This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V18", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
One of the richest of Christmas Pears is Josephine de Malines, and it is also one of the hardiest, ripening here - a very exposed situation in Norfolk, not far from the coast - on bushes in the open ground. It seems, however, to be a Pear peculiarly susceptible of influence from the stock on which it is worked. It is here on the Quince, grafted on the common Pear stock, on the Hawthorn, and on its own roots, a pendent bough, which touched the earth, having become layered and thrown out roots. In the first form (on the Quince) it bears earl}'; but the fruit, luscious, is somewhat under-sized. The wasps attack it first of all. On the ordinary Pear stock at ten years old it has not fruited. On the Hawthorn the shoots are thinner than on either of the preceding; it has had fruit twice, but they did not become soft; so far it is not a success. On its own roots it has fruited three times (same age as others) and the fruit is very unlike that of the parents from which the bough rooted. The fruit is somewhat larger, less covered with russet, greener in hue, more vinous, and less honey-sweet. It is also later in ripening.
This day (March 2) I have been examining the trees; on the ordinary Pear stock, if there be blossom buds, they are so backward that they cannot be easily discerned; on the Hawthorn, ditto; on the Quince the knots of bloom are very perceptible - as forward as Doyenne d"Ete, the earliest Pear on its own roots; but the blossoms are almost ready to expand - the forwardest in a collection of about thirty kinds - very abundant too, which is the first time they have been so, In the previous nine years of its separate existence, the blossoms have been sparse, but have set fairly. Our trial goes to show Josephine de Malines is best left to itself - i. e., on its own roots - but is a good Pear on the Quince.- G. G., in Garden.