Earlier this month I had the opportunity to visit the Clark Bonsai Collection at the Shinzen Friendship Garden in Fresno’s Woodward Park.
The Clark Collection is one of three GSBF-sponsored bonsai gardens in California. It opened in 2015 and features 140 bonsai, a rotating selection of which is on display at any given time.
The trees are situated in a garden-like environment with filtered light. Each display includes detailed information about the species and/or specimen to address common visitor questions.
Clark Bonsai Collection
Bob Hilvers has been the driving force behind the garden since its inception nearly eight years ago. Bob, together with a strong core of volunteers, deserves massive credit for making the garden what it is today.
Last fall, the CBC named Julian Tsai as the garden’s Professional Garden Advisor. Julian works with collection volunteers to establish and maintain best practices for keeping trees healthy while guiding future development.
Original artist: Sherwin Amimoto
The weather was perfect when I visited which made it easy to enjoy the trees on display. Here are some of the highlights.
Original artist: Vincent Owyoung
Artist: Bob Hilvers
Texas cedar elm
If you get the chance to visit the Clark Bonsai Collection, be sure to save time for a stroll through the Shinzen Friendship Garden – it’s a great garden!
Pond and bridge at the Shinzen Friendship Garden
You can plan your visit, learn about upcoming exhibits, and discover volunteer and donor opportunities at the Clark Bonsai Collection website.
News & Updates
- This weekend the Bay Area Satsuki Aikokai and the Yamato Bonsai Kai are hosting a joint show at the Lake Merritt Garden Center located at 666 Belleview Ave in Oakland, CA. Hours are 10-5 Saturday and 10-4 Sunday (May 20-21). Come for a BASA club demo at 1pm Saturday and a Yamato club demo at 1pm Sunday. Member tree sales and vendor area both days.
- Yes, we’re still working on the Pacific Bonsai Expo commemorative album – thank you for your patience! We’re currently proofing test copies from the printer and plan to kick off the first print run ASAP. We’ll send out the books out as soon as we get them back from the printer. For more info about the book, see the Pacific Bonsai Expo website.
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scott chadd says
The back story of the creation of the Clark Bonsai Collection at the Shinzen Garden is a marvel of good luck, hard work, dedication, imagination and a vision of the future. Bob Hilvers has been dedicated to the success of this collection and is the person who makes it go. Much of the collection are “legacy” bonsai from older Japanese persons in central California. The collection can take some pride in maintaining these bonsai in the style envisioned by the original artist. Thus, helping portray the heritage of bonsai in California from the 1950’s.
Geary Smith says
Thanks for sharing photos of those amazing bonsai and the beautiful Shinzen Friendship Garden. Both are a visual treat and truly inspirational.