delightful bell-shaped flowers on a small tree-like shrub
The predominate silver and green color scheme is punctuated by red blooms such as this Mexican Buckeye.
Camellia (I think)
Across the stream is another dry garden which is not open to visitors due to a washed out bridge.
So close, yet so far. Look at that forest of Yucca!
I found myself wondering what it would take to replace the bridge.
There's something about Cypress knees.
Manicured shrubs and brightly blooming Azalea mark our turn toward the house.
In my next post we'll explore the gardens around John Fairey's home.