Monday, March 30, 2009

Best viewing on Beacon Hill

I first fell in love with the topiary aesthetic when working briefly in
Japan 10 years ago. Clearly there was a simple traditional Asian
influence at play in the walled gardens, shrines and temples of Kyoto,
but it had grown past this into a more modern art form that could be
found in the hippest neighborhoods of Tokyo.

Fast forward 10 years later and I’m living on Beacon Hill. With it’s
large Asian population combined with the laid back west coast lifestyle
it has become a perfect breeding ground for a fashionable Bonsai that is less
feng shui and more funk-schway. Beacon Hill hosts a variety of well groomed bushes that are just as much at home in front of mid-century modernist architecture as the classic Beacon Hill Bungalow and every variety in between, this website is dedicated to the love of that aesthetic and of the tragic and amazing baggage that comes with it.

Having said all of that after walking the circumference of the hill, I
think that the area with the highest percentage of Bonsai is the few
blocks immediately west of Jefferson Park. I found myself unable to
walk down one side of the street and instead zig zagged back and forth
admiring all of the well trimmed hedges. So if you don’t feel like
walking 18 miles but you would still like to experience a little bonsai
whiplash from admiring a lot of well trimmed shrubbery than I would
recommend this part of the neighborhood.

CLARIFICATION: I'm talking about the blocks a few blocks west and south west of Jefferson park on the other side of 15th. Probably 13th Ave S is the best street.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Slow Version- Behi Bonsai Urban Safari

Ok, I got some requests from some plant purists wanting a slower version with more Bonsai, so here is another short sampler. Still trying to dig my way through all of the photos, more coming soon....

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Urban Bonsai Safari Complete!

Ok folks, it's been a really long day, but my dog and I walked around the entire perimeter of Beacon Hill. I've seen a lot, I've learned a lot and according to Google maps I've walked about 18 miles today. I took about 400 photos so it is going to take me awhile to sort through everything and present everything I've found. In the meantime I thought you might enjoy this little movie, it's my entire journey squished down to a minute and twenty seven seconds. It's mostly just pictures of well groomed shrubs, but I threw in a bunch of random everything to make it more interesting. Enjoy!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bad news/Good news

Weyerhaeuser had a really cool bonsai collection open to the public, but they are now closing it due to budget cuts.

In other news, HGTV is running a show called 'A Man Named Pearl' (available on DVD) about Pearl Fryar that has an amazing topiary garden in Texas that is worth checking out. I hope to see it some day.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Urban Bonsai Safari

I've decided that this Wednesday, March 25 I'm going on a full walking safari tour of Beacon Hill in search of the most exotic bonsai. Armed only with my camera and a note pad I am planning on walking a giant circumference through the residential areas from Pac Med down to the furthest southern reaches of Beacon Hill and everything in between.

I may not survive this perilous journey, but if I do not return know that I died doing what I love, searching for the ultimate bonsai of the universe.

p.s. If there is anything specific that you think I should check out that day, please let me know at behi.bonsai (at)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

new email/contact info behi.bonsai (at)

Sorry Everyone, I'm just figuring this out and I'm amazed that anyone else has found this site/cared to join in the fun. Clearly I am not the only one that has realized this special feature about our neighborhood and this blog has touched a nerve. I'm happy for anything and everything that anyone cares to share and I will be happy to share it with the rest of the world. I just created an email account just for this and you can send me your ideas to behi.bonsai (at)

I'm still working out new ways for people to share but here is one that comes to us from leveckemas
What could be better than Beacon Hill, bushes and bunnies all combined? Located somewhere along 17th?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

lone soldier

I call this one the Lone Soldier. It is perfectly clipped and trimmed, yet it is the only bush in their yard. Seeing this sad and lonely plant makes me ask the bigger questions in life. Why does this bush exist? What is this bush doing here? Why is this bush so very alone?

Thanks to everyone for your interest in Behi Bonzai, I am still working out the kinks but I'm developing ways for more community participation. Thanks! photo by D. Kitty

Friday, March 13, 2009

Beacon Hill Blog Kudos

Thanks Beacon Hill Blog for the recognition. I'm kind of new to the hill and I'm just starting to poke around and see what's out there. I promise lots of great things to come!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cookie Monster

They seem like they were trying to go somewhere specific with this one. But I'm not sure what. Any ideas? To me I think that it looks kind of like Cookie Monster with those two eyes on top.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I call this one Bonzilla for obvious reasons. It is the king monster of all Beacon Hill Banzai, could I ever find one greater?

Monday, March 9, 2009

walk the line

please excuse my poor photography, but this was a pretty groovy line of tricked out bushes. Near the viewpoint park on the west side of Beacon Hill

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

tree torture

somehow, this tree does not seem like it is having a good time. It is being formed into a shape that it does not want to be shaped into. I guess maybe that is the point.


the classic lollipop look

Turtle twins!!!


Can you see the little turtle on top of the bigger turtle?