I once met an older man around 75 years old that had amazing trees. One of them a Juniper he showed at a clubmeeting I had also seen on shows earlier. When I looked closer I saw no wires and that it was really refined. The beautiful part was that it didn’t have a front and was attractive from all angles. I asked him were he bought the tree and he told me he bought it many years ago in a gardencenter. Hearing that it inspired me even more to see if I could grow such trees for myself from ordinary gardencenter stock.
We have a little flower shop around the corner here, bit shabby and full of cheap plants. Mostly indoor, but sometimes some outdoor plants too. The reason they are very cheap is that every morning they go to the flower auction and buy the left overs that wouldn’t sell at the auction. They sell plants from 0,50ct to max 20eu. Most of them are under 5euro. It’s not that they have stuff suitable for bonsai every day but some days they actually do. That’s a reason for me to walk in now and then.
These yews also came from there. They were standing on the side of the road in front of the shop in plastic containers with almost no soil in them. Lot’s of roots were dead only the roots close to the center of the rootball had soil. Perfect! I thought. If they would survive it wouldn’t have had to reduce the rootball that much to fit it into a smaller pot. When I told them there was no soil in the pots and almost all the roots dried out I got them for 2eu a piece instead of 5 😉
I repotted them into actual soil and fertilized them. put them away in a garden and let them grow. Two seasons later I cut all the thicker branches it was growing and weren’t needed. Got them out of the garden and decided to style them. Yesterday I made a beginning with carving the deadwood, however that still needs some more refinement.
I think it is a good example that bonsai doesn’t have to be expensive to enjoy and who knows maybe these little fella’s will grow out to be just as great as the older mans trees one day.