PaperCity Magazine

Round Top Summer 2022

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 52 of 67

Right: The courtyard gate was designed and made by architect and blacksmith Lars Stanley. "John was an artist," Twaddle says. "He approached the creation of the garden exactly the way one does traditional western art making, with all the classical elements like repetition, contrast, texture, and the use of negative spaces; John was employing this with plants." Fairey trained as a painter — first at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and then at the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied with Barnett Newman, Robert Motherwell, and David Smith. He left his native South Carolina in the 1960s to teach design at Texas A&M in College Station, settling down on seven hilly acres in nearby Hempstead in 1971. He recreated the southern landscape from his youth, planting azaleas, camellias, and magnolias. Named Peckerwood — after the Texas plantation from the 1950s Auntie Mame novel and movie — the garden was renamed The John Fairey Garden after his death. In the late '80s, the Houston plant expert and nurseryman Lynn Lowrey introduced Fairey to native plants in Texas and Mexico, later taking him on a trip to the Sierra Madre Oriental Mountains in northern Mexico to collect seeds and cuttings from rare and endangered plants. Carl Schoenfeld, a college student who worked at the gardens, joined them on the trip. It was the first of more than 100 botanical expeditions to Mexico that Fairey and Schoenfeld would make over the decades, and many of the plants and trees in the garden were grown from seeds they collected. Fairey helped raise conservation awareness on both sides of the border by sharing plant material and information with arboretums, plant societies, and universities; eventually many plants made their way into the nursery trade and private gardens. In recognition of their achievements, Fairey and Schoenfeld were presented with the American Horticultural Award in 1996. Two years later, Fairey took his private garden public with the help of the prestigious New York-based Garden Conservancy, which assists "JOHN ONCE SAID IT TOOK SIX YEARS OF LIVING HERE TO UNDER- STAND THE GARDEN, AND I'M BARELY TWO YEARS INTO IT." — Randy Twaddle (Continued from page 49) (Continued)

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of PaperCity Magazine - Round Top Summer 2022