John G. Fairey’s eyes widen when he is asked to name a favorite plant, as if  he’s been asked to choose his favorite child. “Why, all of them,” he replies softly in a sandpapery Southern lilt. And given his surroundings—some 3,000 species of rare and endangered plants at Peckerwood, his 40-year-old, renowned private garden near the  Texas town of Hempstead—you’re rather inclined to believe him. 

This article was first published in Garden Design June 2012