On Dec. 2, 1975, a small group of people with a common interest in bonsai met and, as a result of that meeting, Sho Fu Bonsai Society was formed.
Sho Fu literally translates as “wind in the pines”, but to club members it has meant so much more. For 40 years, Sho Fu has meant sharing an interest in a centuries-old art form. It means an informative monthly meeting where people can learn more about bonsai, camaraderie with an interesting cross section of people, and it is a place where world-renowned bonsai masters teach their art to an ever growing audience.
In 2007 Sho Fu undertook collaboration with Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, and put together a world-class permanent bonsai exhibit through donations from club members, maintaining the trees of the exhibit with volunteers from the Sho Fu membership. This exhibit is visited by the more than 140,000 people who come to Selby Gardens each year. Many people, for the first time, can actually see bonsai trees on display, and enjoy the beauty of this ancient art form.
Sho Fu Bonsai Society, Inc. participates every year in the annual Plant & Garden Festival at Selby Gardens. During this weekend in February, a temporary bonsai exhibit– with trees from members’ and other area bonsai clubs from Tampa to Ft Myers collections– is set up in addition to the permanent exhibit. This festival is attended by upwards of 3000 people each spring. Bonsai demonstrations are presented throughout the weekend, and packets of information on bonsai are distributed.
The outreach program takes our art into area schools, to garden clubs, to homeowner associations, and many other venues where people want to learn more about bonsai. Club volunteers are always eager to share their knowledge with others.
Sho Fu membership is expanding rapidly, and many younger people are showing a marked interest in joining and participating in meetings. Workshops are held throughout the year to help members, both old and new, increase their knowledge of bonsai.
Sho Fu Bonsai Society, Inc. is entering the future with a renewed sense of optimism that this art will endure for centuries to come.