The Wonders of Dry Desert Plants
Jim Fissel (author), Martha Hughes (author), Jim Martinez (author), Mary Lou Saxon (author), Dallas Baxter (foreword)
A stunning guide celebrating the flowering plants of the Chihuahuan Desert
Marfa Garden is a full-color celebration of more than sixty flowering plants of the Chihuahuan Desert and neighboring regions. The desert, North Americas second largest at 140,000 square miles, spans West Texas, parts of New Mexico and Arizona, and northern Mexico. It is a surprising showcase for colorful plant diversity.
Presented in a style reminiscent of naturalist Karl Blossfeldts Art Forms in Nature, the book includes an array of vines, grasses, trees, herbs, shrubs, cacti, and succulents ranging from the little known to the popular and iconic. Photographs show plants in year-round cycles, with buds, complex foliage, unfolding blooms, seed pods, and winter texture and color.
Also included is a discussion of each plants common and scientific names, historical information, and garden use. A visual appendix of botanical and gardening information consists of illustrations relating close-up botanical details. Gardeners, naturalists, landscape designers, architects, and anyone interested in dry gardens or the Southwest will find great value and joy in Marfa Garden.
Jim Fissel has designed user interfaces for software and hardware systems for more than thirty years and specializes in improving comprehension and usability through visual design in the medical, educational, financial, and industrial fields. His clientele include major international corporations and small startup companies seeking new product concept visualizations.
Martha Hughes is a professional artist and writer whose career spans the diverse worlds of fine art and high tech. Her artwork is included in private and corporate collections across the country. She actively pursues new approaches to her art, but gardens and the desert landscape are a continuing source of inspiration.
Jim Martinez has been creating water-wise and environmentally friendly landscapes for more than thirty years. He is a landscape designer specializing in native and xeric plants of Texas and the Southwest and the principal of Jim Martinez and Associates. He is also a member of the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute and the Big Bend branch of the Native Plant Society of Texas. He lives in Marfa, Texas.
Mary Lou Saxon is a freelance photographer who does work on a variety of subjects. She retired from a career in Dallas as a professional photographer focusing on product photography for catalogs. She moved to Marfa in 2011, drawn by the beauty of the desert landscape, the minimalist art, the intimacy of the small town, and the vast horizons.
Dallas Baxter is the creator of the quarterly Cenizo Journal, which celebrates the people and ecosystems of the Big Bend. She serves as president of the Big Bend chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas, which she helped found in 2002.