Trinity University Press

Marfa Garden

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 America’s 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 Blossfeldt’s 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 plant’s 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.


“The book’s overriding purpose is to encourage us to rethink our ideas about the desert land of West Texas... Marfa Garden’s intent is to get the region’s visitors and residents to look away, for a moment, from the stunning vistas and pay attention to what is happening on the ground. The photos more than make the case, highlighting not just the prickly cacti and agave that one might expect, but a host of plants that sport colorful flowers and berries.”

Texas Monthly

“Jim Martinez’s garden in the desert of Marfa thrives by being useful to the natural area surrounding it.”

Texas Standard

More reviews »
Marfa Garden cover
  • Price: $35.00
  • Pages: 256
  • Size: 10 X 10
  • Published: Aug 2019
  • Status: Available
  • ISBN: 9781595348890
  • Color photos: 473


Gardens, Regional, Texas, U.S. Southwest, Nature