Bonsai make great friends.

Bonsai have big personalities in small packages. Their characters burst out of their small containers, beaming with pride. They respond to gentle care with exuberant growth. They are always here for you offering calm, patient beauty.

Now, more than ever, our bonsai need friends to see them, to hear their stories, and be there for them, too. The collection is here for you to enjoy, and so, they live for your attention and affection.

Find your friend.

Step 1: See the eight, befriendable bonsai pictured below. Click on the image of the bonsai to read more and watch a short video.

Step 2: Select the bonsai you want to befriend (for yourself, as a gift, or make a tribute in honor of, or in memory of, someone special) by clicking on ‘Let’s Be Friends.”

Step 3: After you find your friend, you can decide the amount you would like to give. You can give a one-time gift or spread out your giving over the year! Each giving level comes with special benefits and gifts to keep you connected with your bonsai throughout the year, that you can review below.

CHINESE HACKBERRY

Celtis sinensis
Original Artist: Ben Oki
A Bonsai Since: 1962
“Small But Mighty”

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I am small but mighty. I used to be a stump in the yard before Mr. Oki recognized my bonsai-potential. A split goes right down the front of my trunk, enhancing my symmetrical, upright beauty. The leaves of my broom style crown turn a lovely, lemony yellow in the fall. In winter and spring, you can get a glimpse of my exquisite branch structure.

Watch a Short Introductory Video

SURINAM CHERRY

Eugenia uniflora
Original Artist: Xueming Lu
A Bonsai Since: 1961
“Life is a Sweet Fruit”

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They call me ‘Holding up the Sky’ because I am so tall and I am always reaching for the heavens. My leaves are shiny green and every now and then, I make bright, scarlet red cherries that look like sweet little tomatoes. I wouldn’t be caught dead with wires because I am a ‘clip and grow’ kind of penjing.

Watch a Short Introductory Video

DOMOTO MAPLE

Trident Maple, Acer buergerianum
Original Artist: Toichi Domoto;
A Bonsai Since: 1913
“Know No Bounds”

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I was a big bonsai even on the day they brought me to San Francisco to show me off at the 1915 Panama Pacific Expo. But when my adopted family, the Domotos, were forced to leave me on my own during WWII, I tried to bust out of my container to find them. I reached down into the ground and grew even bigger. Now, I will forever know that boundless feeling.

Watch a Short Introductory Video

SIERRA JUNIPER

Juniperus occidentalis
Original Artist: Masaharu Imazumi
A Bonsai Since: 1957
“The Dancer”

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I skate on a thin slab of slate. I tiptoe over some moss-covered mounds and I dance, with glee. Mr. Imazumi knew I could reach and spin easily, and endlessly, such a compact and light-on-my feet juniper I am.

Watch a Short Introductory Video

Japanese Maple

Acer palmatum
Original Artist: Kai Kawahara
A Bonsai Since: 1956
“Delicate elegance”

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I’m elegant, colorful, well-built, and cultivated. I have not just one, but two, beautiful, twin trunks so I can reach for the light in two directions at once. I also have great geometry. The crowns of my twins come together in the center to form an elegant, triangular form. My leaves emerge in spring with a pink blush and end in autumn in a scarlet red flourish. My original artist, Mr. Kawahara, learned bonsai from his grandfather in Japan but lived most of his life in Denver, and taught many people there how to make their own bonsai.

Watch a Short Introductory Video

Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea glabra
Original Artist: James Smith
A Bonsai Since: 1988
“Pretty in Pink”

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I’m a bougainvillea that began my life growing in a yard in Miami. I went through an awkward phase as a stump, but when Mr. Smith started training me as a bonsai, I developed graceful curves, a tapering trunk, and exceptionally well-placed branches. On top of that, my magenta flowers make me a Bonsai Convention showstopper and a true covergirl.

Watch a Short Introductory Video

CHINESE JUNIPER FOREST

Juniperus chinensis var. sargentii
Original Artist: T. Kawamoto
A Bonsai Since: 1972
“More friends the better”

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I have many friends and have room in my heart for more. I’m a bonsai for the people. Sure, some people have the time and money to develop venerable old trees as bonsai, but I celebrate those who piece together something great from many common parts. With less at stake, there is more room for experimentation and self-expression, which I applaud. Life is about the creative journey, am I right?

Watch a Short Introductory Video

Japanese Black Pine

Pinus thunbergii
Original Artist: Juzaburo Furuzawa
A Bonsai Since: 1945
“Heart Strings”

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I was a seed sent through the mail to Japanese American Mr. Furuzawa when he was unfairly incarcerated in a dusty camp during WWII just because he looked like the enemy. Mr Furuzawa planted me in a tin can and patiently watered and watched over me as I grew into a seedling. When he was released three years later, he carried me back to his home and cared for me as we both grew old together. As a seed, I symbolized strength, resilience, and longevity, and as a bonsai, I still do.

Watch a Short Introductory Video

 

GIVING LEVELS

Budding Friends

Benefits

  • Certificate of Friendship
  • Zoom background of your bonsai friend
Budding Friends

Benefits

  • Certificate of Friendship
  • Zoom background of your bonsai friend
  • Complimentary 1-year Fan Membership to PBM
  • Pack of 8 befriendable bonsai notecards
  • Bi-annual photos and updates on your bonsai friend
Budding Friends

Benefits

  • Certificate of Friendship
  • Zoom background of your bonsai friend
  • Complimentary 1-year Fan Membership to PBM
  • Pack of 8 befriendable bonsai notecards
  • Bi-annual photos and updates on your bonsai friend
  • A special, display-ready photo print of your bonsai
  • A docent-led tour of Pacific Bonsai Museum (virtual or in-person, redeemable in 2021)

Questions?

Send an email to Shayla Miles.