My name is Mary C. Miller, I am Bonsai-Mary.
I am a fifth generation Washingtonian. Although born in D.C., I grew up in suburban Maryland, as the oldest of ten children. Even as a child, I hated the weather there. I dreamed of the tropics.
In 1967, I was working for United Airlines and took advantage of an opportunity to transfer to Miami. Miami was everything I had ever dreamed it would be. Sun, fancy hotels, warm beaches and palm trees!
After a short winter season, United wanted me back in DC. I declined. I had moved myself and my children to the tropics and I was there to stay. I definitely had "sand in my shoes."
We visited places like Key West, Fairchild Tropical Garden, Parrot Jungle and the Everglades. (And no snow!) What was there not to like?
Very quickly, I discovered, in South Florida,if you stuck a stick in the ground it would grow.
I found that exciting. It perked an old interest in horticulture.
I began growing bonsai in Miami during the early 1970s. It wasn't long before I was totally consumed with these little trees. I read about them, I took classes and I experimented, and like many people, I also killed a few.
Before I knew it, bonsai became a lifestyle.
My friends were 'bonsai people'. Vacations were conventions. Reading meant bonsai books. Growing bonsai trees became a big part of who I was.
It seems I always had the soul of an entrepreneur. Eventually, bonsai became a business, as well as a hobby.
In 2005 I wrote a paperback book about my experience and experiences with bonsai. It got lots of good reviews.
The complaints were: it wasn't long enough and the pictures were black and white, and they wanted more!
I gave a lot of consideration to writing another book; then I decided to create a website instead.
The only problem was, I didn't know how!
After a couple of disappointing starts, I found the perfect way to accomplish my goal. I created my own web site ... (with no experience.)
Click here to find out 'My Secret'?
There's more to tell about my years in the bonsai business (including Hurricane Andrew) and I've included it on another page called Mary's Bonsai History.