Tourism Cares for the Bonsai Garden

On a cold and rainy Saturday, members of Tourism Cares came to the Bonsai Garden and helped us sort wire and stain new display benches. It was such a treat working with folks from the tourism industry who flew in on Friday and spent their Saturday with us before flying out on Saturday night. Not only were they great workers, but they were very pleasant and energetic as well as interested in learning more about bonsai and the Garden.

We continue to be fortunate to have enthusiastic volunteers from the community participate in volunteer projects at the Garden. Our next big volunteer day is Earth Day on April 22. Several groups have already contacted us to volunteer, but there is always room for more. Just email us at bonsailakemerritt@gmail.com. For more information about Earth Day, visit Oakland’s Earth Day website.

We are indebted to members of Tourism Cares and other groups who volunteer in support of our Bonsai Garden.

Tourism Cares, a 501(c)3 nonprofit*, is the charitable community of the travel and tourism industry.  It unites the industry in three initiatives where, in addition to individual company efforts, it can make a greater difference by working together. Tourism Cares channels the philanthropic passion and commitment of the travel industry to protect and restore emerging or at-risk destinations we all care about, such as New Orleans after Katrina, Plimoth Plantation, the Los Angeles Waterfront near San Pedro, and most recently, Nepal. Through volunteering, grants, business connections and advocacy, it invests in high potential destinations where tourism can be an engine of prosperity and community pride.

Ryan Neil Demo Raised Funds for GRO

By George Haas 
BGLM Marketing Manager

Before the re-potting.

Ryan Neil performed a great re-styling and re-potting of the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt’s Rocky Mountain Juniper (BGLM No. 401) at the Lake Merritt Sailboat Boathouse on Saturday, March 4, 2017.

Ryan’s demonstration was a special fundraising event in support of the Garden Revitalization Opportunity (GRO) project. BGLM is raising $100,000 to replace worn out display and seating benches, upgrade water systems, install new pathways, and more.

Ryan’s first appearance as a headliner was at the 2010 GSBF Convention in Santa Clara. The tree he styled was the same Rocky Mountain Juniper, which was placed in the auction and purchased by BGLM board member Andrea Burhoe. Subsequently, Andrea donated the bonsai to the BGLM. In 2012, at the Lakeside Park Garden Center, 666 Bellevue Ave., Oakland, Ryan did a first re-potting demonstration, placing the Rocky Mountain Juniper from a wooden crate into a old Chinese pot. For the period of 2010 to 2015, Ryan cared for the bonsai at his studio in Oregon, when it was moved to the Garden and placed on permanent display. Continue reading

GRO Fundraising Drive

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Volunteers joined together through our hard work and generous donations to create a one-of-a-kind living art museum of legacy and master bonsai that is supported totally by volunteers and donations. Now we need help once again to revitalize the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt that is showing signs of its age and popularity. Please donate what you can to help us through the next phase of our journey together.
The Bonsai Garden has begun its GRO (Garden Revitalization Opportunity (GRO) project with funds from our reserves and a grant from the Golden State Bonsai Federation as well as contributions from individuals and clubs through out the area. We also received a grant from the Walter & Elise Haas Fund that will help take us to our $100,000 goal, but we need your help to reach our goal. Please contribute here online and come by to visit the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt to see how your contribution will help keep this museum open free to the public.

Ryan Neil will bring a ray of sunshine to our wet winter

Thanks to all of you who supported the BGLM during our Mammoth Auction & Sale this past weekend. I think all who attended will agree it was a superb event and everyone seemed to have a great time. With our biggest fundraiser of the year behind us, its time to focus on our next fundraising event, Ryan Neil’s demo. If you have ever seen Ryan in person, you will surly agree that he is certainly the ray of sunshine we need to help us make it through this rainy winter.

Ryan will conduct a re-styling of the BGLM’s Rocky Mountain Juniper t at the Lake Merritt Sailboat Boathouse from 1:00 to 4:00 PM on Saturday, March 4, 2017. Ryan’s demonstration will be a fund-raising event in support of the Bonsai Garden Revitalization Opportunity (GRO) project. BGLM is raising $100,000 to replace worn out display and seating benches, upgrade water systems and install new pathways and windows. Your participation will help fund GRO.

Continue reading

2017 Mammoth Schedule

We hope you can join us at the 2017 Mammoth on February 18 7 19 in the Garden Center and the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt. Review the Schedule below and select the events you wish to participate in.

Saturday, February 18

11:00 – 12:00

Dedication:
Companion Plant display
Atlas Cedar from Pan Pacific Exposition
New Bonsai Display benches

12:00 – 1:00

Auction items preview

1:00 – 3:00

Mammoth Auction

Sunday, February 19

9:00 – 4:00

Vendor Sales

9:00 – 11:00

Doctor Bonsai Clinic

10:00 – 4:00

Mammoth Sale

1:00 – 3:00

Styling of Auction item purchases by Kathy Shaner

The 2017 Mammoth is rapidly coming together

Gordon Deeg has finished the Companion Display.

On Saturday, February 18, from 11:00 to 12:00, just prior to the Mammoth Auction, the Bonsai Garden will unveil our new Companion Plant display, our second bonsai from the 1915 Pan Pacific Exposition, and the first of our new display benches. The new Companion Plant display is dedicated to Chizuko “Mary” Sakaishi and funded by her family who will attend the ceremony. Gordon Deeg and his sidekick, Fabian, have completed the display made of cultured stone and copper.

George Haas and Grant Foerster picked up the Atlas Cedar from its home in San Francisco and transported it to the Garden where they worked with Bob Gould to repot it.
Continue reading

We’re unveiling three new features of the Garden

Chizuko “Mary” Sakaishi

On Saturday, February 18 from 11:00 to 12:00, just prior to the Mammoth Auction, the Bonsai Garden will unveil our new Companion Plant display, our second bonsai from the 1915 Pan Pacific Exposition, and the first of our new display benches. The new Companion Plant display is dedicated to Chizuko “Mary” Sakaishi and funded by her family who will attend the ceremony. Mary, known as the “queen of accent plants” left us with a most a positive legacy of living art and charm. She shared her love and knowledge of plants with others throughout the bonsai community. She created wonderful Kusamono centerpieces for the conventions and club shows and led workshops at the Shohin Seminars in Santa Nella, and for club demonstrations.

Continue reading

2017 Mammoth Auction Photos Now Online

The 131 Mammoth Auction items for 2017are now online for your review. 

The Annual Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt Mammoth Auction & Sale is scheduled for February 18-19, 2017 at the Lakeside Garden Center in Oakland, CA. The Auction of Bonsai, special pots and display stands is on Saturday, February 18, 2017. Auction items can be viewed on this Gallery. This is the largest Auction of quality bonsai and items in many years. Check out the Gallery and make your bidding selections. A colorful Auction Catalog is included with your auction bidding card for just a $5 donation to the Bonsai Garden. The doors open at noon for Auction Preview. The Auction Program begins at 1:00 PM with Gordon Deeg returning as the auctioneer. Bidding is always rapid-fire so please prepared for a fast and fun afternoon. Complimentary drinks and snacks will be served to all bidders.

Click here to see the items.

30% More Mammoth Vendors

mammoth-vendors-01-02-17We are pleased to announce that the 2017 Mammoth will have 30% more vendors than we had last year. This means more opportunity for you to purchase a greater variety those bonsai, tools and supplies that you need. The list includes most of your old favorites and a few new ones who have never participated previously at the Mammoth. Vendors will be open for business on Sunday, February 19, 2017, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. There will also be food for sale so you don’t have to leave for breakfast or lunch. Enjoy the best product selection in Northern California.

Vendor List Continue reading

Ryan Neil Demo Fundraiser for GRO

Ryan Neil will conduct a re-styling of the BGLM’s Rocky Mountain Juniper to be held at the Lake Merritt Sailboat Boathouse from 1:00 to 4:00 PM on Saturday, March 4, 2017. Ryan’s demonstration will be a fund-raising event in support of the Bonsai Garden Revitalization Opportunity (GRO) project. BGLM is raising $100,000 to replace worn out display and seating benches, upgrade water systems and install new pathways and windows. Your participation will help fund GRO.
ryan-neil-12-15-16
We are requesting a donation of $35 each (tax deductible) and seating will be available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Tickets may be reserved by emailing bonsailakemerritt@gmail.com with the name of purchaser, number of tickets requested, phone number, mailing address, and email address. Once you are confirmed that there is space for you, you will be asked to mail a check or credit card number, expiration date and Zip code to GSBF BGLM, PO Box 16176, Oakland, CA 94610. Once the donation is received, the tickets are non-refundable.
Ryan’s first appearance as a headliner was at the 2010 GSBF Convention in Santa Clara. The tree he styled rocky-mountain-juniper-12-15-16was the Rocky Mountain Juniper, which was placed in the auction and purchased by BGLM board member, Andrea Burhoe. Subsequently, Andrea donated the bonsai to the BGLM. Ryan cared for the bonsai at his studio in Oregon from 2010 to 2015, when it was moved to the Garden and placed on permanent display.
Ryan was a headliner in the most recent 2016 GSBF Convention in Sacramento. He was born and raised in Colorado, where he became interested in bonsai at an early age. I hope you can be with us on Saturday, March 4th in a beautiful setting for a fun afternoon with Ryan.
If you wish to contribute to our YouCaring crowd funding campaign to support our GRO project, please visit HERE.