Dave Creech directs the SFA Gardens at Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas, USA.  He was born in 1948, the son of Elbert and Laverne, brother of Susan, and he lived much of his early life in India, East Pakistan, and Burma where his father worked in Agriculture Development during the glory days of the green revolution.  He returned to the USA to finish high school at A & M Consolidated High School, College Station, Texas before enrolling at Texas A & M University (TAMU).  He received the BSc in Horticulture in 1970, the MSc in 1972 in Horticulture from Colorado State University, and the PhD in 1978 in Horticulture back at Texas A and M University.  After a brief 9 month stint at TAMU, Overton, Texas as an Extension Specialist he joined the faculty of Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas where he still works, gardens and lectures for a living and a lifestyle.  He was into bow ties before it was cool and his mantra is let’s keep planting.


Nacogdoches is in Zone 8B of the Pineywoods region in East Texas with an average annual rainfall of 48 in (122 cm).  June through August is characteristically hot and dry.  1 Sept 2000 was the record high, 112 F (44.4 C), and 23 Dec 1989 was the record low 0 F (-17.8 C). In 2010 and 2011, Nacogdoches experienced all-time record drought and heat.  Total precipitation in 2010 was 22.3 in (56.6 cm) and 2011 produced 35.4 in (89.9 cm), with one third of that that coming late in the fall.  Fortunately, 2012 and 2013 saw a return to normal summer temperatures and rainfall at 59.6 in (151 cm) and 43.4 in (110.2 cm), respectively.  

SFA Gardens comprises 52 ha (128 acres) of on-campus property at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA), Nacogdoches, Texas and includes four main gardens: Representing the oldest plantings, the 17 ha (10 acre) SFA Mast Arboretum was initiated in 1985 and includes the horticulture facility of the Agriculture Department.  Second, the Ruby M. Mize Azalea garden is a 3.2 ha (8 acre) garden of primarily azaleas, camellias and Japanese maples and was dedicated in April, 2000.  Third, the 17 ha (42 acre) Pineywoods Native Plant Center (PNPC) was dedicated by Lady Bird Johnson in April 2000.  Finally, the SFA’s Recreational Trail and Gardens was dedicated in March 2010 and comprises 27.5 ha (68 acres) of mostly undisturbed forest.  As the result of a donor with a vision, SFA Gardens is responsible for the development of a 3.2 ha (8 acre) garden in the SW portion of this property, directly across from the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden.  SFA Gardens enjoys four full time employees and two half-time employees, all funded by a combination of state and external grant funding.  SFA Gardens is a collector’s garden, one that adds hundreds of new plants each year to the plantings.  Those that survive, perform well, and impress visitors make their way into propagation, two annual plant sales and distribution to interested nurserymen.  This program has introduced and promoted numerous plants through a wide range of print and electronic media.

15 thoughts on “About”

  1. First one knocked out of the ball park! well done!


  2. Beautiful sister!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your blog, but the subscription link does not work. Am I doing something wrong?


  4. Christine Bradish said:

    I didn’t know you were such a prolific writer Dr. Creech – I found this page looking for an image of swamp mallow online, fascinating. I hope you are doing well 🙂


  5. Michael Zerbach said:

    David, I have an evergreen Oak that was given to me as a six inch seedling/now is 8′ tall and don’t what species it is. May I send you a photo to see if you can identify it. I think it is a Mexican Oak species. I don’t do any social media.


  6. Sevier Theresa said:

    I’m looking for Slender Silhouette’ American sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Slender Silhouette’) . Do you know where I can purchase them.


  7. Do you have any books that you have written, or contributed to? Or would it be possible to order your blog in book form? It may be a strange question, but I enjoy your writing but don’t love reading through a screen 🙂 Thank you for being interesting!


    • Thanks for those kind words! I am working on a book. Feud among the flowers – a behind the scenes look at the plants, politics and panic of a gardener in academia.


      • jessicauxd said:

        I’m also looking forward to your book now!
        I’m a Georgia transplant to Mt Pleasant, TX and after a year here there are many plants I’ve learned that I’d never known growing up in the foothills. I’ve enjoyed being able to identify the plants I’m growing to love that are naturally occurring on our property. Watch first, then make adjustments per my permaculture studies. My goats and ducks are adding fertility and I’d love to bring in more native plants to encourage our landscape to flourish… And of course learn what’s edible and plant amongst them a few of my favorites.

        I’m hopeful to make a trip to Nacadoches so we can visit the gardens and do some in person learning.


  8. Dear Dr. Creech, just perusing SFA website for types of pine trees grown there on the campus for a book I’m writing and recognized your name. You were my horticulture professor in 1979 if I am not mistaken. I am impressed with the work you have accomplished there in the interim. Congratulations to you and your successes.


  9. Carolyn Chancellor said:

    I planted 2 ‘Cherry Bomb’ hollies in 2015 in League City TX. They are thriving and I love them. I enjoyed reading your post on these wonderful hollies; so fun to learn a little of their history!

    I have been looking for more ‘Cherry Bombs’ to add to my landscape for the past 2 years and can find no one who is offering them for sale. Any suggestions?


  10. Carolyn Chancellor said:

    I planted 2 ‘Cherry Bomb’ hollies in 2015 (League City TX), so I enjoyed finding your piece on these wonderful hollies. It’s great to learn a little of their history.

    I have been trying to find more to plant for the past 2 years and have found no one still selling them. Do you have any information on who might still be growing them or any retail outlets?


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