This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
I have been interested in your American fruits and have obtained many sorts for trial in the past few years. I have a good stock of them now, and next season hope to fruit quite a number of them. Of strawberries I am much pleased with the Boyden. Some that I had in pots last season forced well, fruited freely, and the fruit was very fine. The Cumberland Triumph also promises well. But I am disappointed in Charles Downing. The fruit was very small, which surprised me, for, from what I had read of it, I had formed the idea that the fruit was of good size. The peaches promise very well. The Alexander's Early gave me a few fruits last season, as also did the Oldmixon - the latter very late in the season. I see Rivers speaks very highly of the Alexander. It seems to bear very abundantly. The stock on which you work the peach - the seedling peach I think - seems much better suited to the healthy growth of the tree than does the plum stock used by our nurserymen; and I like the look of American trees much better. With these trees stock and graft swell away together. This is not the case with the plum stock.
The peach never takes kindly to it, and the result is a gnarled looking joint which does not suggest, nor is it favorable to a healthy growth.
I doubt not but I shall get something good from American pears and apples, but I must wait awhile before being able to say anything positive of them.
American blackberries do well with me, but somehow I don't think they would be cared for by our people. Of all the American raspberries that I have tried, there are none better than our own, if so good. There is a certain flavor which the Antwerp class have which seems lacking in American sorts, decreasing their value. They seem not so soft, even when fully ripe, as ours are, and not so good flavored.
I have not yet fruited any American grape vines, but I have a Concord planted in a favorable place, and from the good growth made last year I think I shall get fruit this season. But our summers are hardly hot enough for these grapes out of doors, even here in the south of England. Occasionally a summer will be favorable enough to color grapes of the Black Hamburg, growing against a south wall, but never enough to ripen them. Still, American sorts may do better with us.