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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


Weekly Express-News Article

By Calvin R. Finch, PhD, SAWS Water Resources Director, and Horticulturist

Saturday, December 8, 2007

 “Gardening Books for Holiday Gifts”


             If you are looking for gift ideas for gardeners, consider gardening books.  There is a large selection of wonderful books that your gardener would love to have in her/his library.  Here is a list of some of my favorites.


            As a general resource book select Neil Sperry’s “Complete Guide to Texas Gardening.”  It is especially useful to gardeners that are new to the area or homeowners that are tackling their first landscape.  For the more advanced gardener, the “Southern Living Garden Book” or the “Sunset Western Garden Book” have paragraphs on most of the plants we would ever see or use in area landscapes and a few that are uncommon but we might want to try.


            Three landscape care books by local authors are organized by calendar.  Doug Welsh, a former Bexar County Extension Agent and now a professor at A&M has just released his new book “Texas Garden Almanac.”  Local Master Gardener and gardening lecturer Tom Harris also has a “Gardening by the Calendar” that could be very useful.  Find this book at his website  One of the best bargains around and a great stocking stuffer is the San Antonio Landscape Care Guide. Published by the San Antonio Water System (SAWS), the Guide relates how to have a beautiful South Texas landscape with a minimum of irrigation.  It has sections on the lawn, flowers, wildlife, trees, perennials, gardening with deer and is organized by activities for each season.  The photos are excellent. 


            If your gardener wants to become more expert at various specialty gardening topics there are a large selection of books from which to choose.  Bill Welch has a number of interesting, attractive books that will please any gardener.  My favorite is “Perennial Garden Color.”  It does a masterful job of introducing area gardens to old-fashioned roses, iris, daffodils, and other perennials.  Other titles that he has authored include “Antique Roses and Heirloom Gardening.”  This last book was co-authored by Greg Grant, another former extension agent from Bexar County. 


            In addition to collaborating with Bill Welsh, Greg Grant is co-author of a useful book, “Home Landscaping Texas.”  This book includes sections on tough landscape issues such as the “No Mow Slope,” “A Garden Path,” and “A Green Screen.”  The book is an ideal gift for the gardener who is tackling his own landscaping. 


            For the individuals on your gift list who think that a garden is not complete without a large variety of birds, seek out the book “Attracting Birds to Southern Gardens” by Pope, Odenwald, and Fryling.  It does an especially good job with gardening for hummingbirds.     


It is not always easy to find the books on native plants by Sally and Andy Wasowski, but the search is worth it.  My favorite is “Native Texas Plants,” Landscaping Region by Region.”  It has good photos and good ideas how to use native plants in the landscape.


            Butterfly lovers will be very pleased to receive the book, “Butterfly Gardening for the South” authored by Geyata Ajilvsgi.  They also will appreciate one of the many fine guide books for identifying butterflies.  My favorite is “Butterflies of North America,” by Jim Brock and Kenn Kaufman.


            Vegetable gardeners have a large number of choices.  Sam Cotner’s “The Vegetable Book” is a good choice.  Bill Adams and Tom LeRoy have a new book, “The Southern Kitchen Garden” that is also appealing.


            Several other books by local authors that are very informative are “Texas Trees A Friendly Guide” by Paul Cox and Patty Leslie-Pasztor and two books by Scott Ogden – “Gardening Success with Difficult Soils,” and “Garden Bulbs for the South.”  These books are rich with anecdotes and/or offer variety recommendations that are not usually seen in the more popular market offerings.


Most of the books suggested in this article are available from Amazon, local book stores and retail nurseries. For a special experience, shop for the titles at the Garden Gate Gift Shoppe at the San Antonio Botanical Garden (210) 207-3250 or at the Gift Shop at the Schulte House at Hemisfair Park (210) 229-9161.