The Art of Bonsai




The safety and well-being of our visitors, volunteers and staff is our highest priority during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a precautionary measure, all education and public programs scheduled until the end of May 2020 have been postponed. As more information becomes available, we will do our best to keep you updated.

For more information on the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please see our LATEST NEWS.

**If you have already booked into the workshops in March or May we will be in touch with your options and next steps.



Sunday 29 March - POSTPONED

Thursday 7 May - POSTPONED

Sunday 18 October - BOOK TICKETS

Time: 10am - 3pm

Venue: Mount Lofty Botanic Garden nursery (enter right through trade entrance before entering Lower Car Park off Lampert Road, Picadilly)

Tickets: $220 per person inc GST (a booking fee applies if purchased online - for phone bookings, please call 08 8222 9311). Your ticket includes lunch and the bonsai plant you work on in class.

Learn about the ancient art and science of bonsai in this popular one-day course at stunning Mount Lofty Botanic Garden in its behind-the-scenes nursery.

In this practical hands on course you will learn about the best horticultural practices to construct, grow and care for your very own bonsai.

Throughout this session you will be guided by one of our leading horticulturists as you explore tricky bonsai techniques such as correct watering and knowing when and how to prune and re-pot your bonsai.

At the end of the session you will get to take home your very own bonsai that you have constructed in class.

The course will also cover:

  • The history of bonsai
  • How to choose the best plant to suit your environment
  • Preparing and constructing your bonsai
  • Plant maintenance, including root pruning and repotting
  • Pest and disease control

Lunch is provided.

Presenter, Rob Hatcher

Rob has over 31 years’ experience in the horticultural industry and throughout his career has developed a keen interest and passion for Bonsai.

As Horticultural Supervisor at the Mount Lofty Botanic Garden, Rob oversees many of the Gardens international collections. Rob has lectured in bonsai cultivation at TAFE SA and his passion for bonsai has led him to some of the world’s most famous bonsai collections, including Seattle’s Pacific Bonsai Museum.

As a longstanding member of the South Australian Bonsai community, Rob has been called upon to judge the bonsai competition at the Royal Adelaide Show and annual end of year Northern Bonsai Club show.


Please note that the workshop will involve practical activities so appropriate footwear (closed shoes, no sandals) and gloves will be required.

Plant material cannot be brought to the Mount Lofty Botanic Garden Nursery as it may harbour soil and plant pathogens which could contaminate the nursery and garden's living collections.