I had a friend who loved bonsai. He tended to his little tree with such care and dedication. He made sure it got enough water and light, tenderly touch the branches while examining them, and pruned them to perfection. He always seemed at peace while doing it. It became much more than a hobby, it became a way to express his creativity, time for him to reflect or mediate, essentially it was a therapy session.


While I never took up the art myself, mostly due to my terrible track record with plants (I managed to kill a succulent), I have always associated bonsai trees with inner peace, because of him. Even just looking at them is enough to create calm. You will find this wonderful feeling of serenity all over the Bonsai at Bishopsford Nursery.

Gail Theron, owner and founder of Bonsai at Bishopsford,  fell in with the artform decades ago. She left her job as a radiographer, trained as nurseryman and opened her own nursery together with her husband in 1980. Initially, she taught herself how to grow bonsai. Eager to add to their knowledge of this Oriental hobby, Gail and Lionel travelled extensively in Asia and attended conventions both locally and internationally. Gail also served as a committee member of Cape Bonsai Kai for 34 years. All in all she has accumulated 45 years of knowledge and experience with bonsai, that she willingly shares at Bishopsford Nursery.


Whether you are a beginner or an expert, you will find anything and everything you need at Bonsai at Bishopsford Nursery. There are pots, tools, soil, mesh, starter trees, fertiliser, pestcare and penjing. If you are in need of some, or all of these tool, Gail, Lionel or their daughter Debbie are on hand to  advise you.

In addition to selling all the essentials, Bonsai at Bishopsford Nursery also offer introductory and advanced Bonsai courses, create your own bonsai courses, workshops, repotting, designing and pruning and boarding services. To see when they are holding specific workshops, check out their website. Their website also graciously gives you advice on where to position your bonsai, watering, fertilising, disease control, pruning and potting for the specific time of year in Cape Town. This way, you always have a handy guide to ensure your bonsai is healthy and happy.


They also have a beautiful garden for you to explore, if you (like me) are not suited to taking care of your own bonsai, you can still enjoy their beauty at Bishopsford Nursery. There you will see Gail, Lionel and Debbie’s incredible collection of bonsais. Bonsai enthusiasts from all over the world have come to Bonsai at Bishopsford Nursery, and agree that it is absolutely beautiful!

To find out more about Bishopsford Nursery’s story check out this wonderful video that explains how Gail and Lionel started their passion project:

bonsai from jan ras on Vimeo.

When Monday – Sunday 9 am – 4:30 pm
Where 3 Muscat Lane,  South Nova, Constantia
Contact +27 79 306 6900,  [email protected], www.bishopsfordbonsai.blogspot.co.za

Photography courtesy

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