Advanced Bonsai Design - A Performance

This program will be held in the outdoor UMB Bank Amphitheater to allow for open air social distancing, masks are required.

Please bring low chairs or a blanket for outdoor seating.


Join us for a beautiful evening of bonsai design at Denver Botanic Gardens open air classroom. Bonsai Specialist Larry Jackel will lead a demonstration and discussion of techniques used to develop wild/collected material from the Front Range into bonsai. Three artists from the Rocky Mountain Bonsai Society develop the plant material as Larry describes and discusses their unique work.

Presenting Artists:

Todd Schlafer - Todd is a past president of the Rocky Mountain Bonsai Society, was named the 2012 Rocky Mountain Bonsai Society Artist of the Year and is the 2016 winner of Best North American Species Award for his Colorado Blue Spruce at the National Bonsai Exhibition in Rochester, New York.

Adam Johnson - Adam first studied Bonsai under artist Hal Sasaki, soon after meeting Larry Jackel to become part of the Rocky Mountain Bonsai Society. He was named the 2019 Rocky Mountain Bonsai Society Artist of the Year.

Paul Koenning - As an arborist, Paul loves studying tree growth patterns and how specific species respond to environmental conditions. Realizing similarities in growth patterns between differing species guides Paul s approach to styling bonsai and pushing their boundaries. Investigating and understanding how trees respond to environmental conditions, is for Paul, where beauty is captured.

Larry Jackel - Larry saw his first bonsai at the Midwest Show in 1972 and has been actively studying bonsai and acquiring trees ever since. A move to Denver in 1976 connected Larry with the Rocky Mountain Bonsai Society, which provided the nurturing necessary for Larry to become proficient in the art and craft of bonsai. Larry chooses trees from the Front Range for bonsai, particularly the ponderosa pine but also the limber pine, bristlecone pine, pinion pine, Douglas fir and the Rocky Mountain juniper. Larry has had the opportunity to teach about these conifers in lectures, demonstrations and workshops across the country. In the spring of 2012, he joined the horticulture staff at Denver Botanic Gardens as its bonsai specialist. He develops and maintains the bonsai collection displayed in the Bill Hosakawa Bonsai Pavilion.

All lecture programs: $40 member, $45 non-member. Space is limited so register early!




A limited offering of adult education programming will follow social distancing protocols, with advanced registration and seating in a room or outdoors with students separated by at least six feet and wearing face coverings.


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