Robert Lee Riffle's Tropical Garden

Photos of Alton Marshall by Mike Burnett

 The Texas Garden Club
For more inspiration check out the Texas On-line Garden Club!

Image by Robert L Riffle Copyright 1999


Alton in his garden looking up at his Peltophrum tree

Mike Burnett, reflecting back on Alton

I met Alton in 1976 after reading an article in The Houston Home and Garden. The
story was about Alton and his unique nursery called Palma at 100 Avondale off
Westhiemer at Bagby. Alton was keen on palms and so was I, so I went by to meet
him one day. I had a plant leasing business and was into all kinds of tropical plants.
Alton was very friendly his knowledge and gardening skills, sparked my interest even more.

Through time we became good friends and he told me about the International Palm
Society. That year they were having a meeting in Miami and we decided to
travel together in my Dodge Maxi van and load it with plants to bring back to Houston.
We had a great trip, and our friendship grew like our gardens. I got to meet many people,
including Dent Smith the founder of the International Palm Society.

I kept up with Alton from then on. He was always ready to talk plants and never
ran out of interesting stuff to tell about them. He was also very generous with
cuttings and samples. I almost never left his garden without some new exotic to
try out at my place. In fact most of the really cool plants in my garden came
from Alton Marshall either directly or indirectly.

Alton in his garden by his cactus and succulent area

Peltophrum tree this summer.

Alton in a demonstration area he set up to show off tropical color. He ask me to come by and take this one.

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No Reproduction Of Any Kind Is Granted Without Prior Written Consent.
© Copyright, 1999 Mike Burnett - All Rights Reserved
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