This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
Belle Lucrative or Foudonte d'Aulomne, Beurre d'Anjon, Beurre d'Aremberg, Beurre Busc, Bloodgood, BurTum,
Golden Beurre of Bilboa, Louise Bonne de Jersey,
Barlletell, Winter Nelis,
And for particular localities. Grey Doyenne, White Doyenne.
Branded St. Germain,
Durhesse de Berri,
Jalouise deFontenay Vendee,
St. Michel Archauge,
No. 1. Beurre, Millet.
Skin dull green, with a dull reddish blush; ribbed or knobby. Juicy, melting, with a vinous subacid, refreshing taste; very good. Tree not a strong grower, but healthy. - B.
Skin yellow with a crimson cheek, smooth and faintly dotted with greenish or gray, of fine texture, buttery, juicy, highly perfumed and sugary; very good. - B.
Size from 2) by 2 1/2 inches, to 2 7/16 by 2 5/16 Form obovate, somewhat compressed at the aides. Skin, cinnamon russet, interspersed with patches, irregular markings and dots of fair yellow, giving the exterior a mottled appearance of russet and yellow. Stem from 1 to 1 3/8 by 1/8 of an inch, inserted by a slightly fleshy termination, with little or no depression, and occasionally on to a flat surface; the stem has a peculiar tendency to form wood buds, and on the stem of one specimen there were three well developed buds. Calyx rather large, with the segments partially reflexed, and set in a wide, moderately deep, sometimes irregular basin. Core mediom. Seed black, 1/8 of an inch long, 1/5 wide, and 1/10 thick, with an angle at the obtuse end. Flesh fine texture, and buttery. Flavor delicious and saccharine; quality "very good." Maturity third week in August.
No. 2. Beurre Nantais, Or Beurre De Nantes.
Old wood grayish brown. Young shoots yellowish brown, with short jointed prominent buds. - W. D. B.
The trees stood the winter without any apparent injury beyond the breaking down of branches of small trees by snow. They gave a fair amount of blossoms, but in consequence of the continued cold winds while they were in bloom, but little fruit set - such as matured was perfect in its kind. The trees have made a fine growth the last season, and give a reasonable prospect of abundance of fruit in future.
Apple-trees wintered well, the only drawback being the depredations of the mice, which is perhaps'as much attributable to a want of care on the part of the owner as to any peculiarity of the season, though the great length of the winter probably had a tendency to increase their appetites beyond the supplies they had provided for the exigencies of the season. Unlike their usual mode of warfare, which confines their depredations mainly to grass lands, they pitched battle on trees on grounds where hoed crops had been taken off, and were sometimes more destructive there than in grass plots. The simplest preventive we know of for such cases, is to stamp the early snows thoroughly around young trees.
The apple orchards bloomed abundantly, but a succession of cold northerly winds, almost amounting to frost, continued from the first opening of the bods until the petals fell. These winds were fatal to the general crop, so we have bnt very few apples, and these are principally on the Bides of trees, and in orchards most effectually sheltered from these winds - localities where ordinary frosts which collect in the still, cold air would have been fatal.
In view of these experiences, we can see no particular cause for the fruit growers to be discouraged in their labors. The pear and the apple have given us a new and very cheering assurance of their adaptedness to our soil and climate, and if they have failed to produce the usual amount of fruit for "this once," it was owing to causes seldom existing rather than to anything in the ordinary course of nature. The peach has shown itself capable of standing a long-continued severity of uniform cold, and yet expand its pink blossoms to the sun. Had winter closed her frozen reign at the ordinary period, and spring come on with her glad sunshine and warm breezes, these blossoms might have matured into fruit, and the long-confined branches might have given forth beautiful and healthy verdure. Be this as it may, however, let no one neglect to cultivate the peach, though timidity may induce it to be done in a small way. The plum has failed to some extent as the result of the season, bat the loss on this account is small, indeed, compared with that entailed by the yearly depredations of insects. The season showed marked effects on our native evergreens as well as on our delicate fruits.
The hemlock, the pine, and the kalmias, in their native soil, in many instances exhibited their dried leaves as though a fire had passed through their branches. So it was not the exotic - the far-fetched and dear-bought alone - that suffered the influences of a season which those of us who witnessed it will not be likely to forget.
Dr. J. M. Ward has exhibited to us some Vicar of Winkfield Pears that exceed, in size, any we have seen. Five of them weigh over six pounds, and they are as delicious as they are fine looking. They are a portion of those reserved for competition, awaiting, beyond the specified time, the acceptance of a challenge for the production of a better lot, which nobody entered the arena to claim. Notwithstanding assertions that Dr. Ward's trees were neither properly planted nor properly cultivated, he does produce the veritable article.
What is the reason that, with sales for many past years of millions of dwarf-trees, pears are still so scarce and high-priced, is answered by one of our valued correspondents thus, but it is scarcely satisfactory: -
" He who has ten or twelve pear-trees in his garden, is commonly situated as follows: Two or three cooking pears; five or six worthless varieties; and the balance, varieties that do not thrive upon the quince (although budded upon it), or grafted upon pear stock, which throws out limbs, limbs, limbs, and roots (if not suckers), till the other poor trees are overshadowed; all that, badly planted, badly pruned - if pruned at all - near hard walks or fences, surrounded with grass, weeds, raspberries, currants, flowers, etc. But, suppose no great mischief is brought upon the trees by children, animals, or the shadow of some tall elm, or other forest-tree, what then? More than one-half of the fruit is picked wilfully or playfully by children, servants, &o. etc.; and if, by great care, the busy man (never at home) succeeds in ripening some, is there one of these that can decently go out of the family? Wives, daughters, and inmates, would rather see their preserves and vegetables given away than a Duchesse or Flemish Beauty.
"If you must have pears, raise them yourselves, in gardens out of the reach of boys, and other nuisances".
It is true enough that we much depend on our own trees, for a good pear commands fifty cents in the show window; but what puzzles the outsiders, and to which we have no satisfactory answer, is where are all the promised abundance - the barrels that were growing? We admit progress, and rejoice in it, but, that the idea of supplying the wants of our great cities has not yet been realized, we, in common with the public, regret. The past season has been a poor one, it is true, but one would suppose the various climates should have furnished more than have yet been seen. The purchase of a half-barrel of good pears, we have found it impossible to accomplish. Let us, however, live in hope.