Monday, October 7, 2013

Support Your Independent Nursery Month: Fanick's Garden Center

Each week in October I'm joining Support Your Independent Nursery Month sponsored by Pam Penick at her blog Digging to highlight an independent nursery in the San Antonio area.  Locally owned nurseries provide an important resource to learn about and buy plants which grow best in our area and you can't get more local than Fanick's Garden Center on the southeast side of San Antonio.

Fanick's is a throwback to the way shopping at garden centers used to be, and still is, because Fanick's Garden Center has been here since 1939 and is currently operated by Mark Fanick representing the third generation of his family to run the nursery. 

I'm guessing things have looked pretty much this way for quite a while and I especially enjoyed that aspect.  This was my first visit and I had a lot of fun exploring the pretty tree-shaded grounds and old buildings on the ten-acre property.

Fanick's nursery has also been a place of gardening innovation for nearly 75 years, developing a number of fruit trees and other plants specifically for our tough climate.  Trees hardy enough to tolerate our sudden deep freezes, yet still produce fruit with minimum chill hours in mild winters.  Fruit tree selections from Avocado to Jujube can be grown in San Antonio thanks to the vision and work of three generations of Fanicks.

Several varieties of avocado trees

Cold tolerant Poncho Avocado and several other varieties to choose from.

Among the fruit trees Fanicks is famous for are the cold hardy citrus trees

Bananas are another variety which can be grown in some areas of San Antonio

In addition to the above there are rows of Peaches, Apples, Pomegranates, Jujubes, Figs and more.  Throughout the year Fanick's sponsors popular gardening seminars which cover a range of topics including the care and pruning of fruit trees.  You can find a brochure listing their extensive selection of fruit trees on the Fanick's website here.

Landscape trees adjacent to the old Pecan tree lined road to the back of the ten acre property.

The nursery is in a residential neighborhood and the neighbor's chickens can be seen pecking among the prickly pear cactus over the fence at the back corner of the nursery.

Ornamental grasses.

It gets so hot here we have to partially shade our agaves.

Silk Floss tree with its unusual spiky trunk

The canopy of the Silk Floss tree




Demo veggie garden between two greenhouses

One of the many greenhouses for shade and tropical plants.

Giant trumpet vine blooms

I searched for the John Fanick Phlox in this display but they don't seem to carry it.  Discovered growing on a neglected lot not too far from this nursery and named for John Fanick, the second generation of the family to run the nursery, Phlox Paniculata 'John Fanick'  is both tough and beautiful.

Beautiful faux bois table and benches under an arbor.  I'm sure there is a story here...

A small corner of the perennial selection, including many locally native plants.

Roses and landscape plants

Loved this "mophead" bougainvillea but didn't get the name. 

Shrimp plants and hibiscus are good fall color plants.

The elusive Mexican Beautyberry (middle below) with dark berries.  If I had a spot these would have gone home with me.

A great old storage building near the entrance.

The front of the old storage building near the entrance.  What's that red blooming plant near the corner?

Oxblood lilies blooming makes this look even more like an old homestead.  They bloom for a very short time each fall so I'm glad to have been here to see them.

As I was leaving I heard a customer say "tell your momma I said hello".  That's a good way to sum up my visit to Fanick's--a neighborhood nursery with generations of repeat customers and plants that work in our climate.

You can find my visit to Milberger's Nursery last week here.  To read about more independent nurseries in the central Texas area be sure to check out Digging all through October.


  1. Avocados!!! That's soo exciting! It's a dream of mine to grow my own avocados. What a cool variety of plants.

  2. Thanks for posting the pictures and their fruit tree brochure. I'll have to go over there to replace a couple of avocado and blackberry bushes that didn't make it out of their pots here . The native beauty berries look beautiful. I'll have to inquire about those.

    1. It's the best place in town to purchase and learn about growing fruit in our climate. The Mexican Beautyberry is right inside the front entrance. They are a great plant for San Antonio.

  3. Right on! This nursery looks Texas-style...I look forward to visiting. A client of mine has amazing large avacado trees she got there...and they are doing least 15 feet tall!

  4. I love reading your posts and drooling over all of the things that I couldn't possibly grow here. Trying hard to limit the green to my thumb.

  5. Wow, ya'll can grow avocados and citrus too? I thought we were both in zone 8. Is San Antonio sliding into zone 9 these days?

    1. There are a number of cold-hardy citrus and avocado trees developed specifically for south Texas. Parts of San Antonio have always been in Zone 9 so we are much closer to the line than Austin. There are only five degrees on average difference in lows between the zones so the lines are flexible.

  6. Zone nine? Sweet. I can't even fathom having to shade agaves. Here we find the hottest driest places possible for them. Of course it seldom gets much above 80 degrees in the summer in these parts. Agaves in the shade, citrus, avocados, bananas, AND that gorgeous Bismarckia nobilis? Hmmm.

  7. Tell your mama hello -- I love it! It looks like they have a nice selection. It's fun that you're still discovering area nurseries you've never been to.

    1. That's one of several things I like about the meme of highlighting independent nurseries in October.

  8. Thanks to your recommendation, I'll check them out for CTG!

    1. I recently heard Mark Fanick speak about fall vegetables and he included a bit of their nursery history. He would be an excellent guest for CTG, There's so much I left out.


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