Drive-By Gardens: Mansfield House and garden in Houston Heights


I’m squeezing in one more drive-by garden from my Houston trip last week — the grande dame of them all, a circa 1895 Victorian known as the Mansfield House, located at 1802 Harvard Street in the Heights neighborhood. Although I’m not usually a fan of all-white houses, what a beauty! Its colorful, flowery garden, with a few tropical touches like the palm tree and sago palm, perfectly complements its monotone grandeur.


A pair of potted, variegated agaves marks the entrance to the front walk, with Chinese ground orchid (Bletilla striata) in full bloom below.


On this chilly morning, raindrops from the previous night’s shower still clung to the irises.


In another month the garden will, I think, be abloom with daylilies.

All material © 2006-2014 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

15 Responses

  1. Diana says:

    I loved that house and garden. Sure wish we’d be able to sneak in for a peek at the back – who knows what garden delights are hidden there!

  2. Chris F says:

    Uh….unless something has happened recently this is Bart Truxillo’s house.

    • Pam/Digging says:

      I don’t know who owns it. When I looked it up online it was referred to as the Mansfield House. Maybe that’s who built it? —Pam

      • Chris F says:

        Could be that’s who built it. I’ve only ever heard it called the Truxillo house because Bart has owned it for years. And BTW I’ve done the tour and there’s a real greenhouse and more goodies in back.

  3. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Amazing house and gardens. I am always surprised to see a huge palm in a garden. Ha… They always look fake to me since I rarely see them stuck here in the middle of the country.

  4. TexasDeb says:

    What a stunning front garden. I suppose you wouldn’t feel so much the need for colorfully painted accents when you’ve got beds filled with blooms. Maybe it is just as much a desire for a cool white backdrop to contrast with the bright sun and pervasive humidity so typical to the area for most of the year. Either way this yard’s a winner. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  5. Ann says:

    I particularly admire the chinese ground orchids huddled around the agaves.

  6. So glad you got to see Bart Truxillo’s lovely house and garden. He is a very passionate gardener and a wonderful neighbor. I get to see it nearly every day and enjoy the ever changing plants and flowers. It is also a house and garden that is often photographed and painted. The garden and trees took a big hit during hurrican Ike and this year it is getting back to what it was. The Height Garden Club is doing a tour of his garden the second Saturday in May. Next time you are in Houston I can ask Bart to give you a private tour if you like. We have been friends and neighbors for 15 years. He is often out working in it with his big straw hat. He also owns the lot next door where he recently built a carriage house and garage. The front is a huge vegetable garden. The Height Garden club is now helping him with it. The house goes on Tour every so often and it is amazing as if his collection of art. It even has a pool and a half basement.

  7. Laura says:

    Beautiful garden, but I’m a little confused by the palm tree — seems out of place

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