Welcome to the Triangle Bonsai Society

Welcome to the website of the Triangle Bonsai Society (TBS). Although centered in the Triangle, we have active members living throughout the eastern half of North Carolina. TBS promotes the art of bonsai through meetings, lectures, workshops, and demonstrations, featuring local, regional, national, and international bonsai artists.

Monthly meetings are normally held at 1:30 pm the first Sunday of the month, at the Commons Building or Agricultural Extension Service, Wake County Office Park - 4011 Carya Dr, Raleigh, NC, 27610  Please consult our events page for the month's meeting schedule.

Our meetings are open, so if you are not yet a member, but may be interested in bonsai. Please come and visit us!

2016 NC State Fair Bonsai Critique from Owen Reich

2016 NC State Fair Winners

Best of Show: Joe Noga
People's Choice: Michael Markoff



1st Gabriele Monetti
2nd Hook Horton
3rd Ricky Barbour


1st Nicholas Bone
2nd Ricky Barbour
3rd None Awarded


1st Hook Horton
2nd Link Campbell
3rd Gabriele Monetti



1st Don Kimball
2nd Michael Markoff
3rd Barbara Holmes


1st Joe Noga
2nd Rob Hawkins
3rd Barbara Holmes


1st Joe Noga
2nd Michael Markoff
3rd Don Kimball

TBS Picnic and Club Auction is Sunday, June 5th

The annual TBS Picnic and Club Auction is Sunday, June 5th.  All members, spouses and children are invited to attend the picnic and auction.  The food will be ready for all to enjoy by 1:30PA.  If you want to view the items in the auction, arrive early to drop off your food as the auction immediately follows the picnic lunch.

The club will furnish hamburgers, hotdogs and all that goes with them.  The club provides the plates, cups, eating utensils and iced tea; members are asked to bring something savory or sweet to share with others.  If you attend you won't lack for plenty of great food!

After you eat your fill, get out your auction numbers (assigned at registration) and prepare to pursue many excellent values in bonsai, pre-bonsai, bonsai pots, books and whatever.  The club accepts cash (an all but forgotten form of payment) and checks.  We cannot process credit cards so remember to stop by a magic money machine at your bank or bring the checkbook.

If you have duplicate bonsai items or just something bonsai to pass along, donate it to the auction and help fund future programs and visiting bonsai artists.

Lake Crabtree County Park, 1400 Aviation Parkway, Morrisville, NC.  Exit 285 off Interstate 40 between Durham and Cary and a turn south brings you to the park entrance on the left.  The Beech Shelter, 3rd drive on the right is the picnic and auction area.  A children's playground (the Tot Lot) is located adjacent to the shelter and bathrooms are a short ways down a paved pathway.

Art in Bloom - NCMA - 2016

The Triangle Bonsai Society is looking for volunteers to serve as docents at our Art in Bloom display.  We are looking for help from Thursday, April 7 to Sunday, April 10.  If you would like to help please sign up for all times you are available. Your duty - answer questions about bonsai from the public.  We need three people per time slot and four or even five on Saturday and Sunday.  Remember if you can spell bonsai you know more than those viewing our trees. 

Art in Bloom is held at the West Building of the NC Museum of Art located at 211 Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh. More information will be provided after sign up.

Saturday, March 19, 2016 - Boon Manakivitipart Workshops

Workshop, 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM - Japanese maple workshop with two varieties of small growing maples. Age and rarity has determined a different fee for each.
Kashima - An older and rarer variety that is well branched with small leaves.
Kiyohime - The plants are nearly as old and well branched with small leaves.

Workshop, 1:30 AM – 4:30 PM - Bring your own tree - workshop Work on a tree(s) in your collection with an experienced teacher . Use this opportunity to learn what needs to be done now and also be prepared to take notes on the next steps. There is a maximum of 8 participants.

The workshop is in the Wake Co. commons Building, 4011 Carya Dr., Raleigh.

Completion of the registration form obligates you to pay for the workshop unless a replacement participant is identified. Please bring your check for the total of the workshop(s) to the workshops, March 19th.

Registrants will be enrolled on a first-come basis. You will be notified if you are in the workshop. Participation limited to members of the Triangle Bonsai Society. Please ensure that your dues are current before registering.

Saturday, March 5, 2016 - Bill Valavanis Workshops

Workshop, 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM - Sekka Hinoki Workshop - Rare in the US, compact growth habit and quite bushy allowing workshop participants to create an impressive bonsai in the workshop. There is a maximum of 10 participants.

Workshop, 1:30 AM – 4:30 PM - Bring your own tree - workshop Work on a tree(s) in your collection with an experienced teacher . Use this opportunity to learn what needs to be done now and also be prepared to take notes on the next steps. There is a maximum of 8 participants. Two Silent Observers will be permitted with a fee.

The workshop is in the Cooperative Extension AG Building, 4011 Carya Dr., Raleigh.

TBS 2016 Board Election

Please vote for 2 new Board Members by February 1, 2016

Merritt Barnett

I have been a member of TBS since 1998.  I have served in the past as Secretary, Newsletter Editor and Website Administrator.  I started the website for TBS in 2000.  I was a participant in the Joshua Roth New Talent Contest in 2007.  I completed Colin Lewis' Hoyoku school with other TBS members several years ago.  I am looking forward to serving TBS again!

Gabriele Monetti

Gabriele is a bonsai novice who spends most of his waking hours reading about bonsai, talking about bonsai, thinking about bonsai, and, above all, working on his trees. He has not missed a single TBS meeting or a workshop opportunity since he joined and he loves to contribute according to his current skill level. He collaborated on the display for the State Arboretum exhibit and he is working on the new exhibit for Art in Bloom. He is, by trade, a Mining Engineer, but he spent all of his career in the field of Information technology. He is currently a Director of Enterprise Architecture at Quintiles, the world's largest clinical research organization. He has been married to Dani for 22 years and he has a 19 year old son, Matteo, who is currently living 15 miles from Omiya Bonsai Village in Saitama.

Rick Raymer

I'm a beginner to bonsai with only 2 years experience. I'm currently enrolled in the two year "Intensives" series at the Bonsai Learning Center, and I try to attend as many other w orkshops and bonsai events as possible. I'm influenced most Arthur Joura, Bjorn Bjorholm, and Walter Pall - essentially, I believe in using a tree's natural growth patterns to mimic it's natural environment, or a simulated environment, growing apex and side growth dominant branching, that sets a scene in it's final potting, that is serene. Currently, my biggest bonsai specific challenge is to slow down and let the tree grow, which I accomplish by having 80+ trees outside, and at least as many orchids, in a greenhouse and inside growing area. I'm also challenged by Muscular Dystrophy, which is always progressing, and keeps me focused on being a grateful student. I am on full-time disability, and was previously a video game designer, with an industrial design degree. I am a great "idea man", but I depend on others much of the time to get the actual "muscle work" done.

Donald Kimball

I have benefited from my membership in the club. I believe in giving back.