Monday, July 29, 2013

OTHER TROPICAL GARDENS: A VISIT TO GALVESTON ISLAND, TEXAS

I'm spoiled. Just one hour from my tropical garden one can find an entire ISLAND of tropical plants
and historic tropical garden homes.
Galveston Island is one of only a handful of zone 10 regions in Texas.
Only Brownsville (the Rio Grande Valley), Corpus Christi, and Port Aransas 
are warmer.
But I like the tropical style of Galveston since it gets almost twice the rainfall as these other locations.
So here's a gardener's eye view of Galveston Island, sans sand. 
If you only have time to visit one spot, go to Moody Gardens.
The parking is free and the outdoor gardens are free.
The gardens are constantly changing. Plumeria, bromeliads, and palms are there in abundance.
Hibiscus and dozens of types of Oleander round out the collection. There are three pyramids to explore. I like the rainforest pyramid the most, but would rather not pay the $24.00 entry fee.
A view of the palms at the front entrance.
Here's a secret...walk up the handicapped ramp to get to the main foyer. You'll see this nice tropical shade garden on the way up.
The newest parts of the garden are still recovering from Hurricane Ike. These schefflera will become the size of small trees. With the warmer winters here in Texas, I am eager to see if they will bloom.
I've only seen this in Miami, Florida. It's a sure sign that this part of  Galveston is a solid zone 10b. 
This Norfolk Island Pine is probably the largest in Texas.
This looks like a Southern Magnolia when in fact it is a Banyan tree. It is the largest one on the island. I visit this tree every time I go to the island. I hope someday that it will be as large as the ones in Fort Myers and Coral Gables, Florida. 
Here's a close up of the leaves. It's called Ficus macrophylla and they're originally from Australia.
Right next to it is this tree size rubber plant (Ficus elastica). It seems very happy and it should be a large tree in a few more years.
If you have more time and you want to see other gardens, take a drive down Post Office Street near the Strand. This home is in the East End Historic district and one of my favorite bungalows.
courtesy Curb Appeal Marketing

This is a two part post. Part II will show you some more historic homes from the East End Historic District and a glimpse of two historic hotels as well as a number of tropical garden settings. Stay tuned.
Thanks for stopping by!
David/:0)

2 comments:

  1. Galveston is an easy day trip, even from Katy ... whenever I'm there, I question why I don't make the trip more often! I'm looking forward to seeing your pictures of Galveston gardens since you have a talent for finding the cool & unusual ones!

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  2. How amazing to see plants which I think of as small houseplants growing to enormous size and outdoors! And gosh, a whole island of gardens. Is there a bridge, or a boat? Now David I hope you were careful in that 'Silk Stocking' district...

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I always appreciate your comments & questions! Happy Gardening from David/ Tropical Texana

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