It is in no spirit of carping criticism that these remarks are penned; nor are they specially brought to mind by the discussion of the properties of Madresfield Court Muscat Grape in your columns the last two or three months, but have been thought about for some time. My principal object is to attempt, though humbly, to impress on the minds of our most representative men the responsibility they incur in recommending the public to purchase the different new fruits brought out from time to time before they have had really sound experience as to their being improvements on existing varieties or not. I notice that Mr Cramb has on two or three occasions of late, both in your columns and in those of a contemporary, used the influence his name gives in condemning the above-named Grape. Whereas, in the ' Gardener' for November 1869, in describing the gardens at Madresfield, he uses that same influence in bringing before the readers of the ' Gardener' the good properties of this Grape. I am not practically in a position to say which of the two opinions is correct, as, though I have on several occasions seen the Grape growing, I have not myself grown it.

Still I cannot but feel that before men of such standing in the Horticultural world as Mr Cramb speak in laudatory tones of any new fruit, they should either have had practical experience with the subject, or have seen it growing under different conditions. It is far from my object to in any way depreciate the skill and ability of the raisers of our new fruits generally (personally, I rejoice in their number); but as many gardeners are led to recommend their employers to purchase the different new fruits brought out on the strength of some well-known name, I think it would prevent many disappointments to all concerned if our " leaders " in these matters were to exercise a little more discretion in their recommendations. Moreover, those who are the fortunate possessors of any really good thing would lose nothing by the delay in allowing their good properties to be brought to proof; and the extra vigour gained in the time would insure their being in a position to supply more vigorous plants when brought out, instead, as is often the case, the constitution of an otherwise good thing being damaged for some time, by the quick way they are propagated and got up for sale.

I could quote other instances besides Mr Cramb's where men of influence in the gardening world have written in glowing tones of a new fruit, and then in a year or two's time have condemned it.

January 6, 1873. H. C. G.