‘Warmth, love and family’ define Humble Camp ranchette
A stone and stucco ranch house at the end of a ¾-mile driveway, where a tall, life-size rearing horse statue appears upon arrival, might have you thinking you’re in West Texas and not on the coastal prairie of Galveston County.
Welcome to the G Ranch. The impressive 60-acre parcel is in the Humble Camp area, which is technically Texas City, though most consider it Dickinson. It’s there that the Garrett family works and plays in a county where it’s easy to forget ranches and farmland coexist with beachfront and bayside properties.
When Steve and Denise Garrett first met 13 years ago, it was love at first sight.
“We were both an only child growing up, so we wanted to start a big family right away after we got married,” said Denise Garrett, who holds 4-month old Hudson on her lap, the fourth, but maybe not the last, of the Garrett children — Stephen, 12; T-Bone, 10; and Dylan, 6.
Five dogs also are part of the family, as are seven quarter horses, 50 head of Brangus cattle, several donkeys, one goat and some chickens.
The Garretts bought their 6,300-square-foot house with six bedrooms, six bathrooms and two game rooms in 2011 and began making improvements.
“The house was built in 1980 and needed some updates,” Denise Garrett said.
The couple remodeled extensively and basically stripped the house — knocked out walls, removed bricks, replaced drywall and added stone.
“We wanted an open look,” she said.
Next, the Garretts commissioned San Leon artist Gary Holman to paint murals on some of the walls for a personal touch.
Although T-Bone opted for a sports-themed mural, Hudson now occupies T-Bone’s former bedroom, which is painted in a Wild West motif of saloon doors, bank, hotel and sheriff’s jail facade.
Dylan, on the other hand, preferred a Cinderella mural with fairy tale elements, including the castle and magical coach.
Stephen decided he’d rather deck out his walls with items from his favorite football team, the Dallas Cowboys.
The house is an ambling mix of Western décor, stone archways, porcelain tile, wood floors and knotty alder. Antler lamps, a longhorn skull embellished with bling and turquoise, horse paintings and a showcase full of awards all are signs this family wholeheartedly embraces the ranching lifestyle.
Two game rooms packed with video games, pinball machine, slot machine, foosball and other fun amusements provide entertainment for family and friends.
The master bedroom with stone fireplace, hitching post bed and equine art flows right into one of Denise Garrett’s favorite parts of the house — the master bath and spa.
“I told my husband to open up the entire wall in back of the spa and install a picture window so I could look out and see the prairie and all the animals,” she said. “It’s a peaceful view.”
The open-concept kitchen, dining room and family room offer the expansive space the Garretts envisioned. A seven-piece brown leather sectional couch in the family room is everyone’s favorite hangout. The family room also is where Steve Garrett’s championship roping saddle has a place of honor.
A backyard swimming pool is a few steps away, as well as a panoramic view of the open range and two large barns. One houses Steve Garrett’s work equipment — he owns Coastal Bay Construction — and the other is a horse barn, with 10 horse stalls and turf batting cages for the boys.
The main attraction of the horse barn is an 80-foot-wide mural painted by Holman of the Catalena Cowgirls performing at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
“That’s me, in the middle,” Denise Garrett said. “Before I met Steve, I was a member of the Catalena Cowgirls for several years, and we did 21 shows at the Houston rodeo. We also performed numerous times at other Texas rodeos. When Gary painted the mural, he added Willie Nelson and other celebrities into the audience, as well as painting Steve roping with Stephen, so it’s really cool.”
More of Holman’s work can be found on the exterior of the chicken coop, where
“The Best Little Chicken Ranch in Texas” and a chicken, à la Dolly Parton, decorate a side wall. A rubber tire swing in the shape of a horse hangs from a nearby tree.
Aside from being wife and mother of four, Garrett takes care of League City Boat & RV Storage, which is another one of the family businesses. Yet, her busy life is offset by the calm and serenity that surrounds her environment.
“It’s a hidden gem out here in Humble Camp,” she said. “The entire property is fenced so my kids can run wild. This is where my heart is. It speaks to me; it has warmth, love and family written all over it.”