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, peckerwoodgarden.org, for information about public tours.