Welcome in our Botanical garden of bonsaï Shizen-do


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Jardin Arboretum de Bonsaï presents an exceptional collection of bonsai, result of twenty years of work and experience, made of native species (conifers and foliate trees) including one of the most important collection in Europe of century-old pine and yew trees.

The indicated tour is up to your rhythm, around the Japanese gardens (watery garden, tea garden and zen dry garden) under the cool shade of century-old pines and holm-oaks, inviting you to take time for contemplation.


The Bonsai Arboretum Collection

This outstanding collection of over 80 bonsai trees is the result of 20 years of work and expertise. The bonsai tree collection at the aroboretum is the creation of Patrice Bongrand, owner and an internationally renowned artist.

Bonsai trees are typically described as « living master piece» and are a reflection of the true collaboration between man and nature. As bonsai trees constanly evolve, the grower must ensure that they are alwyas well nurtured. They are indeed a true work of art and can often take up to between 15 and 20 years to grow.

The collection at the Bonsai Arboretum in Mialet is made up of 25 native species ( conifer and broadleaf.)

Enjoy and explore one of Europe's most important collections of native pines and yew trees.


The bonsai tree

Bonsai盆栽, lit. plantings in tray, from bon, a tray or low-sided pot and sai, a planting or plantings. Despite its size, the bonsai tree draws inspiration from the notion of an old tree in an unspoilt nature. Whether willow, winding or in full bloom its silhouette seems as though it has slowly been sculpted by the elements over the centuries.


The bonsai tree goes back many years. Cultivating bonsai trees began around 14th century in China. The first references to the bonsai tree appear on the Kasuga's tomb manuscripts of the Kamakura period (1192 - 1333) and several painted rolls of the same era illustrate bonsai trees daily life scenes of the Heian period (794 - 1191) which would suggest that bonsai culture in Japan goes back around 1220 years.

The bonsai tree was first reserved to nobility and Zen monks and Shintoïst priest who would see a way to establish a link with Nature, mother of Life. Always carrying a religious and philosophical symbolism, the bonsai tree crossed at the beginning of  the twentieth century every social layers and  became as popular as we know it today. 


As of man, the tree stands, feet on the ground and head to the sky. The bonsai tree then links symbolically the earth to the sky. As for the Ikebana, we constantly find Sky - Earth - Man.

The bonsai tree symbolises Eternity. It is an inner reflection and eternal spirit youth in the ever-flowing time continuum, offering a beautiful patina (wabi-sabi) to things and living beings.

The art of bonsai is resumed by the research of perfection. It means that on an aged bonsai tree, we cannot detect any human intervention.

By giving a form to the tree with different skills, Man learns humility and patience. He becomes conscious of the growth process and future. The bonsai tree symbolises Time abolition because it imposes a repetitive work, conveying principles of moral and religious education.

Bonsai practice is a way (do), a spirituality that links to the world of the living. There is no cheating possible in the art of nursering a bonsai. A bonsai tree is a living being ; it bears all the love the bonsaiist gave.

Every tree, as every individual, is unique. It has in itself a Life and Freedom summary that causes fascination, admiration and respect.


The Japanese Gardens

In Japan, there are 3 traditional styles of gardens:

The Tsukiyama

Ponds, streams, hills, stones, trees, lights, bridges and pathways are the main aspects found in Tsukiyama gardens. They are used to create miniature gardens that draw inspiration from natural landscapes and well-known mountain landscapes in Japan. Such gardens can be viewed from various vantage points. For the Tsukiyama in front of you, we were inspired by the Mialet valley due to its river, roach, waterfalls and rocks. Boxwod shrubs (karikomi) are typical in Japanese gardens; here we can picture a few trees or mountains. This is a symbolic representation of a communal space that unites us to feel at one with nature.

The Chaniwa

Chaniwagardens (literally tea gardens) are a simple design and are usually walled. They are designed to create a feeling of solitude and detachment from the world. They surround the chashitsu (the main tea room) where a tea ceremony is performed (cha no yu). This ceremony is based on 4 elements that are found in the garden: Wa (peace and harmony), Kei (respect), Sei (purity), Jaku (calmness).

The Chaniwa garden is made up of 3 parts: a pathway (roji) that allows one to let go of their daily worries and stress;  a water basin (tsukubaï) where guests purify themselves and await before partaking in the tea ceremony. The island in the middle represents Japan. The placement of the stepping stones that lead to the main tea room is a hallmark feature of this garden type. The Oribe lantern is made of stone and shares its name with the famous Japanese tea master.

The Kare sansui

The famous Karesansui or 'dry landscapes' are often referred to as zen gardens. We find the same concepts in all Japanese gardens; carefully composed arrangements of rocks. The arrangement of five rocks(always an odd number) are a symbol of a  sacred Buddhist island. Crane and tortoise islands belong in this category and other rocks consist of other mountain islands. The sea is symbolized by grey gravel or sand and the state of the sea is expressed by sand patterns created by raking the sand to form certain designs. The tortoise island is the dragon island (telluric strength). The lantern would be the eye and the bamboo would be the tail.


Opening Hours:

- From 1st March to 11th November:everyday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 19:00 p.m.

- From 12th November to 20th December and from 1st March to 31st March: opened only on Saturday and Sunday from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

-From 21st December to 5th January: openedeverydayfrom 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.


-From 6th January to 28th February.


Entry Fees:

Access to the Arboretum: 7 € for adults and children above 12: 3.50 € (4 to 12 years old).

Guided Tour (6 people minimum, with reservation only): 9 €/each, at 10:00 a.m. and at 4:00 p.m.


Contact us:

Jardin Arboretum de Bonsaï

Route départementale 50

30140 Mialet



Patrice Bongrand : 09 64 47 22 78 - 04 66 43 39 04


Find us :

The Jardin Arboretum de Bonsaï Shizen-do is situated about 3 miles from Mialet (Gard), ½ mile from the bridge “des Abarines”, 3 miles from Saint-Jean-du Gard.

15 mn away from Bambouseraie d’Anduze.