The Blue Ridge Bonsai Society supports and promotes the art of bonsai in the region around Asheville, NC. We meet together monthly, providing companionship, education,  and workshops from beginner to advanced level and we exhibit in various shows during the year.

Goal for 2020: To help each member gain in knowledge of how to develop a show-quality bonsai.

- Members will be encouraged to create a written plan describing the future development of each tree. (This is useful for tracking what works and what does not.)

- Meeting activities in February, April, July, and August contribute to these goals.

2020 Meetings and Events

All meetings are located at the Asheville Botanic Gardens 

unless otherwise stated. 


Jan. 12 Wiring workshop with Rebecca Ayres, a wiring expert from the NC Arboretum.

After Rebecca's  presentation, we divided into small groups to practice and wire trees brought by members. 


Feb. 7 - Jesse McMahon presented principles of bonsai design, based on de Groot's well-known book.


MAR. 8 - Tom Snow, who is a bonsai volunteer at the NC Arboretum, leads a repotting workshop. (Bring your own tree, tools, and potting soil.)



Apr. 19 (not 12th) - Members, please bring one of your trees that is closest to being ready for show. We  will break up into small groups, each led by an experienced member, review each tree and discuss and document its future development. We will also choose trees for our World Bonsai Day Exhibit at the NC Arboretum on May 9 and 10.

The Carolina Bonsai Expo at the NC Arboretum is now being held in June, so this meeting is also our first review for trees that are ready to be included in our exhibit this year at the Bonsai Expo.


May 9 and 10 -  BRBS World Bonsai Day Exhibit at the NC Arboretum. 


June 13-14 - 2020 Carolina Bonsai Expo. Special event at NC            Arboretum. The EXPO HAS BEEN CANCELLED  FOR THIS YEAR BECAUSE OF COVID-19

June 28 (4th Sunday) Kusamono (companion plant) workshop with Young Choe, a professional in this specialized field. See http://kusamonochoe.com for her website. Cancelled

July 12 - Field trip to a local nursery to discuss how to choose beginner trees. Details being arranged. Exact date may change. Cancelled

Aug. 15 and 16: Online tree and pot sale.

Sept. 6 12:30 - 4:30 Meet and greet and BYO tree at the Etowah Valley Golf Club. (More information on this page.)  

Sunday, Oct. 4 -    Demonstration by Daniel Coffey using nursery stock purchased at Mountain Meadows. Start at 1:30. Watch your email for changes. 

Other Sundays in October: Field trips to Mountain Meadows are being arranged for anyone interested. Mountain Meadows specializes in dwarf conifers. 



Nov.  8 -  Annual BRBS pot luck and auction


Dec.  5-6 2020 Winter Silhouette Bonsai Expo

Special Event in Kannapolis, NC.  No regular meeting this month.

As of April, our planned meetings for 2020 were cancelled until further notice because of COVID-19 restrictions. We hope to be able to resume activities sometime in the summer. Watch your email for news from President Peggy Snow.

Our meeting place, the Asheville Botanical Gardens, is closed until further notice.  The Carolina Bonsai Expo for 2020 was cancelled for the year, and the grounds of the NC Arboretum--including the bonsai garden--were closed for several months. 

Updates as of September 12:

  • Our meeting place, the  visitors' center at the Asheville Botanical Gardens, has been closed Since April. As of August 1, there is still no news on when it may reopen and be available for  our meetings.

  • All trails and gardens at the the NC Arboretum are now open. The bonsai garden is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily.

  • Next year's Carolina Bonsai Expo will be held on June 12 & 13, 2021.

  • We have rebooked Young Choe's kusamono workshop  for June 27, 2021.

  • Our October meeting will be at the Pavillion at the Etowah Golf Club with a presentation by Daniel Coffey. 

  • Chris and Peggy are organizing field trips on other Sundays in October to Mountain Meadows.

Biggest News--BRBS is active again!


  • BRBS 2020 Online Plant and Pot Sale

On August 15th and 16th, we held our first-ever sale of donated bonsai and pots on our website. Members picked up their purchases on the following Saturday morning in the parking lot of the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

The club made over $1,000. members got some very nice trees and pots at very good prices, and "social distancing" was maintained throughout. 

  • Sept. 6th: 12:30 - 4:30 at the open Pavilion at the Etowah Valley Golf Club.


We had a good time seeing each other again live and working on trees. See the Special Notice / Recent Events page for some pictures

  • Oct. 4th: 1:30 - 4:30 (?) at the open Pavilion at the Etowah Valley Golf Club.

We will maintain "social distancing," so bring a mask.

Etowah is about 25 miles from Asheville. The Pavilion is on Brickyard Road.

Click this link for directions:


Suggested Activities while we wait:


New! The Washington Post has a really beautiful article on Young Choe. Click here to read it:



New! The NC Arboretum has published a video of Arthur Joura, their Bonsai Curator, discussing and repotting the Graveyard Fields landscape. Click here to watch it:




Take care of your trees and write their histories! 

Some of our most experienced members got together and designed a document to help you do this. Download a copy here:


Learn more! (Have you looked at all the best known references?) Go to the Library page of this website to download our new one-page bonsai reference list. One-page map to wisdom!

See Special Notices page for
  • Our election results
  • A special award
  • An interview with Felix
  • A link to more on Yuji Yoshimura by William Valavanis of International Bonsai.
See the Tips, Advice, and More page for
  • New advanced online courses from Bjorn, and a link to a review of these courses by Jonas Dupuich of Bonsai Tonight
See the Photo Gallery page for pictures of three bonsai exhibits taken by our roving photographer, Stuart Rogers:
  • The 2019 Winter Silhouette Show in Kannapolis in December​
  • The National Bonsai and Penjing Museum in Washington, DC
  • Knoxville Bonsai Society's Winter Show in February, 2020
  • See the Photo Gallery page for pictures of our club display at the 2019 Carolina Bonsai Expo and some other remarkable trees from this Expo. .
Meeting Times & Location 
Our regular meetings are held on the second Sunday of each month from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm in the meeting room at the
                    Asheville Botanical Gardens
                    151 W. T. Weaver Blvd    28804
Please go to the About Us page for driving directions and a map.
Membership in the Blue Ridge Bonsai Society is open to anyone interested in the art of bonsai from the totally inexperienced to professionals.
Our annual dues are $30 for single memberships and $35 for families. More information is on the About Us page. Please feel free to attend a meeting or two before deciding to join.