Bonsai - Written by on Thursday, January 17, 2013 11:20 - 6 Comments

Welcome to The Bonsai Garden


North Collection Spring 003

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:

Tuesday-Friday, 11am-3pm

Saturday, 10am-4pm

Sunday, noon-4pm

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.

Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt Website

Please visit our website to learn more about our BGLM and events.


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Betty Yeapanis
Feb 28, 2011 13:19

To: Kathy Shaner

This site has informed me that I need to contact you for two reasons:

1. I saw that you’re visiting NJ in April. Can my small Baltimore Bonsai Club worm its way into your travel schedule? how ? when? how much $$

2. I am trying to accomplish a bonsai garden designed by Frank Thomas of Lancaster Bonsai Society, PA. Would love to hash over what was learned in making this garden happen.
yours, Betty, Fairfax, Virginia

Betty Yeapanis
Feb 28, 2011 13:21

phone 703.591.0864

In a North State Garden » Blog Archive » The Timeless Beauty of Bonsai
Jan 18, 2013 6:50

[...] Lake Merritt Bonsai Garden in Oakland: The GSBF Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt (formerly the GSBF Collection North) is the home to some of the finest Bonsai in Northern California. Northern California’s only public bonsai collection is the Demonstration Garden at Oakland’s Lakeside Park. It was built, is staffed and maintained by volunteers and is supported entirely by donations. Bonsai Garden Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 11am-3pm; Saturday, 10am-4pm; and Sunday, noon-4pm. [...]

The Timeless Beauty of Bonsai |
Jan 19, 2013 5:32

[...] [...]

Cindi and Roger Brand
Mar 6, 2013 13:08

we are going to be in the area soon and would like to coordinate with you a time that you will be there for a tour

Mar 10, 2013 13:45

For information and to arrange a tour, call 510-763-8409. The Bonsai Garden hours are Tues.-Fri. 11-3; Saturday 10-4; and Sunday noon-4. Look forward to sharing this beautiful garden with you.

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The Green Heart of Oakland for Fifty Years

Discover the hidden garden jewel on the shores of Lake Merritt in the city of Oakland. We are a seven-acre collection of themed gardens.

The Gardens are open daily:
9am - 5:30pm
Entry is free!

666 Bellevue Ave, Oakland, California
Read more about the gardens...
View map, directions, and parking info...

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NOTE: You'll be making a secure tax-deductible donation through Square Market to the Friends of the Gardens at Lake Merritt's fiscal agent "Oakland-East Bay Garden Center Inc."

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