On Saturday I spent a couple of hours at Whitmuir Organics (see also the link on the right) learning how to graft. I’m sure you know already (because I did) that grafting is a way of propagating shrubs and trees by taking a ‘twig’ of one variety and splicing it on to the rooted stem of another. The rooted stem is a rootstock selected for its special properties, in particular its overall height. For example, if you plant a seed from a variety of apple you particularly like, then one day (if you are lucky, in so many ways), you will be able to pick your favourite apple from the tree that grows from the seed. The problem is that the tree may be forty feet (12m) tall and you will probably need help from your local fire service (ladders rather than hoses) when you come to pick your fruit. By grafting a twig (scion) from the tree that produces your favourite apple on to a rootstock with a shorter maximum growth height, you will be able to pick your apples without using a turntable ladder.
Anyway, it was good fun and we learned a lot. The knives were sharp and nobody cut themselves, which has to be a good thing.
Here endeth, etc.
(Oh – what I meant to mention, but got carried away, is that we were taught by Andrew Lear, a man who really knows his stuff).