The answer is simple: I was pretty much raised in the garden. My parents, Bert and Rose Bertolero, owned and operated Navlet’s Garden Centers for decades. Navlet’s, which first opened in 1885, was where my parents met while working in the Oakland store. And that’s where my earliest memories began.
I started working in the family nursery at age 13. I loved it. It was a place where generations of Bay Area gardeners came to share their passion for plants. And they knew they could count on learning even more and always finding high-quality plants that had been properly cared for by true nursery professionals.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to speak with thousands of Bay Area gardeners. I’m now hoping to reach even more gardeners through this website.
Once it was time for college, it was only logical that I attend Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and complete a degree in Horticulture. From there, it was another degree, this time in Business Administration, at Golden Gate University. I then became one of the first 100 career gardeners to become a California Certified Nursery Professional (CCNP).
Now, after more than four decades in the garden center business, I’ve shifted my focus to the next best thing to gardening: sharing what I’ve learned about gardening. Over the course of my career, I’ve been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to speak with thousands of Bay Area gardeners via radio talk shows, television shows, newspaper columns, and public speaking engagements. And while I look forward to more opportunities such as those, I’m now hoping to reach even more gardeners through this website.
Please check back regularly as I add new content and features, as well as answer questions from fellow Bay Area gardeners.
Thanks for taking interest in what has inspired me over the years. Let’s talk gardening!