This section is from the book "The Gardener V2", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
In the article on "New Varieties of Fruit" by Mr Shortt, in the December number of the 'Gardener,' there are more mistakes than those mentioned by "J. G. B." The Royal Ascot Grape is not truthfully described. It is a strong-growing very prolific variety; the berries are large, jet-black, and covered with a dense bloom. Three finer bunches of Black Grapes I have seldom seen than those with which Mr Standish gained the second prize at the Regent Park Botanic Society's Flower and Fruit Show in June last. They were beat by a very fine dish of Golden Hambros, but there were at least twenty dishes in competition, and amongst them some good Muscats. I have also seen it at Ascot, as well as at other shows; I also saw it in Edinburgh at the exhibition in September, and was surprised that Mr Standish sent such a poor example of it to the Scottish capital. I grow the Grape here, and have come to the conclusion that it is an excellent variety to cultivate.
Prince of Wales Peach is described as having very large fruit; it has carried good crops of fruit here the last two seasons, medium size only, of a distinct flavour. Mr Rivers has raised some good Peaches, but I do not think Prince of Wales is one of them.
Princess of Wales is a first-rate Peach, but Mr Shortt is in error in his description, as it has very large flowers, and ripens in September, at the same time as Walburton Admirable, to which the fruit bears a close resemblance; the flowers are quite different, however. Dr Hogg makes the same mistake in the ' Fruit Manual;' he says it ripens in the end of November.
Is Desse Tardive a new Peach? I saw a large tree of it during the past season trained to a wall at Hallinbury House in Essex, and Mr Spring, the gardener there, told me that it was one of the finest late Peaches, and that he had gathered fruit off it 12 inches in circumference. James Douglas.