Garden News Blog

Fall Color for Bonsai

Fall Color in the C.V. Starr Bonsai Museum
Fall color in the C.V. Starr Bonsai Museum. Photo by Claire Hansen.

Bonsai may seem quiet and still, but they are constantly and vigorously expressing the dynamism of life. Each season, they change personalities like people change clothes, often taking on a dramatically different look. Fall is no exception, and viewing the bonsai in the indoor setting of BBG’s C.V. Starr Bonsai Museum accentuates the feeling of fall, highlighting their vibrant, colorful glow.

I have arranged the bonsai to create a visual flow and rhythm as visitors move through the museum. This is important because, ideally, one should experience each bonsai individually for optimal affect. In a space full of bonsai, there is the risk of their canceling each other out. (Imagine trying to have an intimate conversation in a loud, crowded room.) By balancing the arrangement of the bonsai, I try to elevate their message of compassion and inspire a profound curiosity and love of nature. Having so many different shades of color to work with this time of year really makes it exciting. When I see visitors’ eyes light up as they enter this space, I know the bonsai are showing guests another perspective of fall—something to carry in their hearts.

Julian Velasco is the curator of the bonsai collection and C.V. Starr Bonsai Museum.
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