When dawn touches Mount Olomana, on Oahu's windward side, the breath of mist stirs, and the Koolau Mountains alight as an awakening dragon, Ann and Walter Liew begin the ritual of caring for and nurturing the world-renowned collection of bonsai they have been creating since 1955.
The Dragon Garden Bonsai Nursery (and its sister facility, the Hawaii Bonsai Culture Center) are located on 22 acres of farmland in Waimanalo nestled between the Mount Olomana and Oahu's Koolau Mountains. The location houses Walter Liew's world famous bonsai collection. There are more than 600 bonsai gracefully displayed on a two-acre lot.
The Hawaii Bonsai Culture Center offers a two-hour guided tour to interested participants. The tour consists of a 30-minute introduction to bonsai, a 20-minute bonsai demonstration and an hour-long guided tour of Mr. Liew's collection. The cost is $15 for general admission, $10 for Kama'aina, and $5 for students and senior citizens. Tour information is available on our Contact Us page.
About Walter Liew
Walter Liew was born in 1935 in China's Shang-Dong province, the birthplace of Confucius. At age 12, Liew moved to Taiwan with his family. After completing a master's degree in mathematics and teaching math for many years, he devoted himself to the study and practice of bonsai. Under the supervision of classical scholars and museum curators at the Ancient Palace Museum in Beijing, Walter developed an understanding of Chinese culture, history, philosophy and artistic values that he applies to his life's work today. He personally handled the art treasures of China that ended up in Taiwan after the People's Republic of China was formed in 1949.
Walter is a "classic scholar-farmer" and knows Chinese penjing masters Yee-sun Wu, Yunhua Hu, and Quingquan Zhao. One of Hawaii's masters of bonsai cultivation, he has accumulated one of the largest bonsai collections in the world through over 50 years of bonsai cultivation and research. In 2000, Bonsai Club International, with members in more than 38 countries, held its convention in Honolulu. The Hawaii Bonsai Culture Center was one of the focal points of interest for the Bonsai Club International and the members unanimously acknowledged Mr. Liew as having the largest bonsai collection.