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In Memoriam: John Gaston Fairey


March 30, 2020

2020 Florens DeBevoise Medalist

John Gaston Fairey has been called a “renaissance man” in appreciation for his many talents as an expert horticulturist, plant explorer, educator, and artist. John was selected to receive The Garden Club of America’s 2020 Florens DeBevoise Medal for his remarkable horticultural conservation efforts.

John led over 100 plant expeditions to northeastern Mexico in order to expand the knowledge and appreciation for the wide diversity of flora native to that area.

He founded Peckerwood Garden in Hempstead, Texas, a 39-acre repository of rare and unusual plants from the United States, Mexico, and Asia. The garden became a center for horticulturists, students, landscape architects, and ecologists. He introduced new species and hybrids of magnolias, yuccas, palms, conifers, grasses, and agaves.

Proposed for the national medal by former GCA President Nancy Thomas, The Garden Club of Houston, John’s accomplishments in the field of horticulture represent the dedication to plant education and conservation that is a priority of the GCA. His horticultural legacy will live on through the John Fairey Garden Conservation Foundation.


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