One of the major influences that caused my swing to smaller bonsai, whilst in Japan, was the accessibility of good, affordable material. Material that, with a bit of effort, can give you results to be proud of.
I am firm believer that shohin should be for everyone, but rarely is this sort of material is available in the UK. When it is, the hoops that importers have to jump through make these once affordable trees now a seriously considered purchase. Garden centres that were once our hunting grounds for raw material have little in the way of worthwhile stock anymore.
Anyway, at Swindon I picked up a few bundles of larch and some other bits with an eye for the future. Aiming to develop these as quality material for shohin.
No straight sticks in pots here. These along with tridents, itoigawa junipers and other self propagated stock should keep me and others entertained in the years to come.