Weyerhaeuser Bonsai Garden & Learning Center
Adjacent to the flagstone walkway leading to the Garden of the Pine Wind or Asian Garden is the Weyerhaeuser Bonsai Garden. The intimate garden, hidden from the main trail by a coppice of small trees, is a showplace for bonsai (bone-sigh) - the ancient art of growing miniaturized forms of trees and bushes in trays or shallow pots. Two generous grants from the Weyerhaeuser Foundation funded the bonsai garden, designed by David Slawson, a landscape garden artist trained under Kinsaku Nakane, one of Japan's renowned garden masters.
Approximately 30 bonsai are displayed against vertical sandstone slab backdrops and square boulders of Ouachita quartzite along the gardens’ tranquil cul-de-sac, complete with a minuscule stone footpath bridge. The small, diverse collection is comprised of dwarf pines, elms, azaleas, junipers, and other plant subjects trained in the Japanese tradition of bonsai and the Chinese tradition of penjing. Curator Paula Campbell, who has attended various bonsai trainings in Seattle, nurtures the miniature trees for the enjoyment of the public.
The accompanying Weyerhaeuser Bonsai Learning Center, fashioned in traditional Japanese architecture with the roof as the dominant feature, offers indoor space for hosting educational workshops and tending to the bonsai specimens. Special acknowledgement goes to the Hot Springs Village Woodworkers Club for volunteering their time and talents to its construction.