Celebrate World Bonsai Day May 12

The North Carolina Arboretum, a 434-acre public garden located just south of Asheville, will celebrate the mighty power of tiny trees at its World Bonsai Day event from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 12, inside its Bonsai Exhibition Garden.

This popular annual celebration marks the reopening of the Arboretum’s full bonsai display for the season and includes educational programming related to bonsai trees and maintenance. As part of the event, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., representatives from the local Blue Ridge Bonsai Society will be on site to present informal programs related to basic bonsai information, including how to get started and how to maintain a bonsai, as well as discussing what design features are desirable in a good bonsai.

These programs are free to the public and club members will also be available to answer questions.

“We are excited and thankful to have members from the Blue Ridge Bonsai Society at the Arboretum to share their knowledge with our visitors and members, and help us celebrate the reopening of our bonsai display,” said Arthur Joura, award-winning bonsai curator at The North Carolina Arboretum.

World Bonsai Day is an international event dedicated to furthering bonsai awareness and appreciation worldwide. Initiated by the World Bonsai Friendship Federation (WBFF) in honor of Saburo Kato, the world bonsai patron and founder of WBFF, World Bonsai Day is recognized annually on the second Saturday of May.

“World Bonsai Day is a fitting time to celebrate the return of the Arboretum’s full bonsai display to the garden as it is now warm enough to keep our plants outside without the risk of frost,” said Joura. “We look forward to sharing these miniature marvels with our visitors for the 2018 season and seeing our Bonsai Exhibition Garden filled with little trees and happy people.”

Established in October 2005, The North Carolina Arboretum’s Bonsai Exhibition Garden is world-renowned garden that hosts up to 50 bonsai specimens at a time. The garden draws inspiration from the traditional roots of Japanese gardens, but takes the form of a contemporary, Southern Appalachian influenced American garden.

The Arboretum’s bonsai collection is uniquely diverse. Represented are traditional Asian bonsai subjects such as Japanese maple and Chinese elm, tropical plants such as willow-leaf fig and bougainvillea, and American species such as bald cypress and limber pine.  Of particular importance are the plants native to the Blue Ridge region, such as American hornbeam and eastern white pine, which enable the Arboretum to bring the thousand-year tradition of bonsai home to the mountains of Western North Carolina.

In November 2016, the Arboretum created a special Tropical Bonsai Exhibit inside the Baker Exhibit Center’s Exhibit Greenhouse, which is displayed annually during the winter months.

The North Carolina Arboretum’s Bonsai Exhibition Garden is open daily 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Sunday. A standard $14 per vehicle parking fee is required for non-members.

The North Carolina Arboretum is located off the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 393. From I-26, take Exit 33 and follow Blue Ridge Parkway signs for two miles to the entrance ramp. Visit www.ncarboretum.org.

About Shelby Harrell
Shelby Harrell is the editor of the Biltmore Beacon, editor of The Guide arts and entertainment publication and is a staff writer for Mountaineer Publishing. Originally from Asheville, she has worked in journalism for seven years and currently lives in Clyde, NC.