Hello!

As you might have guessed, my name is Al ….. and this is a new adventure. I’m an avid container gardener whose primary but not singular focus is on bonsai. I’ve been helping container gardeners become better growers in forum settings and the mid-Michigan gardening community through presentations, workshops, and demos for about 15 years. My abilities and what I’ve learned are the result of my determination to succeed at bonsai after an initial failure. Learning to become proficient at bonsai was more of a feeling like “I HAVE to be able to do that” than a “Gee, I’d like to be able to do that.” After the initial failure, I hit the books (this was back when the Internet wasn’t as popular) until I felt I knew enough to keep my trees alive. The knowledge and experience I’ve acquired through regular study has provided me with the ability to grow almost anything I try to grow, well ….. but I’m the first to admit I haven’t grown every plant there is. My experience, however, has been that a very high % of the plants we commonly grow all pretty much want the same thing, starting with a medium that is structured in such a way that if you do your job, your plants will at least be provided with the benefits of a healthy root system. A healthy plant is little more than a dream if you can’t keep the roots happy.

We all have that nurturing bone. I look at nurturing people who nurture plants as a natural extension of my own growing experience. Hopefully you’ll have questions or comments that will offer some insight into whether or not investing your time here is a worthwhile endeavor. I’m not afraid to say “I don’t know”, and anything I do say will be based on sound science unless I identify my comment as a best guess. I diligently protect my credibility by not operating at beyond the limits of my knowledge. Thanks for looking in!