About Me

Maria Walton

Owner of Heartwoods Bonsai


I began my bonsai journey in 2015 when I was given a Corkbark Chinese Elm that was purchased from John Muth, former owner of Bonsai Northwest, as a gift. I shortly thereafter became involved with the Puget Sound Bonsai Association and am currently the Vice President of this historic community organization. Over the past decades, a rich, thriving bonsai community has emerged and continues to grow in this region, and it is my sincere wish to carry that tradition forward as we honor the deep heritage here, and move boldly towards new artistic frontiers, and begin to explore the notion and evolution of “North American Bonsai” together.


I was born and raised in deciduous country, in the heart of the Midwest, and have lived here in the Evergreen State for nearly three decades. This coast to coast arboreal observation over the course of a lifetime deeply informs my personal worldview, as well as my bonsai design aesthetic. I am always striving as an artist, to internalize nature’s own fascinating aesthetic and mesmerizing beauty so that I can attempt to approximate the grandeur of these incredible masterpieces that sustain us, and every other living thing on the planet, all the while beautifying our world, in my own living art.
I am an engaged Eco-Buddhist, that is to say, I have dedicated my life to helping heal the Earth and the trees, and to helping people reconnect with themselves and nature through the living art of bonsai. I also write poetry and essays that explore the worlds of ideas around these themes and topics.


I completed my undergraduate study at Ohio State University and hold Bachelor’s degrees in English and Philosophy from there. I then completed a Washington State Teaching Certification program at Antioch University, Seattle. I am a Certified Master Gardener, and I currently study with Ryan Neil at Bonsai Mirai in St. Helens, Oregon.
It is my deep honor and commitment to serve and be a part of this incredible Pacific Northwest Bonsai community. May we all nurture it well together.

Bonsai Practitioner Since 2015

Vice President – Puget Sound Bonsai Association

Student @ Bonsai Mirai with Ryan Neil

Certified Master Gardener

Teaching Certification – Antioch University (Seattle,WA)

Horticulturalist Since 2008

BA Philosophy – Ohio State University

BA English – Ohio State University

Humble Student of Nature for Life