It wasn't until 1991 when a friend offered a surplus of seedling oaks, that the bonsai bug took a hold of me once more, and Melanopa Bonsai began. Seedlings began to surface everywhere I looked, Ashes were in abundance in our front garden from an overhanging tree, rooting easily in the pure sand of our now established Australian garden, even a Norway Maple found its way there. Tiny Hawthorns were in the back garden. Indoor bonsai were tried in the form of a Ficus retusa. Grapefruit seeds sprouted easily. There were bonsai shops in Ireland now and magazines and books were readily available. But there were no other enthusiasts to talk to. Trees survived during holidays in huge plastic bags, until there were so many it wasn't practical any more and then an interested neighbour took on the job of watering them.
Totally fascinated by the ability to enjoy so many different trees in a small garden I soon had a huge collection of 'sticks in pots!!'