This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
In passing through Thomasville, Georgia, on the 20th of March, I was much impressed with the beauty and rapid growth of a variety of pear know there as the Chinese Sand Pear. I could not recognize it as the variety, under that name, with which I had been familiar for thirty years. The fruit of that was worthless, while this Georgia variety is said to be nearly equal to the Bartlett, and to ripen in July. It is said to have been found growing on the coast by M. Le Comte, the well-known entomologist, and believed by him to have been brought from China. A more distinctive name would be the Le Comte Pear As an ornamental tree it possesses great beauty. Its habit is more pyramidal than that of the Buffum pear, and greatly resembles that of the Lombardy Poplar. Its foliage is large, thick, with a light color and glossy stem, which is remarkably attractive. Its vegetation is also very early. Other pears near it had just commenced showing life, while the Le Comte pear was in full leaf. Its most remarkable feature is its great rapidity of growth. I saw some specimens three years from the cutting, and bearing, which were twenty feet high, with a girth circumference of ten and a half inches.
I saw others, seven years from cutting, which were thirty to thirty-five feet high, with a girth circumference of eighteen inches, and which had borne, several bushels of fruit. The mother plant has borne eighteen to twenty-four bushels. The soil in which they were growing was sandy and poor. Whatever may be the origin of this pear, it is destined to be of great value to the South by its adaptation to a light poor soil, and there is quite a fever growing up for its Culture. Its fruit came in small quantity to New York market last July, and brought twelve dollars a bushel. If any one has tried it at the North, I hope he will publish his experience in your journal.
Another plant which gave me pleasure was a Magnolia fuscata, seven feet high and seven feet in diameter, loaded with hundreds of blooms, with banana-like fragrance. The tea plant also looked flourishing. The South is full of grand capabilities. When faith and action go together, the whole country can be made a garden.