Thought I would ask some questions, to see if my being cheap is affecting success.
Here is three things I do:
Use electrical wire. It seem to hold form as well as the expense bonsai wire and I figure the coating is protecting the bark
Easy to get aggregate. My soil is expanded clay balls, 1/4 granite and perlite. For the trees the like it wet (willows) I’ll add aged bark or coco earth.
Yamadori or bursary rejects. Collecting is free(ish), but certainly a lot of work. I also tend to collect in abandoned industrial parks. Having a friend in the bursary biz is nice