The Japanese art of bonsai originated in China as the practice known as penjing. Early in Chinese history, trees and other plants were collected from the wild and grown in containers. The practice moved to Japan many centuries ago through social and economic interaction with China. Over the years, both countries developed various techniques that we continue to use in creating bonsai today. The Japanese word bonsai translates to "tree in a shallow pot." Though some plants in our collection date back to the early 1900s, bonsai were not part of our displays during the time of our founder, Pierre S. du Pont. In 1959, five years after Pierre’s death, renowned bonsai artist Yuji Yoshimura presented a class in our Continuing Education program. It was so well received that our staff members decided we should have some bonsai of our own.