Legendary emeritus professor, remembered as inspiration, expert gardener

John Fairey, Texas A&M Professor Emeritus of Architecture who founded a 39-acre garden near Hempstead, Texas that is renowned nationwide for its extraordinary variety of plants and trees, died March 17, 2020.

An [obituary] (http://jfgarden.org/) posted on the garden’s website from Fairey’s family states that a celebration of his life will take place in the garden when it’s safe to do so. He was 89 years old.

In addition to a distinguished career as a design educator at Texas A&M, he was the driving force of the John Fairey Garden, which features more than 4,000 plants, many of them rarities, which he collected during more than 100 trips to remote areas of Mexico and the southern U.S.

He called the garden, an important resource for researchers and plant conservancies, “an environment that stimulates all of the senses, including the most elusive of all, our sense of time.”

The garden also features distinctive outdoor sculptures and a collection of Fairey’s folk art from Mexico and the U.S. In 2013, he donated over 400 pieces of his collection to the Art Museum of Southeast Texas in Beaumont.

Fairey’s garden, originally called Peckerwood Garden, has been featured in numerous publications here and abroad, including the [New York Times] (https://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/19/garden/a-texas-gardener-looks-to-mexico-for-inspiration.html) , Houston Chronicle, the Financial Times of London, Martha Stewart Living, Horticulture, and Arte de Mexico.

posted March 18, 2020