To obtain plants suitable for growing bonsai you can start by planting the seeds you want, but if you want to start from plants that are already formed, you can take branches from the trees in your garden. The easiest and most often used technique is the cuttings method. In spring or summer take branches from a shrub, choosing those that do not have flowers or fruit, and those from younger vegetation, where the branches are not fully lignified. Divide each small branch into portions of about 8-10 cm long. Removing the leaves from the bottom, immerse about a couple of centimetres of the cuttings in rooting hormone powder, and then bury it in a compound of sand and peat in equal parts, to keep it moist until rooting occurs. If you choose to produce cuttings from shrubs with a lot of foliage remember to remove half of the leaves present on the cuttings. When rooting cuttings spray them with water quite frequently, using demineralised water. Another popular method to produce young pre-bonsai is by grafting. After choosing an interestingly-shaped branch, cut a slot in the bark at the base of the branch, removing a strip of bark, but leaving at least 2-3 centimetres of bark intact, and then tie a little bag of transparent plastic film at the base of the incision and fill it with fresh, rich and well-moistened soil. Next close the bag in the upper part too, so as to make a sort of "suspended pot" at the base of the branch that you intend to remove; over the next few weeks proceed by periodically moistening the soil inside the bag, in this way favouring the development of a root system "hanging" inside the container. When the root system reaches an acceptable size sever the branch and place the new plant in a container.