Naka_125Hi, my name is Aarin Packard and I get to do what I love for a living, which is studying the Art of Bonsai.

Since I was a child I have been intrigued by these miniature potted trees. My fascination began as I watched my father take care of a small collection of bonsai in our backyard. When l was 20 I started to seriously study bonsai when two of my best friends each received a bonsai for Christmas.  Naturally I wanted one too and for that point on I set out to learn everything I could about the Art of Bonsai

In 2006 I was blessed with my dream job at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum in Washington D.C. Since becoming the Assistant Curator my knowledge of bonsai has grown exponentially as I continue to work with some of the finest bonsai outside of Japan.

My goal for the Capital Bonsai blog is to share what I am learning while promoting the Art of Bonsai in the 21st century. I want to emphasize that this is personal blog and that the information contained in it does not reflect the views of the U.S. National Arboretum, USDA, Federal Government, United States of America, the continent of North American, the Earth, Milky Way, or any alternate dimensions.

10 thoughts on “About

  1. Many thanks Aarin,

    This is a great blog on bonsai. Well written and designed and great photos. I look forward to future entries. Best regards,

    Cesar Portocarrero

  2. I have visited the Bonsai Museum many times. It is wonderful to see the diversity of the styles and types of bonsai represented in this world class collection. Of all the majestic art collections displayed at the Smithsonian only Bonsai represents a true and unique form of “Living Art”. Hats off to the curators who care for the specimens daily in such a way that each plant maintains it’s unique integrity as a living art form. With the passing of the seasons, each plant changes in its character making it an adventure to return to the Bonsai Museum over and over. I love the photo on the home page showing the plants dusted in snow. Keep up the great work!

  3. Aarin,

    I will be doing a talk for the Potomac Viewing Stone Group on Feb 17 at the arboretum. I’d enjoy meeting you if you happen to be around. I had two stones in the Huntington show this year. They were the ones with the black waves of bondo and the “nest” of bonsai wire for a base. I’ll be talking about contemporary strategies to displaying viewing stones.



  4. Hey Aarin,
    A little bit ago I was emailing back n forth with Danny Coffey about his apprenticeship in Japan. I had jokingly said to him that while he was in Japan I was gonna take over his volunteer position working with you at the museum. He told me that if I was serious to reach out to you. I live in York, Pennsylvania so I’m sure that’s a little far to be able to share any valuable volunteer time. But I do make it to the bonsai museum a couple times a year as it is one of my favorite places and my family enjoys traveling to DC to view the sites. With that said, is there anyway I could get involved with volunteering anytime at the bonsai museum or even just maybe getting a behind the scenes tour instead of just the basic “tourist” view of the bonsai on display in their respective pavilions? I am even willing to make more than just a couple times a year trip there if that is what it takes. Thanks for your time!

    Erick Schmidt

  5. Hi, I’m trying to contact you for an interview, however, you have no contact page on this site. So I’m using your comment feature. My name is Gary and I’m from The Bonsai Garden Podcast. Please contact me.

  6. Hey Aarin,
    First let me say I hope you had a great time in Japan. I can only imagine some of the bonsai you got to see and work with! You said about emailing you in February to see if you had any special projects are needed some extra hands with re-potting. I lost your email address from our previous conversations so this is the only way I could think of to contact you. If you need my assistance with anything please feel free to reach out to me. Email me at eschmidt1979@clear.net or phone at 717-586-5795.
    Thanks For your time Aarin,
    Erick Schmidt

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