For the past thirty years, Cheryl Manning has been passionate about the art of bonsai. An artist since childhood and an avid gardener since her teens, Cheryl discovered Murata Bonsai Nursery in 1981–and it was love at first sight: art and gardening wrapped up in one small package.
In 1985, Cheryl joined Satsuki Kai, a club of the leading bonsai masters in West Los Angeles. Because the meetings were conducted in Japanese, she understood very little, but her commitment was strong and she formed lasting friendships.
By 1989, Cheryl was hiking in the Tehachapi mountains with Harry Hirao, collecting California junipers. Later, she was fortunate enough to become not only a student and close friend of John Naka, the father of American bonsai, but also an apprentice in Japan with bonsai master Yasuo Mitsuya, owner of Tokai-en in Toyohashi.
Cheryl has conducted bonsai demonstrations, workshops, and slide presentations in the United States, Canada, and Australia. She's written more than forty articles for many bonsai publications including the column “Trash To Treasure” for Bonsai: Journal of the American Bonsai Society.
Cheryl has also edited John Naka's Sketchbook (National Bonsai Foundation, 2005), a compilation of John's bonsai sketches from around the world.