At one time, not so long ago, finding a bonsai garden outside of the
Orient would be a rare thing. The number of public bonsai exhibits is
growing rapidly. Some of the bonsai tree gardens on this site you will
recognize; others are less well known.
You may be pleasantly surprised at the quality of even the smallest display. Bonsai tree types in these displays extend from exotic species to the more recognized bonsai juniper, pines and bonsai Ficus.
Before visiting any of the exhibits, please check for hours and any possible entrance fees.
The exhibits here are listed in no particular order, however, first on the list may be the most famous.
The National Bonsai & Penjing Museum was established in 1976 and is located at The United States National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. (It is not in the downtown area. Be sure to get directions in advance.)
Bonsai and non-bonsai visitors from all over the world consider this a ‘must see’ display.
It is more than American, Chinese and Japanese bonsai exhibits, it is truly a museum.
View just a few of the magnificent specimen bonsai and penjing in this National Arboretum slide show.
There are many reasons to visit our nation’s capital, be sure to include The National Bonsai & Penjing Museum on your list.
When making plans, consider a spring or fall trip. (I was born and raised in D.C. and the summer heat and humidity can be oppressive!)
Marie Selby Gardens was voted one of “America’s Top Ten Botanical Gardens” by Country Living Gardener Magazine.
Throughout the grounds of the historic Selby estate there are many distinct gardens.
The story of this garden could be called "the little club that could!"
Read how the Sho Fu Bonsai Society of Sarasota Bonsai Exhibit came about.
4000 Morikami Park Road Delray Beach, FL
The bonsai garden is arranged in a beautiful park-like setting.
More about the Morikami bonsai exhibition can be seen here.
Curator: Vladimir Foursa
Heathcote Botanical Gardens feature the large Jim Smith collection of tropical bonsai.
The gardens are located at:
210 Savannah Road Fort Pierce, FL
Curator: Patrick Giacobbe
The Golden State Bonsai Federation maintains two amazing bonsai collections.
In Northern California the collection is the
Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt 666 Bellevue Avenue, Oakland CA
Kathy Shaner, curator.
Photo courtesy Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt
The Golden State Bonsai Federation exhibit in Southern California is located at The Huntington - Bonsai Exhibit 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA (Ben Oki, curator.)
The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens is a treasure where you can spend several days and never see it all.
I hope to return to Huntington. It's way too much to see in one day.
The Larz Anderson Collection is located at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, 125 Arborway, Boston, MA The collection was begun in 1913 by former Ambassador to Japan, L. Anderson.
Many histories of bonsai in the U.S. claim the 1940s as the arrival of bonsai ... which makes this collection very interesting.
For the complete story read this in depth article regarding
the history of this important collection.
"The bonsai featured by the North Carolina Arboretum, Ashville, NC have a regional flavor. But the exhibit area, creates a wonderful stage for this impressive bonsai collection of over 100 trees.
They host an annual show in October. (Just about the time the leaves are turning!)" - Ken, from Columbus Ohio
North Carolina photos courtesy Professor Dennis Stockdale Sr.
Do you have a favorite permanent bonsai garden exhibit?
Send me the name, address and photos ... and tell what you like best about it.
If you are a beginner, check out the How to Get Started page.
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