I had always thought that grafting had limited appeal to gardeners in general. The few who were interested – like me – were very, very interested while most were, at best, only curious. But blog stats clearly showing the popularity of the bud grafting post last August after our annual workshop dispels this notion. In fact, as it turns out, rose grafting is a popular search topic year round. Propagation by grafting has a much wider audience than I had imagined.
Bud grafting is a simple process of surgically attaching a budeye of a desirable variety onto a winter hardy rootstock, thus creating a duplicate plant of that variety. This way I build my collections of rare vintage varieties like the Brownell Everblooming Pillars. Also, grafting roses onto sturdy rootstock improves frail varieties and creates ideal roses for the New England climate. And it’s another way for me to enjoy rose gardening.
On August 4, 10:00 am to noon, we will again host our annual Propagation (Bud Grafting) Workshop at our home in East Providence, RI. Past workshop students quickly mastered the basic skills and were soon successfully grafting their own roses to take home. I will demonstrate how to harvest the budeye, prepare the rootstock, and all the other steps necessary to create a new rose bush. It’s fun and a lot easier than you think. While there is no charge for the workshop, there is a plant materials fee – $5 per rootstock which you graft and take home.
Grafting is an ideal way to propagate a family heirloom to share with family members. I often tell the story of my parents purchasing Brownell roses directly from the Brownell Nursery in Little Compton, RI before they closed in the late 1960’s. Most of those roses my father planted eventually died except for the Rhode Island Red, an Everblooming Pillar that they bought in 1959. That robust climber was still growing in my mother’s garden when we sold the house last year after she passed away in 2010. Over
the years I had propagated many duplicates of RI Red from that mother bush and passed them along to my brother and sisters as a living reminder of our parents.
Class size is limited, but there are a few slots still open. Email email@example.com for more details.