Yesterday I spent a few hours at the garden….my first visit since mid-January. For those who don’t follow my activities (not that anyone should) ….I was hospitalized for a few days at that time.
I am one of those fortunate enough to
be a docent at the garden. I mean that sincerely. In these days of uncertainty and a worrisome world atmosphere; it is a marvelous thing…for myself, at least…to have these precious trees and even more precious fellow volunteers to be with.
My visit reminded me of that in no uncertain terms. It is difficult for me to exercise patience and wait until I am physically able to return to my regular duties at BGLM. That will be a good day.
Went above and beyond for family, friends and the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt
Gianfranco Teodoro Bardella, died on Sunday, March 13, 2016 at the age of 79. Frank was born August 3, 1936 in Tientsin, China and lived there until age 12, before escaping to Italy from the war. His family lived in Italy for a few years before they were able to come to the United States through Ellis Island and eventually, made it to San Francisco. It was at the International Institute for Foreign Students that Frank met Barbara, his lifelong love and partner. Over the course of the next 58 years they were married and had three children; Liz, Matt and Vanessa, five grandchildren; Ashley, Brittany, Andie, Lexi and Travis, and three great-grandchildren; Maysin, Lane and Nick. Anyone who knew him understands the amount of pride he took in the work he did- whether it be his family-run tax preparation business, his bonsai trees, or his time spent with the Rotary Club. He began working at PG&E in San Francisco before transitioning to the tax business. Frank and his wife have been operating the business since 1958, with three generations of their family working alongside him. He always went above and beyond for his clients and that was reflected in the many long time clients who became his friends. Frank had an astonishing collection of bonsai trees on which he spent countless hours. In his last years, Frank donated his prized bonsai tree to the Golden State Bonsai Federation. He was always more than happy to teach any willing learner about the ins and outs of bonsai. Frank always made an effort to participate in any Rotary event, whether it be sponsoring an event or participating at the weekly meetings. Frank will be missed by his family and the community alike. The family will be holding a memorial celebration at St. Sebastian Church in Sebastopol. The celebration will not take place until tax time is completed. Please contact Bardella & Associates after April 18 for service date and time. In lieu of flowers, donations are preferred to Redwood Empire Bonsai Society, Rotary Club of Sebastopol Sunrise, or the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt.
Sonoma West Times newspaper, 3/16/2016
On Saturday, February 27 and Sunday, February 28, 2016, at the Lakeside Garden Center in Oakland, California, it was the year’s biggest fund raiser for the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt (BGLM). It is referred to as the Mammoth Auction & Sale. The auction of 124 bonsai and bonsai related items took place on Saturday with the preview beginning at Noon and the auction starting at 1:00 PM. The auctioneer, Gordon Deeg, BGLM Garden Master, kept the auction moving along and wrapped business up by 4:00 PM. High bidding went towards bonsai (No. 122 – San Jose Juniper semi-cascade) from the collection of Frank Bardella of Sebastopol, California.
Mammoth Auction & Sale continued the next day with a full agenda, including club showcases, vendor and plant sales, demonstrations led by Kathy Shaner, Curator for BGLM, and the drawing and club showcase award. This year food was for sale to all attendees on both days, something that is likely to continue at future fund raisers, since it is difficult for attendees to leave the Garden Center in search of lunch.