Best Bonsai: Serenest spot

Lakeside Park Demonstration Garden

Sure, you’ve been soothed by a stroll through Lakeside Park’s lush botanical garden. But have you ventured into its even-more-serene inner sanctum? Likely not, unless you’ve happened upon the walled-in Demonstration Garden, as it is formally known, during its public hours. (Wednesdays-Fridays 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., Saturdays 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.; Sundays noon-4:00 p.m.) You should change that, because the meticulously manicured spot is home to about fifty of the most spectacular bonsai trees you are ever likely to see. The trees are “collected,” meaning they were dug up from some out-of-the-way mountainside, or tended from scratch. They range in age from a couple decades to a couple centuries. So go ahead. Admire the knotty bases. Lose yourself in the complex architecture of the leafless branches. Have some deep thoughts. Just don’t try taking one of the little guys home with you. There’s a security system, it works, and you’ll end up in jail. But don’t think about that, because it defeats the point.

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