It's a beautiful summer's day.
I walk through my greenhouse, taking in the scent of flowers, admiring my wonderful plants; tall, slowly aging shrubberies, pretty little rosebushes; one or two exotic looking ones that must have been imported from outside the country somewhere, but that I got here for an amazing deal. And of course, my beloved hybrids. My friends thought I was absolutely mad to try it; grafting cuttings from so vastly different types. But with love and care, here they are.
I take a few minutes to tend to my lovelies; some food here, a little water there, a bit of pruning; Leaves tend to grow so fast, and I can't stand my plants looking so- dishevelled. I get water in my boots when one of them overflows a little; I give it a playful little smack, and it droops a bit. Maybe I hit it too hard. I notice that the restraints on one of the shrubs (Plants need to stand tall and proud, don't you think?) seem to be cutting into the bark; I loosen them, and sap trickles down, and I can almost hear it let out a sigh of relief. There are clear marks left in the wood, but now that the ties are looser, they should heal and fill back out. I move on.
I let out a gasp as I see that one of my beautiful rosebushes has started to wilt. It was one of the ones I took a cutting from to make a hybrid, and the stump of the branch looks like it's starting to mould. Not wanting it to spread to any others, I decide to take it out and give it a proper sending-off. As I bury it in the back field, I can almost hear it whimpering at me. So many of my lovely plants seem to end up out here, despite my care and attention. I have a good supplier, so my greenhouse is never lacking in beauties, but it still breaks my heart every time I come out here to the field.
When I go back to the greenhouse, I make a beeline for the back room where I keep my hybrids; they're very susceptible to infection, so I need to make sure that that rosebush didn't indirectly harm any of her fellows. I come to the door and breathe a sigh of relief; they all seem to be doing well.
It's almost an art form, what I do. I love to experiment with different combinations, and I can't help but have a little fun while I do it; the one closest to the door is half blueberry bush, half strawberry, split right down the middle; of course, it didn't survive the process. After it died, I let it dry outside in the sun, then wrapped it in plastic wrap to protect it from the moisture in the greenhouse, and now I mostly keep it there as decoration. The one next to it is the result of taking all the branches off an old spider-plant, and grafting the branches from a young apple tree in their place; it looks lovely, but it can barely support itself, even with the ties. There are a few others, but my prize is what I like to call 'The Chimera"; multiple graftings from several different sources; rosebushes, berry bushes, shrubs, all on the trunk of a small pine, which I stripped of all its branches. Miraculously, it's managed to survive for two weeks. Of course, due to its nature, I wouldn't give it much longer.
But I can't bring myself to feel bad; I can make plenty more hybrids. I'm in a spending mood, so I make a mental note to remind myself to call my supplier for few additions to my garden.
And of course, it truly is a beautiful day.