This website is dedicated to bonsai. It’s practical bonsai in that it’s for everyone – anyone interested in this beautiful art should be able to give it a try.
The first several years I practiced bonsai were extremely frustrating. Never before have I had a hobby that needed so many different products, with success or failure tied so closely to those products, and so little information about exactly what products to use and where to get them. Running, cooking, writing, even photography don’t compare. In bonsai using the wrong steps or products kill your trees.
When I began bonsai I was between jobs. Money was tight and I had heard the pitch that bonsai could be affordable, and you didn’t have to have fancy tools to do it.
I had to ration out any purchases at all. Which made it all the more irritating as I wasted time and money I didn’t have buying the wrong products. These wrong products made me unsuccessful, irritated, and discouraged. I watched my attempted trees die repeatedly. Over time I felt a bit snowed. Every advanced practitioner, every hobbyist I met had plenty of tools, wire, and resources of all kinds to do their bonsai. Then, even when I did buy something, it turned out to be the wrong thing.
Not long ago I heard a bonsai professional say in passing about bonsai “well, you get out of it what you put into it.” He was referring to another hobbyist who needed help getting some trees back to good health. The comment stuck with me because it perfectly summarized the problem. I never wanted to give up my day job. Didn’t even want to dedicate a full weekend day every month to the craft. I’m committed to the quest to making a respectable bonsai with less time, money, and space and having everything you need to know to do that in one place.