Milberger's Nursery and Landscaping
3920 North Loop 1604 E.
San Antonio, TX 78247
Open 9 to 6 Mon. through Sat.
and 10 to 5 on Sun.
Three exits east of 281, inside of 1604
Next to the Diamond Shamrock station
Please click map for more detailed map and driving directions.
Gilbert Onderdonk (1829-1920)
One of Texas' greatest early nurserymen
and horticulturists. Gilbert Onderdonk was a native of Schoharie
Co. New York. He came to Texas in 1851as a twenty-two year
old "invalid" in search of health. By the time of
his death in 1920 at the age of ninety-one, he had been a
pioneer botanist and horticulturist, a nurseryman, a rancher,
a Confederate soldier, a traveler throughout Mexico for the
U.S. Department of Agriculture, a prolific letter writer and
essayist, a travel writer for newspapers, and a man of family,
property, international recognition, and fame among horticultural
experts in Europe for his work in South Texas.
He established the famous Mission Valley
Nurseries at Nursery, Texas in Victoria County in 1870 where
in addition to doing research and development on peaches and
other fruit crops, stocked and explored a wide range of ornamentals.
His noted classification of peach varieties is still accepted
as the standard today. He also went on record in his catalog
as claiming "Texas is the home of the rose."
It was not uncommon for Onderdonk to point
out in his catalog what wouldn't grow (cherries, raspberries,
Lombardy Poplar, etc.) and why he didn't carry them. He was
a firm believer in southern grown, southern adapted plant
material for Texas. He was always on the leading edge of new
introductions however and in addition to numerous fruit cultivars,
introduced such Texas natives as Desert Willow (Chilopsis
linearis), including the new white flowered form in 1888 and
Ceniza (Leucophyllum frutescens). As a matter of fact, his
1888 catalog featured such modern "novelties" as
dwarf conifers, Buddleia lindleyana, Zebra Grass, Pink Pampas
Grass, and budded Marechal Niel roses, as they didn't prove
successful on their own roots.
Gilbert Onderdonk died peacefully in his
sleep at his home in 1920. He is buried in the old Evergreen
Cemetery near the Guadalupe River in Victoria, Texas.
More information on Gilbert Onderdonk can
be found in Evelyn Oppenheimer's Gilbert Onderdonk...The Nurseryman
of Mission Valley-Pioneer Horticulturist (1991, University
of North Texas Press), Samuel Wood Geiser's Horticulture and
Horticulturists in Early Texas (1945, University Press in
Dallas), U.P. Hendrick's A History of Horticulture in America
to 1860 (1950, Oxford University Press) and the Barker History
Library at the University of Texas in Austin.