PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Houston June 2022

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Land Institute. As a living thing, the garden is always evolving — and that's a constant source of both fascination and frustration. "We are charged with preserving the horticultural integrity of this place to the standards that John would want, but plants die and grow, they change," Twaddle says. "The gardens are getting shadier all the time, which has consequences. Light was incredibly important to John in the design of the garden." Fairey planted in layers so that sunlight coming through plants and trees of various heights and sizes would create unexpected and beautiful effects. "Parts of the garden would be dappled with light, others in deep shadows, then just inches away the sun would be shining brightly," highlighting a plant or area. Fairey also used plants and trees to create architectural spaces, and some of those areas are also threatened by lack of sun. A vast well-manicured lawn that runs parallel to the creek, known as The Hallway, is being shaded out by cypress trees planted years ago on the creek's edge, along with tall pines and oaks. Bald areas are increasing, and the grass will have to be replaced soon with shade-loving ground cover, which Twaddle fears will alter the overall experience of the space. Twaddle and his team — which includes nursery manager and horticulturist Craig Jackson and head gardener Adolfo Silva, who has been there for 21 years — are outlining a management plan to address such issues. They're also inviting experts who worked with Fairey to walk the gardens and suggest solutions in line with Fairey's original wishes. "There's no straightforward answer for any of these questions," Twaddle says. "That's why it's so difficult, and one of the reasons we need to be diligent in trying to understand John's intentions, to use that as the baseline. At the end of the day, what would John do?" The John Fairey Garden, 20559 FM 359 Road, Hempstead, 979.826.3232, FAIREY LAND During his more than 100 trips to Mexico to collect rare and endangered plants, John Fairey also amassed a remarkable collection of folk art. The exhibition "Back to the Garden" is a selection of works from The John Gaston Fairey Mexican Folk Art Collection at the Art Museum of Southeast Texas — a trove of more than 500 pieces — exhibited in a gallery he created for them at the garden. On view through Saturday, August 20, at The John Fairey Garden; Randy Twaddle, executive director of The John Fairey Garden 53

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