Thank you Al (tapla)

Morgantown, WV

I am just a regular person who started to garden. I worked as a secretary for years so I am educated. Reading here all your info on dirt and your own recipe. At first it seems difficult getting everything. Once I found the bark I needed the rest was pretty easy. All my plants in the house this winter are doing wonderful.
This spring I have many, many pots to fill. By the way the cheaper self watering pots at Walmart has my plants doing wonderful. I just water at the bottom.
Just wanted to say thank you Al. For being willing to share your knowledge and time to help people you do not know.

Bay City, MI(Zone 6a)

Thank YOU, Dottie - for taking the time to offer such kind words. As an avid bonsai practitioner, I'm perpetually unsatisfied with whatever the current status of my skillset might be, I'm always trying to learn more, in order that I might increase the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment I get from my container growing endeavors. Somewhere along the path, I discovered that I get an equal amount of satisfaction from nurturing people that nurture plants, as I do from nurturing plants - maybe even more when I find those as eager to improve as I.

I'll reveal a little about myself when I say that it really doesn't matter if I know the people I try to help or not. What is important is that I feel I've somehow helped someone to increase THEIR sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. When I see someone like you making an effort to mention that I HAVE made a difference, it's good for the heart. I'm grateful too - grateful that I can take a lot of satisfaction from the idea that I might have helped you and others. I'm not proud - just thankful ...... for the fact that I can and have learned enough to be able to help; that I can communicate my concepts/ conclusions/ perceptions; that I have the motivation to help; that I often enough have an audience in you and others, making it possible for me to help; I'm grateful especially for the wonderful friends I've met here ...... The list is longer, but you get the idea. A thankful heart is a good thing - having one makes life easier, better, and more rewarding for yourself & everyone we touch. So thank you again.

Merry Christmas, Dottie. I hope the season is a happy time for you and yours, and that it extends throughout all of 2012 and beyond.


My new buddy, Pooch. I think he's smiling at my ramblings:

Thumbnail by tapla
Virginia Beach, VA(Zone 8b)

Hello Everyone,

Just wanted to say that i agree with you Dottie, Al has done so much for all of us teaching and sharing his knowledge so generously.

Im new to Daves Garden, but i have learned so much from Al over at another forum and i just want to say "Thank You AL.." for all that you have done for all of us here and elsewhere...

I certainly hope you have a wonderful Christmas and that your New Year is filled with much joy and happiness!

Pooch looks awfully cute!!!

Give him and extra treat for smiling for the pic!!! : )

Take care,


Morgantown, WV

Picture is adorable!

Bay City, MI(Zone 6a)

Thank you so much, Laura. You guys make me turn red at the kind compliments.

I tend to gravitate toward people who enjoy plants & pets ..... probably toward those with a nurturing nature. They're usually a gentle lot, and easy to get to know. I'm not sure if it's because of the bond of common interest or because of the personality traits common to those of us who strive for something a little closer to excellence in our plant growing endeavors; I suspect it's a little of both, but has more to do with the personality thing than anything else.

Pooch is a retriever cat. Nights when I'm at the puter, he will bring his favorite toy over, a plastic cap from a bottled water container, drop it under my chair, & then perform all sorts of antics until he gets my attention. I'll flip it across the room with a thumb, like you would shoot a marble. He then stalks it or 'chases it to ground', bats and swats at it for 30 seconds or so, then brings it back & drops it under the chair. This will go on as long as I'm at the puter or until he poops out & needs a cat nap.

I never thought I'd house a cat, but he's a rescue. There was a badly crippled feral female we fed because we felt bad for it. She had a litter & he was the most outgoing of the lot, making friends quickly. When he was old enough, we took him in. We were going to take the rest of the litter to a no kill shelter, but they all disappeared, along with the female, on Thanksgiving Day, the day after we took pooch in. I'm not sure what happened, but the female disappeared for the entire winter last year, and reappeared this past spring, so hopefully the disappearance is a part of some sort of patterned behavior they are following.

Take good care; and thanks again, guys!


Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Pooch has the chubbiest cheeks I've ever seen on a cat. It almost looks like a tiger's face. He's adorable.

Bay City, MI(Zone 6a)

.... a trick of the light. The only thing I see that strikes me as unusual about his appearance is that he has a noticeable mane - a heavy ruff around his head, which might easily add to his chubby-cheeked appearance. He's getting to be a real acrocat. We have a wrought iron railing around one of our stairways and the handrail is only about an inch wide. Somehow, he climbs the slick steel balusters & gets on top of that skinny handrail. He walks around on it, even turning in circles, and often slides down the handrail to the lower levels.

Another interesting picture:


Thumbnail by tapla
Tonasket, WA(Zone 5a)

Tapla, I too have learned much from you thru the letters. I have 15 or 20 large containers using your mix. They are now stored for the winter in a barely heated garage addition room.

I had three major surgeries this year. I had my left hip joint replaced in 1992, and the right in 1993. They did not work and had to be redone in 1994, and 1995. Those replacements lasted until this year. In March 14, I had a complete revision of my left hip joint ball & Cup. July 30 I had an emergency appendectomy, Oct. 24, I had the right hip joint joint complete revision. So gardening was not high on my list of doable projects. I can now walk without the use of the walker or canes, which is surely a relief, and so am looking forward to gardening in the spring.

I have enclosed a photo of my new family???? additiion, Her name is Lady Wren. History for the name. My first small dog was Chickadee, (Al, loved the photo of your chickadee), Had little Chickadee for 12 years, Next was Goldfinch, had her for 13 years. Then was my Lhaso Apso, Bluebird, had her company for 12 years. Lost Blue on Dec. 1 of this year. After looking for a small dog for8 months I found this one, she is a miniature Austrailian Shepard, I picked her out of a litter of four, at 1 day old. I brought her home for a week before I had to go to the doctor for my right hip revision in Oct. The lady where I got her offered to keep her for me while I recovered from my surgery.

Her name following my previous dogs is Lady Wren. since I have been a bird watcher most of my long life. She has so far been lot of company, and I have managed not to walk on her or stumble over her.


Thumbnail by rutholive
Bay City, MI(Zone 6a)

It sounds like you've had a hard row, Donna. I hope the others reading along will join me in offering a prayer that everything goes well with your latest surgeries, a prayer that includes thanks that you've had the strength you need to carry on in the face of all that adversity, and that God forbids like adversities in the future. Should you need medical attention in the future, let's pray that it's only minor, and that your doctors are blessed with the wisdom and skill needed to quickly return you to good health. Finally, I'd pray too that you have the awareness always to cope with a puppy underfoot. ;-)

That's a cute story about how you named your dogs .... and your latest addition is an absolute doll! They do worm their way into the center of our hearts, don't they? I was rocked last summer when I had to put my standard poodle, Ticen, down. At 15-1/2 years old, it was easy to see coming a long way off, but you just can't prepare yourself adequately for the loss. It's been about 1-1/2 years now & I still get deeply affected when I think about my shadow and gardening buddy.

Wishing you and all at Dave's a New Year better than any so far. One filled with happiness and prosperity that lasts to 2013 and beyond.

Take good care!


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Bay City, MI(Zone 6a)

Another bird for you, Donna. ;-)


Thumbnail by tapla
Virginia Beach, VA(Zone 8b)


I just read your story and i want to wish you all the best in the coming New Year!!!

Life can sometimes be very difficult and may seem at times, that we are given more than we can handle.

You seem to have managed very well with all of your surgeries and seem to have a wonderful spirit!! Keep up the wonderful positive attitude that you share and may you find that you are able to get around better than ever.

Lady Wren looks like a sweetheart and im sure she will continue to bring you much joy and love...

Please know that i join in with all of the prayers for you that you heal and find yourself feeling much better than ever before...

Animals do heal the heart...

Our beloved past animals will always be there in our hearts and will never be forgotten. They will always be our best friends!!!

Here is a picture for you Donna..

Thanks AL, for letting me join in with your prayers for Donna!!

Happy New Year to you all!!!!


Thumbnail by loveplants2VB
Tonasket, WA(Zone 5a)

Thankyou Al and Laura for you Goodwill wishes. I'm sure they will help. Donna

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Pooch is BEAUTIFUL! Only other cat I've seen that gorgeous is the one and only cat I ever owned - Benjamin.

I think Pooch has some Maine Coon in him -- if so, he's gonna be a big 'un! I had never owned a cat before, and didn't know what I had until Ben started filling out.

He was the biggest cat MOST people had ever seen. I got stopped on the street when I had him out...

I loved that cat.

Happy New Year, Al!

Christiana, TN(Zone 6b)

Gorgeous cat!!! I would love to have him.

Bay City, MI(Zone 6a)

Thanks, I'll pass it on to pooch. I doubt the Maine Coon. His dad is a scruffy old tabby tomcat & mom a small cripple getting by on handouts. Happy New Year to you too, Laura and Linda!


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