Grafting a shoot of a fine plant specimen on a hardy rootstalk in order to propagate it widely or create a more hardy plant, or one with altered shape or size makes sense. It's been done for years and horticulture as we know it could not exist without grafting. Down deep however, it still seems to me a manipulation of Mother Nature. It's a bit hypocritical of me to say this because my garden is full of , like everyone else's, grafted specimens.
To classify such a shoot as a "scion" must come from a particular past when the possibly promising offspring of a great or wealthy family was grafted or lifted to a new setting. A successful take of the plant shoot would depend on the accurate matching of the cut surface of the cambium layer with that of the root stalk to which it was grafted, required secure fixation for a period of time until union and the avoidance of contamination and dehydration at the graft site.
This careful attention to detail was not practised by those charged with the grafting and transplanting to our country in the seventeen and eighteenth centuries, dispersing excess populations to this shore. It was a higgledy-piggledy mix and included both the pianist's and my family in the early eighteeen hundreds. There were no scions amongst them. Some survived, some didn't. There was no careful matching of the cambium layers and no organic union to rely on for them. There was no consideration of the right season to graft and the Atlantic storms were high. There were no tight wrappings at the graft site or waxing to avoid undue motion and dehydration. There were no measures taken to avoid contamination.
Luck and pluck were the governing principles of that transplantation and grafting. We tend to forget how much we owe our forebears. They are a national treasure, warts and all. They never pretended to be scions but they were precious and brave.
Someone in the family hopefully will be the librarian and emerge to retain his story or her story. Then we will augment the knowledge of from whom we came, from where we came, and by what means we were grafted.