This boutique brings the art of Japanese Bonsai to Vancouver

Sep 1 2021, 9:04 pm

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Best Coast Bonsai is a Vancouver-based boutique bonsai shop specializing in Japanese style plant arrangements and bonsai trees.  

As part of our Made in Vancouver series spotlighting local businesses, we talked to Tom Ulecki, the owner and artist behind Best Coast Bonsai about this beautiful plant art form.

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Operating out of East Van, Tom Ulecki creates high quality bonsai and kusamono centre pieces based on the techniques he learned while apprenticing in Osaka, Japan. The West Coast of Canada is an ideal location for Bonsai trees to grow and thrive. After returning to Vancouver, Tom launched Best Coast Bonsai. Along with bonsai and kusamono arrangements, the boutique offers consulting, styling services and tree rentals.

‘There are very few people that have been able to apprentice in Japan on the same scale that I have. It was a rare learning opportunity, and I hope that I can bring my knowledge of the art of bonsai to Vancouver. The bonsai and kusamono that are developed at Best Coast Bonsai are very high quality’ said Tom Ulecki in an interview with Daily Hive. 


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The kusamono plant arrangements are based on Japanese techniques. Each plant features a unique mix of Pacific Northwest flora like ferns, moss, and other varieties. These local, natural, and reusable plant centerpieces have become popular décor for weddings, events and in place of fresh flower bouquets.

‘The kusamono actually gets more interesting with time. As they age, they develop more character and personality. It is sustainable due to the kusamono being reusable and it reflects the natural beauty around us. Bonsai allows us to get in touch with nature even in our urban setting.’ 


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A post shared by Best Coast Bonsai (@bestcoastbonsai)

Tom has always had a passion for the environment, the arts, and plants. He is also a visual artist under the pseudonym notanautomatom. His strong background in painting has helped develop his dedication to design aspects and the fine details of bonsai and plant arrangements.

‘I hope my passion can transfer itself into my broader goal of trying to protect our natural environment. There are very few people that get into bonsai that don’t care about the environment and the challenges society is about to face.’


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A post shared by Best Coast Bonsai (@bestcoastbonsai)

Although this is a new business that has faced many challenges due to the pandemic, the return of weddings and events is creating a busy season ahead for Best Coast Bonsai.

“It is rewarding to see the plants at the event and how unique they are. Seeing people experience the product and really appreciate it makes a lot of the hard work worth it.”

To find out more about Best Coast Bonsai, visit their Website and Instagram

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