Calling all Mammoth Auction Items

If you wish to submit your prize bonsai to the Mammoth Auction, the largest such event on the West Coast, now is the time. Contact Bob Gould at rgould1003@aol.com, to discuss what you have in mind to submit to the Auction. He will be happy to assist you.

The Annual Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt Mammoth Auction & Sale will be held on Saturday, February 16 and Sunday, 17, 2019 at the Lakeside Garden Center in Oakland, CA.  This is an official appeal for materials for the Auction of quality bonsai on Saturday and the Sale of bonsai and pre-and-developing bonsai on Sunday.  Items may be donated or submitted on consignment.

Bonsai for the Auction will need to be submitted by December 30, 2018. Material for the Sunday Sale will be accepted at the Garden Center on Saturday, February 16th, 9am – 4pm and Sunday, February 17th, between 8am – 9am. Any bonsai material, pots, etc. will be accepted as sale material.  Consignment items for the Saturday Auction will have a 30% charge and for the Sunday Sale will have a 25% charge.  Again, full donations are appreciated and tax-deductible. Contact Mike Mello, 510-886-1568 or Dennis Hawkins, 510-657-8229 IDHAWK@comcast.net for more sale information. If you wish to place a reserve price on your item in the Auction, you will be charged a fee of 10% of that reserve if the item does not sell. This fee goes to help defray the cost of the auction.

All proceeds go to support the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt, one of the finest bonsai museums in the US.

Commemorative Brick Project Update

In September 2017, BGLM initiated a commemorative brick fundraiser drive in which individuals, clubs and businesses can purchase a variety of state-of-the-art engraved bricks, and the proceeds go towards various improvement and enhancement projects for the display garden. In November, after Convention 41 in Sacramento, BGLM will order the initial production of the commemorative bricks. Don’t be left out! Contact George Haas at (707) 762-9154 or gwhaas@comcast.net for details.

Your support is greatly appreciated!

7th Annual 2018 Autumn Lights Festival

October 18-20, 2018

The Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt will once again participate in the Autumn Lights Festival that bathes the Gardens of Lake Merritt in lights of all descriptions. Don’t miss this exciting event that delights all members of the family. You’ll thrill to see the Bonsai Garden lit up with exciting light features like the flowing blue lights of the waterfall and stream bed, lanterns and lights decorating all bonsai and new features like walls of light, and glowing honey bees.

The festive evenings blend live music, illuminated art, fire dancers, food and libations to make one unforgettable experience. This wildly popular annual tradition benefiting the Gardens at Lake Merritt is easy to get to and fun for all ages. The Autumn Lights Festival, which has become a unique Oakland tradition, is a festive three-night community event  held in the seven-acre oasis of themed gardens nestled in Lakeside Park surrounding Lake Merritt. This three-night event is for all ages. It entails a leisurely stroll along paved pathways through seven- acres of lush gardens. The pathways are minimally lit so as not to impede the art, so if you feel you may need a little extra light, feel free to bring a small flashlight. The festival is wheelchair accessible, ADA compliant.

Tickets
General Admission – $20 adults/$7 youth (advance); $25/$10 event day
Tickets are available now on EventBrite.
All proceeds benefit the Friends of the Gardens at Lake Merritt for improvements at the gardens including construction of a new entrance on Bellevue Avenue.
This year’s festival will take place from October 18th through October 20st, every night from 6 pm until 11 pm.

For more information, visit http://autumnlightsfestival.herokuapp.com/.

Bonsai School opens registraton

Fig1. In this case, the root ball was rotated and the side roots became topside. This required heavy pruning of the roots and reshaping of the root ball.

By George Haas,
School Coordinator

The Bonsai School 2017 offered at the Golden State Bonsai Federation (GSBF) Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt (BGLM) just completed its third year of classes in bonsai. The last two sessions were held December 9 and 10, 2017, and led by the Bonsai Garden’s Curator, Kathy Shaner, on styling and repotting. Now is the season for repotting and the students were given the opportunity for hands-on repotting of mature, quality bonsai from the Bonsai Garden’s collection. Assistant Curators were on hand to assist. Continue reading

Free Bonsai Beginners’ Classes

One goal of the GSBF Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt (BGLM) is to educate people in the art and science of Bonsai. In an effort towards achieving that goal, the BGLM has teamed with the East Bay Bonsai Society (EBBS) to help interested students get started in the study of bonsai. Highly trained EBBS members volunteer as teachers for the Bonsai Beginners’ Classes held at the BGLM Workshop on the fourth Sunday of each month (except February and December).

Continue reading

Bonsai School at Lake Merritt

Applications OPEN for the 2018 Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt Bonsai School

The Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt (BGLM) offers a four-year bonsai school taught by Garden Curator Kathy Shaner, Garden Master Gordon Deeg, guest instructors, and Assistant Curators.

The purpose of the bonsai school is to identify and instruct potential students to become Assistant Curators for the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt who will take an active part in the care and maintenance of the Bonsai Garden’s historic and legacy bonsai.

Visit our Bonsai School Overview and let us know if you are interested in applying.

The Mammoth is coming soon

The Annual Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt Mammoth Auction & Sale will be held on Saturday, February 17 and Sunday, 18, 2018 at the Lakeside Garden Center in Oakland, CA.  This is an official appeal for materials for the Auction of quality bonsai on Saturday and the Sale of bonsai and pre-and-developing bonsai on Sunday.  Items may be donated or submitted on consignment.

Bonsai for the Auction will need to be submitted by December 30, 2017. Material for the Sunday Sale will be accepted at the Garden Center on Saturday, February 17th, 9am – 4pm and Sunday, February 18th, between 8am – 9am. Any bonsai material, pots, etc. will be accepted as sale material.  Consignment items for the Saturday Auction will have a 30% charge and for the Sunday Sale will have a 25% charge.  Again, full donations are appreciated and tax-deductible. Contact Mike Mello, 510-886-1568 or Dennis Hawkins, 510-657-8229 IDHAWK@comcast.net for more sale information. If you wish to place a reserve price on your item in the Auction, you will be charged a fee of 10% of that reserve if the item does not sell. This fee goes to help defray the cost of the auction.

For complete Mammoth Fundraiser details visit HERE.

Watering the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt

By George Haas

Watering by hand nearly 200 bonsai and accent plants is undertaken by volunteers for the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt, when all systems fail. The task is challenging and in the summer months necessary two to three times in a single day.

The new overhead watering system in operatio

The timed watering system in existence for many years utilized Drip Irrigation and Low Volume Watering products, including water connection kits, distribution tubing, drip lines, fittings, drip emitters, filters, and more.
Bonsai experts all agree watering bonsai is critical in the care and maintenance of bonsai. Overwatering and inadequate watering can be the death of bonsai. We generally do not worry much about overwatering. Although, watering too frequently can be harmful to the bonsai. Because we use special bonsai soil mixes in the potting of bonsai, over watering just drains through the bottom holes of the pot. On the other hand, inadequate watering or drying out the roots of bonsai results are usually fatal to the tree. Continue reading

Word is getting out about our GRO Program

The word is getting out about our GRO (Garden Revitalization Opportunity) Program which is helping our donations to exceed $46,000. The Oakland Tribune and some of the other East Bay Times publications carried a story recently about the Bonsai Garden and its GRO fundraiser. You can read about it by clicking here.

David Thompson, the gentleman who donated the cedar from the Pan Pacific Exposition earlier this year, passed away recently. In his obituary, his family asked that donations be given to the Bonsai Garden in lieu of flowers. His friends have been very generous in their donations to the Garden. You can read about his life here.

We have recently expanded our donations drive to include Commemorative engraved bricks that individuals, clubs or businesses can purchase. The bricks will be installed as part of the new Garden pathway paving project that will begin immediately after the Autumn Lights Festival on Monday, October 23, 2017. For more information about the Brick Fundraiser Drive, please click here.

Speaking of the Autumn Lights Festival, this year will have even more lights to engage our vast audience of visitors which numbered nearly 10,000 last year despite the rain. Our theme this year is butterflies in support of the Park at Lake Merritt’s program to support butterflies and keep them from becoming an endangered species. If you are interested in finding out more about the Autumn Lights Festival, please visit http://www.autumnlightsoakland.com/ULaQZ/. If you haven’t seen the Bonsai Garden lit for this Festival, you are in for a treat. You can see our progress with the GRO project at the same time.