Sprucing up an old larch group

Why don't we larch up old spruce groups?

Whatever. Here's a small Japanese larch group I've been working on for a few years. I bought it at a bonsai event auction where it had been donated by a long-time bonsai practitioner from the New York area. It was a five tree group that had good age (it was started in the 1970s), but was neglected. It had lost its shape; the trees looked more like flat-top style trees than larches. One of the five trees was dead, although the trunk remained in the group.

Enjoy the photos below. The last is after todays winter pruning and the application of just a little wire.

I love showing this group as a four tree bonsai. What do you think? Does breaking the "rule" about having an odd number of trees bother you, intrigue you, or not even enter your mind?

This is the group after its first wiring (a few days after I acquired it).

This is the group after its first wiring (a few days after I acquired it).

Here's a shot almost a year later. The top right shows the growth of my first year with the bonsai. The second two show it after the second styling and the search for a better front.

Here's a shot almost a year later. The top right shows the growth of my first year with the bonsai. The second two show it after the second styling and the search for a better front.

After four years in my garden, it is getting ready to show. Going to work on the lowest left branch on the main tree a bit more this spring...

After four years in my garden, it is getting ready to show. Going to work on the lowest left branch on the main tree a bit more this spring...