Brush, wash, brush, stamp, snap. The routine of shoe cleansing necessary before entering the National Trust propagation unit, venue for the recent Plant Conservation Committee meeting. Make sure you have all you need and have been to the loo or you’ll need to go through it all again.
But these seemingly extreme measures are necessary to ensure that plant diseases are kept out, or at least to a minimum in this centre. Once we were all clad in our fetching shoes the intricacies of the unit were explained.
Material is propagated for specific NT sites – these are lime clones used to provide DNA identical material to sites needing new trees for their Avenues. Bottom right is from Hampton Court Palace.
Hot beds for grafting, which can reduce the time needed to make a union to a couple of weeks.
Low tech options for encouraging beneficial insects into the greenhouses.
Air pots are favoured because of the resulting healthy fibrous root systems.
Fruits, decorative shrubs and native ground huggers are all in this conservation programme.
And of course, as on any NT establishment, cake is an important part of the day.
Thank you Chris, Holly and the rest of the team for your hospitality.
You can also read about Kalani’s visit to the opening of this centre here.