Benefits of Being a Member
The primary value is the opportunity to meet and interact with members of the bonsai community at various events that the club offers. Your bonsai skills, knowledge and confidence will increase dramatically in proportion to how much you Get Involved.
You won’t find a more congenial and helpful group of bonsai enthusiasts and experts.Diane Churchill
We offer a full calendar of events throughout the year!
The monthly meetings are the best way to get to know other members while enjoying a stimulating evening learning more about an aspect of bonsai. Most meetings include:
- Most of our meetings are devoted to a demonstration by a bonsai expert explaining some Bonsai technique. Often, these demonstrations feature a mini-workshop where you can work on your own tree under expert guidance.
- Time to chat with and develop relationships with others who love bonsai.
- A benefit drawing of donated bonsai-related items and plants providing an opportunity to get bonsai material while you help defray the expense of holding the meeting.
- Show and Tell of trees that echo the theme of the main presentation or are seasonally noteworthy, such as azaleas in bloom.
- Delicious snacks provided by a rotating selection of members.
Annual Garden Tour
Each August, a few members open their bonsai gardens to club members. The afternoon culminates with a potluck BBQ. Over the years we’ve been privileged to tour some outstanding private member gardens. By seeing other people’s gardens, you get to see trees at different levels of maturity – not just “show ready.” This is a great opportunity to be insipred by something you might do with your trees.
The club offers a Beginner Class to members. The Beginner class typically starts in January and meets four or five times during the year. Paticipants work on their own trees under the guidance of a knowledgeable bonsai artist and teacher. No previous knowledge or experience is necessary to participate, just a commitment to advancing your skills in bonsai.
You don’t need any knowledge of bonsai to recognize and appreciate a beautiful tree, so when you begin, you already have the most important ingredient of the art.Mark O”Brien
Our two day Spring Bonsai Show is one of the largest in Northern California and the trees on display are of a very high standard. It’s an opportunity for members of all levels to show their trees and share our Art with each other, friends and the community. Each day features a bonsai demonstration and raffle as well as a well-stocked sales area.
As a member, you have the opportunity to participate in the show in these ways:
- Display one or more trees in the show. We have a section devoted to beginner bonsai artists and trees in progress where you are encouraged to display a tree that you are currently working with. Extensive help is available before the show to help get the tree, pot and stand ready. Working toward the goal of showing your trees will focus your development as a bonsai artist and give you a sense of pride in what you’ve achieved.
- Take part in the collective effort needed to put on the show by volunteering for one or more of the teams who set up, run, and take down the show. Volunteering involves some work and a whole lot of fun and bonding with other members.
- Donating items that can be sold in our sale area. The sale and raffle are the major way we raise funds to support the club activities. Members typically donate bonsai pots or trees. Trees can be from your collection or material purchased for the sale and styled at one of the pre-show Potting Parties. (see below).
- Have your tree photographed and be part of the record of that show. See Photos for examples of past shows.
One of the main sources of income for the club is the sale held during our annual show. Typically, we will have one hundred or more trees and bonsai pots for sale. The trees are usually donated by club members, although the club also purchases selected trees from other sources when those trees can be re-sold at a profit.
Both donated and purchased trees are prepared for the sale at the three “potting parties” held in the months leading up to the show. Participating in the parties is a unique occasion to get “hands on” experience while working alongside more knowledgeable members to style and refine trees. You may supply a tree yourself or come to help out with trees that other members have donated. No experience is necessary and the club will provide the pots, wire, soil, tools, guidance and an unlimited supply of donuts, coffee and friendship!
We have an extensive library of books and magazines available for you to borrow. Here’s our Library Catalog.