21 August 2009

It's Alive!

OK, I have to admit something. A few months back when I was given the chance to perform my very first bud graft on a Poinsettia, I felt a I imagine Dr. Frankenstein did with his Creature. The uncertainty, anxiety, and tension of a new experiment at joining tissues fueled by adrenaline, waiting with tingling nerves and sublime anticipation to see if they would fuse and become the thing they were intended to be is heady stuff indeed. I felt scientific, I felt creative, I felt a proprietary sense of possession toward the new plant-to-be, and I felt like a proud parent sending her offspring into the big, wide world.

So I'm here to tell you, my creation is alive! It's Alive! Alive, I say! Mwuahahahahahahahah!

The Poinsettia bud I grafted onto a standard stem 'took'! I hadn't seen it since that fateful day when I ever so gingerly sliced and diced a bud from one species and slipped it into the stem of another, swaddled it in paraffin and entreated it to grow, dammit! Well, grow, dammit, it did!

At some point in the proceedings the greenhouse grower decided it was a done deal, removed the paraffin wrap and now it's sending the bud shoot skyward along with a few fellows grafted by other hands. With the proper care and attention, the shoots will eventually fill in and the new creation - a giant Poinsettia standard destined for Longwood's Christmas display in the conservatory - will come to fruition. Too bad it'll take about 3 years and who knows where I'll be at that point or what sorts of horticultural mischief I'll be up to but at least I can go on knowing that I had a hand in creating something new, something magnificent, something that people from all over the world will one day see and marvel at (I'm telling you, these Poinsettia standards are nigh on six-feet across! If you don't believe me you'll just have to check back in December and read my Christmas display posts).

My botanical legacy. Pretty darn cool!

Now all I need is a fiendish little lab assistant and my standing as evil plant scientist will be complete!

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