The Rocky Mountain Bonsai Society


The word “Bon-sai” (often misspelled as bonzai or banzai) is a Japanese term which, literally translated, means “planted in a container”. This art form is derived from an ancient Chinese horticultural practice, part of which was then redeveloped under the influence of Japanese Zen Buddhism.

The Rocky Mountain Bonsai Society (RMBS) is a Denver Botanic Gardens affiliated Plant Society, a member society of the American Bonsai Society and Bonsai Clubs International.  RMBS was started in 1969 and has a proud lineage to the Denver Bonsai Club started by seven Japanese men in 1945.  Please see our history page for more information.
Bonsai are kept small by careful management of the plant’s growth while providing for its horticultural requirements.  Every species of plant has its own special needs.  Colorado's dry climate, cold winters and high altitude differs from what one finds in Bonsai books, Rocky Mountain Bonsai Society (RMBS) can help you succeed with bonsai. Our members have been teaching bonsai and developing private bonsai collections since 1969.  We work with Japanese bonsai species, cold hardy plants from the Rockies and even tropicals.
RMBS presents educational programs to members on some aspect of bonsai at 7:00PM on the first Tuesday of each month, except in December when its holds the annual holiday party.  Unless otherwise noted (on the website) these meetings are held at the Denver Botanic Gardens’ Plant Society Building; 1007 York Street, Denver, CO  80206.  
Eight months of the year members get together on the last Saturday of the month to work together on their individual trees and share their experiences.  Since 1973, RMBS has hosted a public bonsai exhibition at the Denver Botanic Gardens.  Members exhibit their best bonsai trees and Suiseki (Viewing Stones). ​In 2019 we will be hosting the 50th Annual Bonsai and Suiskei Show.
Wednesday Morning Gathering
Wednesday, March 13th - 9:00 - 11:30 AM
Wednesday, March 20th - 9:00 - 11:30 AM
Wednesday, March 27th - 9:00 - 11:30 AM
Denver Botanic Gardens; Chatfield Farms
8500 W Deer Creek Canyon Road; Littleton, CO 80128
​ | MAP
On most Wednesday mornings RMBS members and volunteers from the Denver Botanic Gardens (DBG) gather and work on their, or DBG bonsai trees.  It is an opportunity to chat with each other about their trees and receive tips and advice on their trees from other members.  Bring a tree to work on, tools, wire, etc. and enjoy the company of other bonsai enthusiasts.* Please note that this event may be cancelled due to inclement weather.
Monthly Meeting - April
Tuesday, April 2nd - 6:30 - 9:00 PM
Denver Botanic Gardens' Plant Society Building
1007 York Street, Denver, CO  80206
SHORT PROGRAM - Bonsai Stands with RMBS Members Patrick Allen and Dan Kingery
The role of bonsai display stands, called dai or daiza in Japanese, is for the aesthetic function of raising the bonsai pot above the surface of the table or floor, providing it with a sense dignity and prominence and being highly decorative.  Not all bonsai stands do not have to be that expensive, and if you have the skills, you might even be able to make one.  Patrick and Dan will discuss where to find some excellent stands locally and how to go about making one.
MAIN PROGRAM - Bougainvilla as a Bonsai with RMBS Members Patrick Allen and Bob Randall
The Bougainvillea is an evergreen shrub with little trumpet-shaped flowers which grow in clusters of three and come with three bright papery bracts.  The flowers appear in terminal or axillary tufts from summer to autumn if the plant gets enough light and heat.  Bougainvillea are fast growing, tolerate pruning well and are well suited for most bonsai styles. As they are subtropical plants, they can't endure frost and need temperatures around 50° F – 59° F. 
RMBS members Patrick Allen and Bob Randall will discuss their experiences having Bougainvillea in their bonsai collections.
Saturday Study Group - Repotting Workshop, Bonsai Pot Sale and/or Exchange
Saturday, April 13th - 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Central Christian Church
3690 Cherry Creek South Drive; Denver, CO 80209
Please join us for our annual Saturday repotting workshop.  This year we are asking members to bring bonsai pots they would like to sell or exchange for other bonsai pots. 
There will be a workspace where members can repot some of their bonsai trees and receive help and guidance from other members.  Always a great time to socialize with your fellow bonsai enthusiasts.