The GSBF Collection at The Huntington
In 1968, the Huntington Botanical Gardens developed a Bonsai Court as an expansion of the Japanese Garden, which had been built in 1912. In 1993, The Huntington combined forces with the Golden State Bonsai Federation to expand and improve the bonsai collection. The Huntington now has over 400 bonsai, including some fifty trees that make up the GSBF Collection at the Huntington.
Views of the Huntington’s expanded Chinese Garden and Penjing Court
Coastal Grove Planting
Watch a video of the Coastal Grove Planting created by Huntington Bonsai Curator Ted Matson and volunteers. Using foemina junipers from donation trees, the group assembled a forest reminiscent of pines on the Japanese coast.
The planting was originally scheduled to be done during the Bonsai-A-Thon in February, but that event has been postponed until April 2 and 3, too late to re-pot junipers.
Bonsai from the 2023 GSBF Rendezvous Exhibit
More About The GSBF Collection at The Huntington
For practical purposes, the GSBF and the Huntington bonsai collections are treated as one. The trees are displayed together in the Upper and Lower Bonsai Courts, and maintained in the Ben Oki Nursery, when not on display.
Photos of the Ben Oki Nursery
The lower bonsai court is entered by walking through the zen garden where you are greeted by a large selection of bonsai on display. Displays are changed depending on season, blooming of plants, leaf color changes and fruit. The ever changing display means no two visits to the bonsai courts will be the same.
- Photo of Lower Bonsai Court
In between the two courts sits the Harry Hirao Court, where visitors are encouraged to touch the stones.
Photos of Harry Hirao Court and Harry Hirao working on a California Juniper
The Upper Bonsai Court was added in 2012. There is a memorial to Kay and Khan Komai in remembrance of their work, help and mentoring to the Southern California Bonsai Community. The upper court also houses the Shohin bonsai, which are bonsai that are eight inches or less in height. Housed in their own alcove across from the Komai Memorial Bench, this is a perfect place to sit and listen to the water moving over the stones in the stream and enjoy the bonsai on display.
Photos of the Upper Court