Tuesday, July 30, 2013


For a gardener, Galveston Island is much more than a sandy beach and seafood joints.
If you can, visit the lobbies of two historic hotels, The Tremont House in The Strand Historic District
and The Hotel Galvez on the Seawall. You will be delighted at what you'll find.
A beautiful planter box outside of the Downtown Blooms flower shop

The Historic Tremont House lobby.
The palms are beautiful and from the Philippine Islands.
The entrance. If you stay here, you have free access to the sister hotel's swimming pool and a nice shuttle ride to the beach. 
Here's big sister, The Galvez. It's got over 100 years of history within those walls.
Here's my wife by one of the tropical plantings.

And here's the lobby. It's a nice place to read a book and enjoy some lemonade.

We had to go to the beach....of course.
Here's a view of the Pleasure Pier. It's a nod to former nostalgic times on the island.
Now back to the gardens! 
Historic homes number in the hundreds on Galveston Island. But not everyone is a gardener. In fact, lush gardens are rare. 
This a typical garden on the island. Plantings are kept very simple for a number of reasons.
First, the soil is very sandy so you are duty bound to water daily.
Here's another garden. A lot of these yards were flooded with 2 to 5 feet of salt water during Hurricane Ike(2008). As a tragic encore, Texas gardeners here on the island endured two years of drought. Still, gardeners are a determined bunch and islanders replant after each event.
Here's a beautiful entry way garden with avian statuary and a delicate wrought iron fence.

Here's another tropical entry with lots of palms.

A lot of gardeners in Galveston have mostly shrubs and small trees in their gardens. I imagine it's because shrubs have larger root systems and can take periods of drought. Wind and sunshine are always abundant.

Here's another garden filled with tropical plants. 
This white Bird of Paradise caught my attention. It's huge even by Galveston standards.
I'll close with this view of two magnificent Norfolk Island Pines. Sadly, this photo was taken before Hurricane Ike and before the two drought years.
Still, many islanders have replanted their live oaks and Norfolk Pines and both are on the way up.
And if you still need to see more tropical plants (which I can't imagine), visit the Kemah Boardwalk. Here's a view of my favorite tropical garden in Kemah. It's behind a hotel. 

Happy Gardening! :0) David
And if you want to read a wonderful garden blog from the island, please visit my friend Don's 
Galveston Gardening. He's the local expert with about a zillion credentials to his name and knows every species that will grow on the island. 


  1. Beautiful, I haven't been there for a while so it's wonderful to see how the gardens are growing back after Ike and the drought.

    Many owners are part-time residents so that also accounts for the simple garden plantings.

  2. You can always tell a true gardener when they are checking out plantings during a trip. I was recently photographing roadside "weeds" and wildflowers while out of state.

  3. Love those porches on the old houses. I now have Galveston Island on my list of places I would like to see. Thank you

  4. Loved the virtual tour, thank you. I agree with automaticgarden's comment ... you can certainly tell the gardeners amongst the tourists. They're always finding great plants to photograph or great landscaping to capture. I loved the architecture as well though. There are some lovely homes featured in your post.

  5. Love the old architecture and the many varieties of palm trees, especially the ones in the center of that hotel. Clearly life on the island poses some issues, but that's true most everywhere. I expect the ocean is warm (the Pacific on the Oregon coast is always very chilly) and it's an idyllic place to live, between storms!

  6. This hotel is really a great and I would like to book in this hotel. Last week only I stayed in one such hotel at Kerala.
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  7. Beautiful, I haven't been there for a while so it's wonderful to see how the gardens are growing back after Ike and the drought and I also want to be there for a while after some time...

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  8. This hotel is really great, nice pictures. lopud island


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

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