If you get the chance to visit Deer Meadow Bonsai, go.
Deer Meadow Bonsai
Deer Meadow Bonsai is located an hour and a half north of San Francisco, just outside the charming town of Occidental (try Howard’s Cafe when you visit). From Occidental, wind your way through redwoods for 10 minutes and you’re there.
What is Deer Meadow Bonsai? A unique bonsai nursery in a beautiful setting. A brief history: in 1995 Jim Gremel moved his bonsai from a small Berkeley backyard to five acres near Occidental – thus Deer Meadow Bonsai was born. Gremel is well-known for his styling – he won the top award at the 1st National Bonsai Exhibit – for his teaching, his good humor, for creating bonsai from scratch, and for selling some of the best available copper wire used for bonsai.
Whence the copper wire? Gremel is also a fine arts potter – annealing copper wire yields useful material for glazes.
Today Gremel’s focus is bonsai.
Cedar from above
Pine and cedars
In recent years, Deer Meadow Bonsai has featured more and more collected material.
Admiring a large sierra juniper
Improvised pot with chicken wire
Healthy shoots – juvenile foliage in the process of turning mature
My recent visit was on the occasion of Gremel’s annual open house, an event scheduled to coincide with REBS’ annual exhibit. After enjoying the exhibit, I headed west to Deer Meadow Bonsai along with other exhibit goers.
Dan Robinson investigating a Colorado spruce
The event was appreciated by all, and as on every visit to Deer Meadow, I saw trees I hadn’t seen before.
Shimpaku – Tanuki
Next up – bonsai development at Deer Meadow.
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