After nurturing a few Douglas Firs for two years with an eye toward turning them into bonsai (with no idea what that meant) I accidentally moved them into full sun during a heat wave (I was doing chores and didn’t even notice I moved them.) They fried and died.
So, Studied a little about bonsai and ended up buying a tiny boxwood from a nursery. I root pruned, repotted, pruned, and wired into a very terrible 2D shape. Amazingly it survived and I see potential to add some depth to the shape with the vigorous new growth. Since then I’ve been working nursery stock and a few pre-bonsai I’ve picked up from Maruyama Bonsai Nursery in Sacramento and Lone Pine Gardens in Sebastopol. I have also been collecting seeds, seedlings, and cuttings and had more success than I expected. I will need to get rid of plants before I can buy more. Part of that strategy is to move some of my nursery stock to the yard to a) relegate them to landscape material, and b) secretly keep an eye on their potential to move back into a pot. My wife sees right through me, so it’s not much of a secret.
Unfortunately, I still do not have a single well-developed bonsai, but I think this fall I will invest in a couple pieces of good material to start my proper collection.