The International Plant Propagators’ Society and My Nursery Career: Blast from the Past
David H. Bakker Sr.
At the turn of the century, my grandfather told me he collected Rosa canina stems in the wild and budded them to order. As a boy, growing up during World War II in Europe, my father’s nursery was destroyed by an inundation of 3 ft of water and a severe winter that killed all stock. During the war my first crop was tobacco plants from select seed. I sold the plants wrapped in newsprint to the farmers. These events impacted me, yet were all influential in my development as a nurseryman.
After the war, when I was 16, I went to horticultural school while working in a fruit tree nursery that taught me to bud and graft (scars are still on my fingers). They were generous to teach me. The information about soil management gained at the horticultural school still comes back.
My father decided to go to North America where we were fortunate to land in an area that had nurseries. He and I worked at this fruit tree nursery that sold rosebushes as well. During the depression my dad burned 30,000 rose bushes twice over. He vowed he would never grow roses again. Yet, ironically, it was the one of the first items we propagated in Canada.
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