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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.

Click here

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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.

Revised 03/19/09