Benny Zhang has over 40 years of experience in the art of bonsai. He was born in Shanghai, China. Growing up, Benny had a fascination for painting and nature. At the age of 18, he left home to start an apprenticeship at the Shanghai Botanical Garden where he was introduced to the art of penjing (盆景) under the guidance of Chinese penjing master Yin Zhimin (殷子敏).
After six years of learning at the Shanghai Botanical Garden, Benny, along with master Shan Donglin (山冬林), were invited by Dr. Eugene Coffman to curate bonsai at Ridge Road Nursery in Iowa. Under the tutelage of Master Shan, Benny mastered the art of penjing. Two years later, he accepted a position maintaining the bonsai exhibition at Longwood Gardens, a botanical garden in Pennsylvania. The next year, he was a designer for the annual Chrysanthemum Festival at Longwood.
After his greatest accomplishment yet, Benny traveled across the country, working at gardens and nurseries in New Jersey, Delaware, and California. He really enjoyed America and decided to start Celestial Gardens in Maryland.
Today, Benny continues to practice his craft on a daily basis and frequently attends arts and crafts shows to promote appreciation for the fine art of Bonsai. He primarily operates along the east coast. You can see upcoming events he will be participating in here.
Benny has a wife who works with him at Celestial Gardens, and a son who is an officer in the US Air Force. In his free time, Benny enjoys collecting wines, raising chickens, art painting, sculpture, landscaping and self-renovating his home.
2006 Washington Cathedral Flower Mart - 3rd Place (Plants)
2007 Philadelphia Flower Show - 3rd Place (Horticulture)
2008 Philadelphia Flower Show - 3rd Place (Horticulture)
2017 PirateFest, Greeneville, NC - Best in the Show