Wednesday, January 5, 2011

In Memoriam: Dan Pratt

I am sorry to report that Sacramento-area nurseryman and garden media personality Dan Pratt died December 25 at the age of 78. Pratt succumbed to injuries from a fall, after a series of illnesses over the last several months.

Employed by Capital Nursery for 24 years, he was heard locally on KFBK (originally KGNR) radio with his Garden Doctor program, which ran for 19 years: first from 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturdays, and then from 8 to 10 on Sunday mornings. For more than 20 years he wrote a weekly column about garden pests for the Sacramento Bee (What’s Bugging You?) and made frequent appearances on local television. His annual garden calendar was sold at garden centers throughout Northern California.

Pratt gave many talks over the years to garden clubs around the Sacramento Valley. He was active in the local chapter of the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers, serving as president twice and on the board of directors for several years. Dan led garden tours of Britain and other regions. After his retirement he moved back to his family’s property in Napa.
He leaves a son and daughter and longtime girlfriend. A private burial service has been held.

That all sounds very dry. I considered Dan a friend for over 25 years, having met him when I first got involved in our local chapter of the nursery association. He was always full of ideas, present at nearly every nursery event we worked on, and enthusiastically promoted gardening and the nursery industry. Dan introduced me to radio work and graciously allowed me to host his show when he traveled. After retirement, he and Jo stopped by my shop any time they were passing by Davis, to swap stories and tell jokes. He liked good food, cruises, and terrible puns.

Dan Pratt was a great friend of gardens, gardeners, and garden centers everywhere.

Addendum: from the Sacramento Bee Jan 7 2011

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to hear about Dan. I got to know him shortly after buying a home in Orangevale. I still remember attending my first pruning demo at Capital Nursery Sunrise and he asked the audience if there was anybody present that did not have any problems with whiteflies on their vegetables. I was the only one that raised his hand. He then made the comment that I obviously did not know what a whitefly looked like and everyone laughed. I forgot him for making that joke and we remained friends until he retired from Capital Nursery. .... Baldo Villegas, Entomologist & Master Consulting Rosarian.