About Herons - Welcome to Herons Bonsai

Herons Bonsai, founded by Dawn and Peter Chan in 1986, is Britain's premier Bonsai nursery. On its extensive seven and half acre landscaped site you can relax and enjoy all aspects of this fascinating hobby. It is literally a Bonsai heaven for anyone interested in the pastime. The sheer scale of the site and the range and selection of trees makes Herons a 'must visit' venue for both bonsai enthusiasts and gardeners alike. It isn't surprising why we continue to be Britain's Number 1 bonsai centre! You only have to look at this web site to see what we have to offer, and when you visit us - you will know why we are still simply THE best in the UK
A view of the pond in the Japanese garden area.
Gardens around the nursery in Spring. We are specialist Acer or Maple growers, so we have thousands of Acers on site for you to choose from.
A view of some of our Acers/Maples in early Spring
Maples and Satsukis in May
Entrance to one of our many display areas.

Herons is more than just a nursery or bonsai shop - it was founded by bonsai enthusiasts for bonsai enthusiasts. We are more interested in sharing with you the love of bonsai than just selling you a tree or pot. In a word, bonsai is a way of life here and it shows when you visit our nursery. There is always a warm welcome awaiting you. We have visitors from all over the world who come here to view our famous bonsai trees and to meet Peter.
Peter on one of his visits to Japan

Peter Chan is the doyen of bonsai in the UK and well known for his record tally of 21 Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medals, a feat no other bonsai specialist has ever achieved. Many throughout the world have been inspired to take up bonsai as a hobby after reading one or more of his nine books. His first book 'Bonsai-The Art of Growing and Keeping Miniature Trees', is still in print in eight languages. And just a few years ago, he was commissioned by the Readers Digest to write 'Bonsai Secrets' which is a world best seller and in Sept 2014, 'The Bonsai Bible' was published by Mitchell Beazley. Peter has appeared on British television since the early 1980's to talk and demonstrate bonsai. He was Chairman of the British Bonsai Association from 1980-1987; founder member of the Federation of British Bonsai Societies; honorary chairman of several bonsai societies and the bonsai collection at Royal Horticultural Society's garden at Wisley has been sponsored by Dawn and Peter since 1997. Peter was awarded The Association of British Bonsai Artists' "Most Prestigious Award" in 2004 for the 'futherance and betterment of British bonsai'. He is also on the Federation of British Bonsai Society's Roll of Honour.

Peter's bonsai journey started in 1967 when he began experimenting with ordinary trees and shrubs in his balcony garden in London. By the mid '70s bonsai had become an obsession. While still an amateur, he won his first RHS Gold Medal at his very first one man bonsai show in 1982 - again a feat no one in bonsai has ever achieved. He went on to become the Chairman of the British Bonsai Association in 1980 and by 1985 he quit his nine to five job to start Herons Bonsai Nursery which he still runs today.

Peter with HM the Queen in 1984 when he won his first Chelsea Gold Medal beating all the other bonsai professionals at that Show. Peter no longer shows at Chelsea after winning 21 Chelsea Golds in 2006, but the Herons Bonsai Collection is on permanent display at the RHS Gardens at Wsley.

Peter's professional background
A graduate from the prestigious Inidan Institute of Technology - Kharagpur, Peter worked as a Chartered Electrical Engineer with the UK Electricity Supply Industry before moving to the UK Department of Energy as a senior adminstrator and speech writer. It was while writing speeches on privatisation and entrepreneurship that he was inspired to set up his own business. In August 2015 IIT - Kharagpur confered on him their 'Distinguished Alumnus Award' along with other famous alumni such as Mr Sundar Pichai - CEO of Google in recognition of his many achievements in various fields.

RHS Gardens - Wisley
Dawn and Peter Chan have been sponsoring the Bonsai display at Wisley since 1997. Set up originally in the Garden of the Senses, the Herons Bonsai Garden was completely remade in 2007 and most recently in February 2012, we set up the new 'Herons Bonsai Walk' in the former Monocot border. The new display was opened by Elizabeth Banks, President of the RHS, on 3 May 2012. Here is what the new Herons Bonsai Walk looks like.

Entrance to the new 'Herons Bonsai Walk
Peter with Elizabeth Banks, President of the RHS on 3 May2012
Guests at the Opening Ceremony enjoying the new display

Herons Japanese Gardens
Japanese garden construction is also part of Herons' expertise; you can see examples on the nursery and also at the RHS Gardens at Wisely which houses the Bonsai collection donated by Dawn and Peter in 1997. Many of our beautiful Japanese gardens are featured in lifestyle magazines the world over.
Peter making large waterfall for major garden in Surrey 1999
Above picture -The pond and waterfall five years later in 2004

Below is a picture of the same pond in June 2011.
Promotional work and tree hire services
Our reputation for high quality trees has always attracted immense media interest. Many of our trees have been used for film shoots and advertising work. Enquiries for this service are always welcome.