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Lake Merritt Bonsai Gardens

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4.8
201 reviews
|Botanical Gardens|Oakland, CA 94610

655 Bellevue Ave, CA 94610, Oakland, CA 94610

(510) 763-8409

https://gardensatlakemerritt.org/

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In this concrete jungle, Kathy Shaner and her team brings to us her research about the most conventional bonsai trees. These hidden gems across the world are few and Kathy encourages their preservation, care and understanding through her educational workshops and programs. This Japanese styled garden and museum also showcases a huge variety of age old trees and stones and their origins. A definite must visit spot! To know more about their events and programs, check out their website or call ahead.

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4.8
201 reviews
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Saibal S on Trip Advisor

2 years ago

09/03/2019, 08:10 AM
Spectacular collection of Bonsai in a tranquil environment This is such a beautiful collection of mature bonsai that only master gardeners can create over many years, set in a very serene place. If you appreciate plants and art, this is a must! And it is FREE! The only staff who was watering the plants was very helpful.
Business Response:

Thank you for your wonderful review of the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt.

John S. on Trip Advisor

2 years ago

06/09/2019, 01:23 AM
Awesome trees in a peaceful setting right in the heart of Oakland I enjoyed the Lake Merritt Gardens and in particular this lovely little peaceful getaway right in the heart of Oakland. If you like Bonsai you won't want to miss taking a leasurely stroll through this spectacular variety of Bonsai trees and peaceful garden setting. I will return here often when I'm back in Oakland.
Business Response:

Thank you for your wonderful review of the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt.

johnpsev on Trip Advisor

2 years ago

06/09/2019, 01:07 AM
Awesome trees in a peaceful setting right in the heart of Oakland I enjoyed the Lake Merritt Gardens and in particular this lovely little peaceful getaway right in the heart of Oakland. If you like Bonsai you won't want to miss taking a leasurely stroll through this spectacular variety of Bonsai trees and peaceful garden setting. I will return here often when I'm back in Oakland.
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CityRobin on Trip Advisor

2 years ago

05/31/2019, 01:15 AM
Surprising section of Lake Merritt We fell upon this garden when walking thru the garden section of Lake Merritt. Had no idea what Bonzai gardening really was until we walked thru this well-maintained fenced off garden. It is well worth the visit
Business Response:

Thank you CityRobin for your wonderful review of the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt. The bonsai garden is home to both historic and legacy bonsai. The bonsai were donated by well known masters of the art form as well as artists, instructors and hobbyists. Volunteer docents help visitors with their knowledge of the bonsai and creation of the bonsai garden.

CharmianOakland_CA on Trip Advisor

2 years ago

05/05/2019, 01:39 AM
This entire park is a delight to walk in, but the bonsai garden is particularly impressive. The variety of specimens is unique; they even have bonsai wisteria that is flowering now. And the age of some of the trees is surprising, some going back to the 1700s
22Janjim20 on Trip Advisor

2 years ago

03/05/2019, 00:21 AM
Fascinating Displays The Bonsai gardens are lovely to see. It’s difficult to imagine how someone can create such a small world. It’s worth seeing if you’re strolling through Lake Merritt park.
Business Response:

Thank you for your wonderful review of the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt. All volunteers care for and maintain the bonsai collection. The bonsai garden is the largest public collection on the west coast.

Manish2618 on Trip Advisor

3 years ago

12/28/2018, 00:12 AM
Great It was so nice to have there with my family and friends which makes me so happy and having great view there
Business Response:

Thank you for your wonderful review. The Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt offers some of the finest bonsai in the US.

fmontoya56 on Trip Advisor

3 years ago

12/10/2018, 00:14 AM
Nice but limited I visited the Garden on December 8 2018. It had some good specimens but the variety of trees was limited. It had a lot of maples and pines trees. One Maple display was an awesome sight it was a forest of trees in a group setting with mounds of hills, The garden also had a tree from the 1800's the form wasn't that great and the leaves were to big for the size of the tree. The flow of the garden was laid out nice and the paths led out well. However the grounds could have been cleaner of plant debris. Japanese gardens are usually neat and tidy. I would love to revisit the garden in the late spring or early summer to see the plants blossoming with leaves and flowers. . .
Business Response:

Thank you fmontoya56, The Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt is the largest public display of bonsai on the west coast. The specimens include historic and legacy bonsai from Japan and US estates, artists and hobbyists. The bonsai garden has approximately 200 bonsai, displaying about 90 at a time. Bonsai are displayed on a rotation basis determined by the health and seasonal peak performance of the species. Currently, you see more conifers and deciduous trees in winter form. Come early spring to see flowering bonsai.

kieranpierce on Trip Advisor

3 years ago

10/21/2018, 01:25 AM
Surprisingly impressive As an avid bonsai hobbyist, I was a little skeptical of a free bonsai court in Oakland because I have been to some incredible ones at other places. However, the collection here is extensive and beautiful and features some unique bonsais too! In addition, the signs they have next to the trees are far more descriptive than the average place, which is really cool to be able to get the additional context. If you live in the area or are visiting the area, I definitely recommend going. Parking is easy, free, and you can make the trip however quick or slow you like. The surrounding gardens are decent and worth walking through, but the highlight is the bonsai court (by a long shot).
Business Response:

Thank you Kieran P, The Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt volunteers love hearing from bonsai hobbyists like yourself. The bonsai garden has on display some historic and legacy bonsai from Japan and US estates, well known artists and hobbyists. The all volunteer force takes pride in displaying healthy, beautiful and wonderful specimen bonsai.

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