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.
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.

RIP Frank Bardella

Went above and beyond for family, friends and the Bonsai Garden at Lake MerrittFrank-Bardella

Gianfranco Teodoro Bardella, died on Sunday, March 13, 2016 at the age of 79. Frank was born August 3, 1936 in Tientsin, China and lived there until age 12, before escaping to Italy from the war. His family lived in Italy for a few years before they were able to come to the United States through Ellis Island and eventually, made it to San Francisco. It was at the International Institute for Foreign Students that Frank met Barbara, his lifelong love and partner. Over the course of the next 58 years they were married and had three children; Liz, Matt and Vanessa, five grandchildren; Ashley, Brittany, Andie, Lexi and Travis, and three great-grandchildren; Maysin, Lane and Nick. Anyone who knew him understands the amount of pride he took in the work he did- whether it be his family-run tax preparation business, his bonsai trees, or his time spent with the Rotary Club. He began working at PG&E in San Francisco before transitioning to the tax business.  Frank and his wife have been operating the business since 1958, with three generations of their family working alongside him. He always went above and beyond for his clients and that was reflected in the many long time clients who became his friends. Frank had an astonishing collection of bonsai trees on which he spent countless hours. In his last years, Frank donated his prized bonsai tree to the Golden State Bonsai Federation. He was always more than happy to teach any willing learner about the ins and outs of bonsai. Frank always made an effort to participate in any Rotary event, whether it be sponsoring an event or participating at the weekly meetings. Frank will be missed by his family and the community alike. The family will be holding a memorial celebration at St. Sebastian Church in Sebastopol. The celebration will not take place until tax time is completed. Please contact Bardella & Associates after April 18 for service date and time. In lieu of flowers, donations are preferred to Redwood Empire Bonsai Society, Rotary Club of Sebastopol Sunrise, or the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt.

Sonoma West Times newspaper, 3/16/2016

Mammoth Thank You

The 2015 Mammoth kicked off with a celebration of the 15th Anniversary of the opening of the Bonsai Garden Lake Merritt. What better way to celebrate than to honor the three chairmen who gave so much of themselves to fund, create, and grow the Garden. Those honored were Bill Hashimoto (1989-1994), Seiji Shiba (1995-2008), and Gordon Deeg (2008-2014).MammothChairman0215-cropped

Retired BGLM  Chairmen, Gordon Deeg and Seiji Shiba receive recognition.


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Save the Date: Mammoth Auction & Sale

Our 400-year old Japanese Black Pine made its U.S. debut  at the Pan-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco 1915

Our 400-year old Japanese Black Pine made its U.S. debut at the Pan-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco 1915

Long before I spent as much time at the Bonsai Garden as I do now, I would always drive up from Monterey to attend the annual Mammoth Auction & Sale. I always found something exciting to purchase at the Sale at a very good price.

What I overlooked was the Auction, because I did not want to drive up two days in a row. Little did I know what I was missing? This year I attended the Auction and purchased a very nice mature Monterey Pine, that was being sold by the Garden for far less than I felt it is worth. Great deal for me and for the Garden.

If you wish to add to your bonsai or pot collection, you can’t afford to miss the Mammoth. If you wish to reduce your collection, then sell it at the Mammoth. It’s the greatest gathering of bonsai buyers and sellers in Northern California.

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Volunteer Appreciation Day Party

gordon150It’s a very special day that comes around every year! It really is a party to show the genuine appreciation to the many volunteer members who docent and fill many other jobs at the Golden State Bonsai Federation (GSBF) Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt (BGLM), Oakland, California. This year the volunteer appreciation day party was held at the home and garden of Gordon Deeg.The event started around 2 PM, on Saturday, May 3, 2014. As people began showing up they were put to work setting up tables and chairs, table cloths, BBQ grills, and all the accessories associated with a grand old BBQ party. When arriving one could not resist walking around the bonsai garden collection established by Gordon at his home. Some of the guests came directly from the BGLM as they spent the morning hours there volunteering. Continue reading

Upcoming Events

green_LM LogoSQ_rev_150Upcoming Events:

Spring in the Garden
It is already turning into spring time at the garden. Be sure to drop by and see the many trees that are beginning to bloom and form fragil new leaves.

Oakland Farmers Market Table, June 21, 2014
BGLM will have a presence at the Farmers Market to spread the word that we are in Oakland and is a great place to visit regually.