The Golden State Bonsai Federation Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt is the home to some of the finest bonsai on the West Coast and is Northern California’s only public bonsai collection. The Garden, built by volunteers, is staffed and maintained by volunteers and supported entirely by donations.
Bonsai Garden Hours:
ADMISSION is free but donations to help maintain and improve the garden are gratefully accepted.
This permanent collection ensures these precious trees and stones by outstanding masters and collectors will be preserved for everyone’s enjoyment. More than 75 superb bonsai and many viewing stones (suiseki) are on display at any given time. The collection is changed regularly and many of the trees change color with the season, so visit often.
Volunteer docents provide you with a self-guiding key sheet describing each tree. Docents also are available to provide information about the landscape plants, Japanese gates, stones, bonsai in general, and bonsai clubs.
Gordon Deeg is the Federation’s Chairman. Curator Kathy Shaner is the only Japanese-certified bonsai master in the United States and the first westerner and first woman to be trained as a master in Japan. Our sister bonsai collection is the Golden State Bonsai Collection at the Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino near Pasadena, California.
Completion of this open air cultural museum has been made possible through the support of the Oakland City Council, Oakland Parks and Recreation, and Golden State Bonsai Federation (GSBF) officers and member Clubs.
The enthusiasm of volunteer labor by members of the various Northern California clubs, their spouses and friends plus the generosity of commercial concerns have been invaluable. The beauty of this garden has been achieved through hard work, success and few failures by a dedicated force of volunteers.
Trees selected for the Garden number over 150 to supply a rotating display. These trees require constant care. Tree caretakers work under Curator Kathy Shaner’s direction.
Please visit our website to learn more about our BGLM and events.