Almanac

News - June 4, 2008

Founder of Al's Nursery in Portola Valley dies at 80

Alwin Bertschinger, always called Al, who founded a nursery in 1959 on a neglected orchard along Portola Road that became one of the area's finest, died May 31 at his home in Menlo Park. He was 80.

He was very healthy and active, and went to the nursery regularly up until last year when he suffered from kidney disease, said his daughter Karin Wu.

The family plans to hold a celebration of Mr. Bertschinger's life at the nursery later this summer.

A native of Switzerland who came to the U.S. in 1952, Mr. Bertschinger was an authority on plants and trees who shared his time, advice and plant materials with the town of Portola Valley since its incorporation in 1964.

The family suggests that any memorial donations be sent to Pathways Hospice, 585 N. Mary Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94085.

Additional information about Mr. Bertschinger will appear in a future article in The Almanac.

Comments

Posted by Angela Hey, a resident of Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Jun 17, 2008 at 12:33 pm

I'll miss Al.

I remember when I first came to Portola Valley he sold me some Hoof and Horn to accompany some primulas. He also sold me a device that measures soil moisture so that the garden is not over-watered and has probably saved me masses on my water bill. He was a true gardener.

My sympathy to Karin and John Wu - I know you'll miss him.


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