Early start?

I used to have quite a few Bonsai. 
While we were busy with two simultaneous jobs; in my case Fire Service + the Shop. I had virtually zero time at home for as many as 48 continuous hours or more, except to dash home @ about 4ish to "Sh, shower, shampoo & shave" as the saying goes & be at Carlisle for my night shift.
During which time ALL my Bonsai popped their clogs.
 I came fairly close to tears I tell thee. 
2-3 in particular:-
ONE predated my knowledge of Bonsai. As little more than a kid I had an Ash in a pot in the rockery. Annually I would lift the pot, cut off any escaping roots & return it. I, also, had a Laburnum (WOW, a word it knows) which Mam insisted I plant out to avoid "cruelty to trees", at about 6-8" tall; following year it was 6-8'. :¬O

One was a Larch. I have absolutely NO idea whence it came, or when; but it looked positively windswept - I was proud of it.
#3 was an Acer platanoides. (YES it's a word, this Spill chucker isn't half ignorant) I found it in a pile of sandstone rubble up near Inverness, in the mid 70s if I remember aright; all I had to do was move a few stones to achieve ALL its roots. I, eventually, made it much more elderly looking.
The ALL went = NOT a happy chappy. This is not my first attempt since, but if i find a "weed" it'll be potted rather than composted. This one I just poked into the edge of the Acidanthera (Another valid word, I just KNEW it was thick) pot which overwintered in the greenhouse - hence the early kick-off.

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