American Bonsai Association, Sacramento, 57th Annual Show

150_Messages Image(3204224715) copyThe place to be on Saturday, April 9, and Sunday, April 10, 2016, is at The Shepard Garden and Arts Center, 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento, CA. The American Bonsai Association, Sacramento, presents their 57th Annual Spring Show with headliner, Peter Tea. To most bonsai enthusiasts in the area, Peter needs no introduction. For those who have not heard of Peter, he is not only a skilled artist but a consummate educator. During his demonstrations, he has the ability to educate an audience on the finer points of styling and developing a tree while seamlessly using his mastery to create beautiful bonsai. Be prepared for a truly inspirational experience. (more…)

Kenji Day 2016

150_Image279On Feb. 2, Kenji Miyata, one of the very few true Nippon Bonsai Association certified Bonsai Masters now living in the US, worked with the Clark Bonsai Collection curatorial team, led by Curator, Bob Hilvers, to transplant and restyle several trees in the collection. (These trees included four currently on display in the Winter Exhibition: John Naka’s Catlin Elm (photos 2,3), Ray Thieme’s seed-grown Japanese Maple forest (photo 6), the twin trunk Chinese Elm (photo 4) and the 100 year old Pomegranate (photo 1). Kenji also initiated restoration of a Liquidambar forest (5). This was the first of four work sessions with the Curatorial Team scheduled with Mr. Miayata over the coming year. Kenji will also provide a demonstration re-styling of one of the Collection’s trees, which will subsequently be auctioned in the Kōen-nai no Bonsai/Bonsai in the Park Fundraising event April 16. (David Nguy will demonstrate a bonsai styling on April 17, also with auction of the tree to follow.)


Upcoming Bonsai Events

GSBF_sq_stampDear Friends in Bonsai,

Happy 2016 to everyone. Hope you all have a safe and prosperous year.

There are definitely lots of things happening in the Bonsai world. We hope to see you in one of these events:

February 5-7, 2016 – California Shohin Seminar at the Hotel de Oro Conference Center in Santa Nella. Hardly advertised, this is a must-see event that happens only every two years. We are vending and Scott is doing a demonstration and a workshop on shohin trident maple. Let us know what we can bring for you. We have super small akadama at $35/bag; kanuma and hyuga for $28/bag in small, medium, large grain size. (more…)

Phoenix Bonsai Society To Hold 53Rd Anniversary Bonsai Show

150_PhoeThe Phoenix Bonsai Society will be holding its 53rd Anniversary Bonsai Show on April 9 & 10, 2016, from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM both Saturday and Sunday. The event is free to the public. The show will be opened Saturday morning by a traditional Buddhist Blessing, opening the Valley Garden Center doors to over 50 examples of bonsai trees, as well as viewing stones known as Suiseki, and companion plants known as Kusamono. Outside there will be a Children’s Area with an art and coloring section featuring the Bonsai Coloring Book written by club member Robert Baran. Also for the children will be a free mini bonsai potting area where all children under age 8 will receive an Elephant Food Bonsai and mini bonsai pot. In the gardens will be a Bonsai Market Place selling bonsai, pots, bonsai soil, and related items, plus three display and teaching areas. The Novice Village will have new members trimming and wiring bonsai throughout the event. At the Intermediate Village more seasoned members will be working on bonsai and answering questions from the public. In the Expert Village long time members will be conducting demonstrations and describing the history of bonsai. (more…)

Unearthed: Found + Made

150_Image327By George Haas

On December 26, 2015, I visited the Oakland Museum of California at 1000 Oak Street, Oakland, California, to view the suiseki exhibition by two local clubs, San Francisco Suiseki Kai and California Suiseki Society, combined with the work of a contemporary artist. The similarity in displayed material is taking from the landscape, reworking and presenting it as an art form. The display and appreciation of natural stones dates back to China before the 7th century A.D., after which it was introduced to Japan where it was accepted in to their culture. The work of Jedediah Caesar, an Oakland-born, Los Angeles based contemporary artist, “imitates geological processes in making his sculptures, sometimes encasing found objects from the urbanenvironment in clear colored resin” according to the exhibit literature.

Breaking News – The Golden Statements Winter Issue is Almost Here!

GSBF_sq_stampThe GSBF Golden Statements Magazine Winter issue has been sent to the printer. That means within the next business week the magazine will be printed and mail dropped to its subscribers throughout the country and British Columbia, Canada. The Winter issue contains more information than ever. It is often referred to as the convention copy because it covers the latest GSBF Convention held in Riverside on October 29 – November 1, 2015. But, there is more, regular columns on season changes, bonsai on the internet, suiseki and bonsai. There is coverage of the most recent Kofu Bonsai Kai Show and the Grand Opening of the newest, third GSBF bonsai collection in Shinzen Japanese Garden, Fresno, California. You’ll also read highlights of the Artisans Cup held in Portland, Oregon, on September 25 – 27, 2015.

If you are not a current subscriber of GSBF Golden Statements Magazine, subscribe now by clicking here and complete the simple form and pay by PayPal.


Companion Plants for Bonsai Display

150_pots_Image278On December 12, 2015, at the Garden Center, Lake Merritt, Oakland, California, Kora Dalager of Bonsai Tour and longtime member of the Bay Area Bonsai Associates (BABA) presented a demonstration and workshop for the club’s members, featuring companion plants for bonsai display. Kora recently returned from a bonsai tour in Japan, where she purchased a number of accentplant pots of varying sizes, shapes, textures, and potteries. In addition, she purchased a quantity of accent plants. Members purchased the pots and plants for the workshop. Notes prepared by Kora were handed out. (more…)

Annual Mammoth Auction and Sale!

lakemer150Join us for the biggest and best bonsai auction and sale in California! February 27-28, 2016 at the Lakeside Garden Center in Oakland, Ca.

Saturday: Auction preview at noon with the auction at 1pm.
Sunday: Vendor sales start at 9am, plant sales start at 10am, and demonstrations at 1pm.

If you would like to donate bonsai, pots, and other related items, contact us before January 2, 2016. This allows us time to evaluate, photograph and catalog all auction items. All procedes for the fundraiser go to support the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt. For more information or to sell trees, visit



A Weekend of Bonsai Wiring and Styling


On 14 and 15 November 2015, at Petaluma, California, Vale Cruz and I spent the weekend working on bonsai. I asked Vale for his help on wiring collected Sierra Junipers (Juniperus occidentalis). I collected three Sierra Junipers from the Tahoe National Forest with Bob Shimon and other members of the Redwood Empire Bonsai Society (REBS) in 2008. These junipers were all initially wiredand styled by Mike Pistello. I later removed the wire to avoid having the wire cut into the branches. I then decided to let them grow out. It was time again for wiring and styling. Vale worked on two of the larger junipers, while I worked on the smaller of the three.