Bonsai Exhibit at Lynden

Chinese Elm
Chinese elm

Reopening May 8, 2021
During its open season, the Bonsai Exhibit is open to the public Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays and by appointment. Free to members or with admission to the sculpture garden.

There are no borders in bonsai.
The dove of peace flies to palace
as to humble house,
to young as to old,
to rich and poor.
So does the spirit of bonsai.

--John Yoshio Naka

We are delighted to announce the opening of the Bonsai Exhibit at Lynden, a collaboration with the Milwaukee Bonsai Society and the Milwaukee Bonsai Foundation. There is a deep affinity between sculpture and bonsai: shared aesthetic concerns; attention to scale, form, and proportion. And just as we marvel at the way the sculptures in the collection appear to alter as the landscape changes with the seasons, the living matter of bonsai allows us to consider temporality in a different way. Large sculptures, small trees: complementary sides of the same coin.

Bonsai is the art of living sculpture. Using all the design elements of traditional sculpture with a non-traditional material–a live tree–bonsai combines the beauty of man-made sculpture with the harmony of nature. Like traditional sculpture, each bonsai tells a story. Unlike traditional sculpture, a bonsai is never “completed.” It continues to grow and change year after year.

Bonsai display the seasons just like their full-sized cousins living in the landscape. A flush of new buds appear in the spring. In the summer the buds turn to lush green foliage which then changes to brilliant color in the fall. Winter brings bare branches to the deciduous trees. This expression of time is a part of their beauty.

Located beside Big Lake, the Bonsai Exhibit includes a display area for bonsai, waterside teaching patio, and pollinator garden. The area will be a place to admire bonsai in season, to participate in workshops, or to enjoy the peaceful setting. Experience the beauty of bonsai and make a new connection between art and nature.

Workshops and Events

No sessions available.


May 31, 2019
Photo and description by Jack Douthitt.
Japanese Hawthorne in full bloom
Here is a picture of a bonsai that will be on special exhibit at the Bonsai Pavilion until its blossoms start to fade (probably a week or so). It is a Japanese Hawthorne in full bloom that was purchased from a bonsai nursery in 1992. Its estimated age is 40 years old. It is sitting just inside the entry gate so it can be viewed by visitors even when the exhibit is closed.

June 8, 2018
Photos and descriptions by Jack Douthitt.
Oriental Spruce
This is an oriental spruce. The new growth is a light green. It is enjoying sun on the patio.

Trident Maple
This is a trident maple. It had been grown as a bonsai for almost forty years. The red is not a blossom but the new leaves that are just beginning to open.

Azalea Bonsai
This an azalea Bonsai in full bloom. This variety of azalea often have flowers that are different colors. Often the flower buds are removed from azalea Bonsai since they draw a lot of energy from the tree, so it is a treat to see one in full bloom.

©2021 Lynden Sculpture Garden