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 money was tight. I had heard the pitch that bonsai was affordable and you didn’t have to have fancy tools to do it. As I rationed out purchases. I was incredibly irritated as I wasted time and money I didn’t have buying something only to find it was the wrong thing. These wrong products made me unsuccessful, irritated, and discouraged. Over time I felt snowed. Every serious hobbyist I met had plenty of tools of all kinds to do their bonsai.
I heard a bonsai professional say in passing “well, you get out of it what you put into it.” He was talking about a hobbyist needing help getting 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 to make a bonsai tree. Didn’t even want to dedicate a full weekend day every month to the craft. I’m committed to the quest of making a respectable bonsai with less time, money, and space and having everything you need to know to do that in one place.