Well why would you? Its quite simple – roses can be grown by taking cuttings but to graft a bud onto the rootstock of Rosa Laxa means that vigour and sturdiness is engendered in the new rose plants. And as to can I be bothered? – what could be more exciting than rescuing a rare old lovely that is about to peg it under the developers’ digger bucket.
The steps are so straightforward. First send for your rootstocks at the end of winter and get them in to well prepared ground. Step two come the high summer is to select the bud wood of the roses you wish to grow on and multiply.
I have just spent a week with Eddie Krutysza at Hattons Farm Nurseries in Norfolk. More of this another post away but here he is selecting the budding material.
Select new years growth with flower, bud barely breaking open. Cut the branch and strip the thorns away and tidy off the leaves. There will be a latent bud at every leaf junction. Carefully cut the latent bud out, turn it over and nick out the small fleshy chip of wood on its underside. This will reveal the bud eye.
Dust away the soil round the rootstocks in the field and make a T shape cut low down on it – (my pic shows this type of cut on juvenile wood – I have just used this for illustration purposes as it makes a clearer image than the bottom of the dusty old rootstock in the ground).
Slot your prepared bud material into this T junction, cut off any raggedy material. Then put a patch over the bud graft and label the plant. This new rose will be flowering next year.