This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
In the January number of the Gardener's Monthly, you state that Mr. P. Barry referred to the changes which had taken place in the last quarter of a century. An old catalogue revealed the fact that nearly all the pears of that date had been superceded, and this was about the way it went through all the old catalogues. I think Mr. Barry is mistaken, or has been incorrectly reported, because, in looking over his present catalogue, and in his select list, he names more than forty varieties which I find in catalogues of over a quarter of a century old, and many of which are equal, if not superior to many of the new varieties which are now being so highly extolled, and which, probably when they have had the trial of a quarter of a century, will have to be laid aside. I will name some of the old varieties in Mr. Barry's Catalogue which are more than a quarter of a century old, viz: Bartlett, Seckel, Belle Lucrative, Beurre Giffard, Beurre Bosc, Beurre d' Anjou. Beurre Supertin, Manning's Elizabeth, Duchess d' Angoleme, Urbaniste, Tyson, Howell, Lawrence, Winter Nelis, Josephine de Malines, Brandy wine, etc.
Surely these are not superceded.
As to grapes, Mr. Barry says, " not a variety with the exception of Norton's Virginia were preserved;" but, are not the Isabella and Catawba, which are half a century old, still largely cultivated? And I will venture to say there are more of these two varieties, especially the Catawba for sale in the markets from October to Eebruary, than all other varieties. In fact I do not know of a single variety that has been introduced within the past thirty years that can be found in the markets during the months of December and January. The Elsinburgh, although not now much cultivated on account of the small size of its berries, is yet one of the best and most delicious of the American grapes, and is worthy of a place in any private garden. The Clinton and Herbemont, or Warren - old varieties, - are still more or less cultivated, and the latter is a superior grape where it ripens. [We are sorry that this note was crowded out hitherto. - Ed. G. M].