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.

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

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

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

We are GROing just fine

The BGLM has begun its GRO (Garden Revitalization Opportunity (GRO) project. Our first effort was a test of the upgraded water system in our primary reserve area near the Workshop. You can see by the photo that we have installed overhead misters to water these trees in what some refer to as our Bonsai Intensive Care misters-in-reserve-08-16Ward. This is an area where we have always provided watering from both surface and overhead systems. The combination of overhead water sprayers and surface water sprayers and drippers wasted a large amount of water and saturated the trees but it helped the trees regain health from too much sun exposure. We replaced the old style drip bubblers with the more efficient misters and eliminated the surface water system altogether.

We worked with an irrigation expert, McGregor Bullard, to test out various options for watering systems and found the plastic misters to be the best for our purposes and the most water efficient. The old irrigation bubblers were rated at 25 GPH (gallons per hour) and the new misters are rated at just 3 GPH. Even with a much-reduced volume of water output, the misters are providing sufficient water for our bonsai without the need for surface watering. Some trees with dense foliage may require some horizontal misting in addition to the overhead watering. We will know more as we continue to test our new watering system. Continue reading

2017 Mammoth Auction & Sale

February 18, 2017 noon – 3:00
February 19, 2017 9:00- 4:00

Item 102White Pine; Plant Ht. 22; 20x15x6 Brown Rectangle; Style: Informal ; Owner: Gianelli1

2016 Auction Items Generated Funds to Support the Garden’s Growth

You wanted a bigger Auction & Sale

 You will get BIGGER THAN EVER!
(auction & sale items, food, vendors)

Mammoth Campaign for Donation Material starts September 10, 2016
2017 GSBF Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt Mammoth Auction & Sale

Starting September 10, 2016, the Bonsai Garden is gathering your bonsai, pots, stands, and other bonsai items to be auctioned for the mammoth auction & sale. the event directly supports the bonsai garden for its annual operations and educational activities.

All donations are tax deductible since the Bonsai Garden is a 501(c)(3) organization. Bonsai related items are submitted on consignment basis (70% owner and 30% garden). Our goal for the auction is 120 cataloged items. Help us make our goal by submitting bonsai, pots, stands, and other bonsai related items from your collections NOW!

Delivery of auction items to the bonsai garden, completing registration form and tagging of donation material begins September 10, 2016.

Help make this event BIGGER THAN EVER!

Contact Information: For questions email: bonsailakemerritt@gmail.com or visit http://www.gsbf-lakemerritt.org/?page_id=1350

Download the BGLM 2017 Mammoth Campaign flyer and share with your friends and fellow Club members.

Birthday Wish from the Bonsai Garden

Joe Byrd Chairman Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt

Joe Byrd
 BGLM Chairman

Birthdays always make me reflect on my life. Today I am remembering my first day as a docent at the Garden back when it first opened. I was apprehensive about driving into Oakland from my home in Monterey and did not particularly enjoy standing around the Garden not really knowing what I was expected to do.

Fast forward to last Saturday afternoon. Meanwhile I had moved to Oakland to be near my one and only granddaughter and retired to run the BGLM. Although I had been volunteering at the Garden every Friday for over a year, and filled in as a docent in emergencies, I had never really considered myself a docent. Continue reading

Changes in the Garden

028smA foggy morning in the garden provides some great scenes of the trees. This view down on the garden shows the new shade trellises. These new improvements will cool down the garden and improve the health of the trees.

The Future of the Bonsai Garden

plan_150I recently had the privilege of presenting our future plans for the the BGLM to the East Bay Bonsai Society (EBBS). The club booked the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt (BGLM) for their June meeting and requested a short talk about our plans for the Garden along with a tour. The members arrived in the early evening and were greeted by refreshments furnished by the Club. Once appetites were satisfied, Bob Gould and Janice Dilbeck took the group of several dozen on an expansive Garden tour.

Many club members are volunteers and some were new members who had not visited the Garden previously. All enjoyed the tour and the changes to the Garden that were mentioned to them. They liked the nameplates on the trees and the shade cloths but mostly they loved the bonsai on display and in the reserve. Continue reading

Joe Byrd is the New Chairman

joe_150I come to the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt (BGLM) with nearly 20 years’ experience in bonsai including 10+ as the GSBF-Bonsai.org webmaster, 10+ as a GSBF Board of Trustee member and 12+ as the president of the Monterey Bonsai Club. I helped create the original Garden website and attended the Garden grand opening in 1999. This year I will help lead the 15th year anniversary celebration. I have a background in publishing, technology marketing, and as a founder of a dot.com company and an international photo industry conference business. My vision for BGLM for it to develop it into a world-famous bonsai museum and a center for bonsai education. I am grateful to work with the many wonderful volunteers who make our Garden the success that it is and look forward to continue the great work of the leaders who have come before me.

—Joe Byrd
Chairman, Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt