Harriet’s Garden at Fulton Mansion  

State Historic Site

Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners help maintain Harriet’s Garden at Fulton Mansion State Historic Site which is operated by the Texas Historical Commission.

Hours, Times and Location

The grounds of the Fulton Mansion are open from dawn to dusk and are free to visit.  The Fulton Mansion is located at 317 Fulton Beach Road in Rockport.  Harriet’s Garden, the demonstration area, is located behind the Mansion.

This interpretive garden demonstrates the types of plants available to the Fultons during the time they lived in the Mansion (1877-1896).   A brochure stand in the garden provides free self-guided tour brochures with historical information.  Plant signs located throughout the garden provide botanical information about many of the plants. Read More – History of the Fulton Mansion Garden.

The Fulton Mansion is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. and Sunday from 1:00-4:00 p.m. The Education and History Center is open Tuesday-Saturday from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Sunday 12:30 12:30-4:30 p.m. Both are closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.  Entrance Fees to tour the house and exhibit area are $6.00 for adults and $4.00 for ages 6-18 (ages 5 and under are free).  Please see the web site for more information: www.visitfultonmansion.com

A lot of the plants chosen to put into the gardens are from the 1880 Henry Michel seed and plant catalog.Here is a sampling of some of the plants in the garden.Ficus plantsficus elastica were very desirable in Victorian homes as they provide a tropical look but can handle a dry atmosphere. Here they can survive outdoors and become quite large.Firecracker Plant Russelia equisetiformis or juncea – The 1880 plant catalog recommends this plant for greenhouses or flower beds with the option of growing it in hanging baskets because of its trailing foliage.

Blue Plumbago Plumbago auriculata – A very popular Victorian bedding plant because of its profuse blue flowers, this plant thrives in the Texas heat.

 

Hibiscus Tropical– Hibiscus rosa – sinensis Hibiscus were very popular with the Victorians. They cost between 25 and 50 cents per plant in 1880.

 

 

Pittosporum Tobira ‘Variegata’ – This Victorian greenhouse plant grows beautifully on the coast because it is highly salt tolerant.

 

 


 

Holly Fern Cyrtomium falcatum – As a hardy, evergreen whose leaves resemble holly, this fern was a popular porch plant for Victorians.

Oleander Nerium oleander – Harriet wrote in a later letter that the hawks had not gotten any baby chicks after spreading oleander branches around the yard so the chicks could “dodge under” them.

 

 

Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis – Victorians used this herb as a symbol of fidelity and loyalty.  It was also important for culinary and medicinal uses and as an insect repellant.