The Bonsai Exhibition Garden displays up to 50 bonsai specimens, including the Chinese elm, Japanese maple, bougainvillea, willow-leaf fig, bald cypress, and limber pine to name a few.
The art of bonsai, which began around 600 AD, is both a challenging and rewarding horticultural experience. The bonsai plants, trees, shrubs, and vines are grown and nurtured through constant attention to detail and displayed in special containers.
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The North Carolina Bonsai Exhibition Garden is truly unique, with the Southern Appalachian accent applied to its collection. Arthur Joura has been the Bonsai Curator at the arboretum since the program’s inception in 1992. Prior the being Curator in 1992, Joura was a utility worker at the arboretum and had no experience with bonsai. The conservatory received the plants as a donation from a woman in North Carolina, and Joura reluctantly agreed to tend to the collection of over 100 bonsai.
Since the woman was terminally ill, many of the plants were unsalvagable due to her inability to care for them. Joura, though resistant at first, thought the job could be a positive career move. He later acknowledged that his experience with bonsai was life-changing. The more ‘American-style’ approach to bonsai, is in essence, bonsai that reflects the local region. Joura presents an in-depth look at bonsai at The North Carolina Arboretum in a new six-part series of online talks for Adult Education Programs.
For classes and special events, visit the arboretum’s website. Outdoor garden hours are from May to November from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily. The indoor tropical bonsai display is open from November to April from 9:00 a.m – 5:00 p.m. daily.