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
Society. That year they were having a meeting in Miami and we
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
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
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