Little Trees, Big Impact

Join us as we celebrate the 10 year anniversary of our bonsai garden!

10 year celebration

This June, the Bonsai and Penjing Garden at Matthaei Botanical Gardens will be celebrating its 10th year.  Join us for a month-long celebration with events including workshops, demos, family-friendly activities, and more!

Celebrate With Us!

Matthaei Botanical Gardens
1800 N. Dixboro Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48105
FREE ADMISSION (Hourly parking for non-members)

June 1 – June 30th, 2023
Mondays – Saturdays 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Sundays – 10:00 am-4:30 pm

Bonsai Celebration Themed Weeks
June 1-10 Our Outstanding Collection
June 11-17 Japan Week with the Center for Japanese Studies
June 17 – 25 What’s In Bloom? Satsuki Azaleas
June 26 – 30 You Do Bonsai Too

The outdoor Bonsai Garden is currently open through October. Periodic closures of the bonsai garden may occur due to Perennial Garden weddings.  Please note, the Bonsai Garden will be closed Friday, Jun 16, 2023.

Learn More

MBGNA’s Bonsai collection began in 1977 and was formally established as the Bonsai and Penjing Garden at Matthaei Botanical Gardens in 2013.  Since then, the collection has grown to become one of the premier collections of Bonsai and Penjing in North America.  The impressive collection includes 87 trees, some over a century old. 

We invite you to visit our Bonsai garden webpage to learn more!

The Details

June 5 – 12, 2023

Tiny Tree Tournament  What’s your favorite bonsai? Vote for your favorite in a head-to-head sports bracket-style competition.  

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Beginner Satsuki Workshop Beginner Satsuki workshop with David Kreutz will take place from 9am-12pm in the Head House at Matthaei Botanical Gardens.  A private tour of the Satsuki collection will take place at noon for workshop attendees. Boxed lunches will be available for purchase upon registration.  

Bonsai Expert Demonstrations Hiroharu Kobayashi and Yoichi Fukudan, well-known Satsuki experts from Japan, will give a Satsuki demonstration on the commons between 1pm and 4pm. Kobayashi and Fukudan are owners respectively of Kobayashi Sangyou Nursery and Rakjyuen Nursery, two of the premier Satsuki nurseries in Kanuma, Japan. Mr. Kobayashi and Mr. Fukudan will also be on hand to assist the Satsuki workshops throughout the weekend. Free to attend, open to the public.

Sunday, Jun 18, 2023

Advanced Satsuki Workshop David Kreutz will host an advanced Satsuki workshop from 8 am-12 pm in the Head House at Matthaei Botanical Gardens. Boxed lunches will be available for purchase upon registration. 

Bring Your Own Tree Workshop In the afternoon, a Bring Your Own Tree workshop from 1 pm-5 pm in the Head House at Matthaei Botanical Gardens. Registration is required, and space is limited to 10 participants.

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Basics of Bonsai Families are invited to explore the bonsai collection and learn about bonsai. Children and youth explore the art and science of bonsai, and practice simple wiring techniques using chenille sticks and objects.  Recommended ages 7-14.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Bonsai Stories Plants have many stories to tell about their lives. Explore the bonsai & penjing gardens to see how each tree has a unique story. Using natural materials and a plant, build your own mini landscape inspired by the landscapes of penjing, and create stories about your plant’s life in its landscape. Recommended ages 7-14.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Ann Arbor Bonsai Society Monthly Meeting Meet with members and learn more about the activities hosted by the Ann Arbor Bonsai Society. Special speakers will discuss the collection at Matthaei Botanical Gardens and how the society supports bonsai practice in the southeast Michigan area through general meetings, shows, and educational activities. 7 pm-9 pm at Matthaei Botanical Gardens.  Open to the public


Bonsai Garden Pop-ups Volunteers and staff at work, come take a peek. On select days in June in the bonsai garden, we will be hosting pop-up bonsai pruning demos as our volunteers and staff are tending to our collection. Check our social media and on-site for these pop-up announcements. 

Take Our Trees for a Spin!

While Bonsai are traditionally styled to be appreciated from a specific viewpoint, they are interesting to enjoy from every angle. We invite you to experience this by spinning the bonsai below.