I have a couple of years of experience and have also decided to buy and work with better stock. I joined a bonsai club last year
I collected a lot of plants and have since put a bunch in the ground as part of my landscaping. Still have others to plant when the weather breaks. Others may go to club members, for trade or as club raffle items.
I do, however, have some stock that may have potential. Here are the highlights.
Shimpaku - being styled and has a nice root system from being container grown. Design help came from my club members. Repotted last year and will not repot 'til 2014.
Sabina Juniper - 3 gallon plant with large trunk and gnarly bark - being styled and will be repotted in the spring. Came from regular nursery so roots will take a number of seasons and the foliage is leggy. I trimmed a bit in late summer and started wiring in search of a good design. Will need design help from my club members.
Pyracantha Red Elf - 2 gallon plant - from regular nursery and will need root work, repot and a bit of pruning.
Japanese Quince - have "Double Take" and Contorted White cultivars. All need repotting this year. These are very cool and easy to grow.
JBP Mikawa - 3 gallon from Martha Meehan. Need help with this. Going to a pine seminar conducted by Mr. Julian Adams on Sunday and need to plan a good path. Seminar is just another benefit of being a member of the Baltimore Bonsai Club.
Pinus Strobiformis - will pot up and allow to grow.
Acer Campestre Compacta - needs a repot and coming along nicely. Nice trunk movement. I hope it will become a sort of "free style/natural looking" broom design a la Mr. Walter Pall. Excellent stock from Brent Walston.
Dwarf Lilac Palibin - bought two, balled and burlapped, at year end clearance. Both have about 2.5 inch trunks. Put one in the ground and other was slip potted into a large container. The container plant will be lightly pruned after flowering, nothing else will be done in 2013.
Collected local material - several Carpinus Caroliana, Virginia Pines, Oriental Bittersweet and large trunked English Ivy (that looks like a funky penjing) - these will rest for several seasons.
Have a few other small plants (like Acer Palmatum, Ulmus P. and native Hackberry) that will need repotting this season and are growing out happily. We have lots of room outside.
Any future purchases will be of good quality and size.
At this point in bonsai, I am finding my way and having a good time. The bonsai hobby is something that I can enjoy at home and that is important because my daughter is 16 (and often needs a driver) and my son is 11 and likes to have Dad around.
Central MD - 7A