Saturday, February 17, 2007

Pink Haired Boy Explains Grafting

Back in the wee days of my first times in Sonoma, say ten, eleven years ago, I'm a pluggin away at making the squalid patch of land out at East Seventh and Denmark into the beautiful garden, some pictures of which you can see if you take a bit of a stroll down the sidebar to your right.

Anyways, who comes by but a wee late, a Tommy or a Timmy, it took me a long time to get his name straight, but the little lad had bright whitish blond hair and a big love of nature. His Mom, Julie, bless her heart, knew this and living nearby, brought him around a lot.

And then, as he got older he brought himself around a lot, and spent some grand times in Mom's backyard, too, learning and playing with plants.

And then trees.

And now, all of 13 or 14 (eighth grade), he, definitely a Tommy, is now a bright and fun expert in Exotic and Normal Fruit. And Other Yummy trees.

And so, today, at the garden park, all's the more the shame I have not a picture just now, but I'll bike on by his near the garden house and get one tomorrow, he led a workshop in grafting trees.

And for the event, just to make sure that he didn't get lost, he'd died his hair a bright and shocking pink. I asked him if it was a wig, and no, it weren't. Was his hair, bright and fine.

And so, bright pinked haired, and young and bright brained and excited and in love with trees, he led a crowd of some sixteen or so adults through their paces of how to graft an apple variety to another apple tree, which cuts to make, how to wrap and facilitate the graft, which trees are easy ( apples), which trees are a bit tricky ( peaches), which don't even need to be grafted, you can just stick a cutting in the ground: figs, and grapes and kiwis, the last two of which aren't trees.

Roses, too, and at the garden, the entire grape arbor and all the roses growing out in the edges and not in the tidy little rose area were planted by just sticking a cutting in the ground.

Tommy showed us cleft cuts, and showed us whip grafting, and demonstrated a nifty and bit refined tongue in grove improvement on a whip graft. He told us about scions and root stock. He was fun, smart and entertaining and got a lot of information out. He showed some real grafting onto some real trees at the Garden Park and gave away some scions for the participants to take home. A good and educational time was felt by all.

So : next time the newspaper says a boy named Tommy's going to led a workshop in grafting, take it. You'll be in for a great treat.

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