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.
As it is desirable to compare notes as to the success of various fruits in different parts of our great country, I send you a few lines about fruit in New Castle Co., Delaware. Pears and grapes are all the rage; apples are mostly ignored; plums, apricots, and nectarines are not attempted on account of the curculio. The peach is not grown in this immediate vicinity, but sixteen miles below Wilmington, in the lower part of the county, and in the two lower counties, much attention is paid to peach-orchards, and very handsome profits realized therefrom. More of this anon. Now first as to the grape, to take them in alphabetical order, and premising that I do not speak altogether from my own personal experience, but in part "from my neighbors.
Blanch is well thought of; is said to keep admirably for winter, and is to be recommended in this vicinity.
Catawba, universally known and esteemed, did uncommonly well with us during the past season. Query - With the proper culture, have we any native to compare with Catawba ? [We think we have something better. - Ed].
Dr. Norris must certainly have been most remarkably successful, if it is from his own experience that he recommends the Bartlett as "one of the very best pears to grow on the quince stock," and states that its asserted imperfect union with the quince " is entirely fallacious." I have had considerable experience with the Bartlett on the quince, both in the nursery and orchard, and regard it as a perfect waste of time and money to attempt to grow it in that manner. That it will in exceptional cases unite well, and form a fine dwarf, is not to be denied; indeed, it will very generally do well for two, three, or even four years, but I am not the only nurseryman who can tell you that it is not at all a difficult matter to go through a row of two-year-old trees, and break off at the bud half of them by a pull not more violent than is frequently given in removing a tree from the nursery; nor am I the only orchardist who can tell you of dwarfs of four or five years, broken off at the same point by the wind; indeed, I have even seen that happen in the nursery rows.
Other varieties of similar ages unite so firmly with the stock, that their separation is a matter not to be effected without difficulty; and with some it is much more easy to break the stem at any other point than to disunite the fibres of the pear and quince, so closely and firmly are they bound together.
Surely, then, "the idea of its imperfect junction" is not quite "fallacious." For myself, I can see no reason for wishing to dwarf a variety which fruits so early and abundantly as does the Bartlett, except in an occasional instance for a very small garden, where a standard is altogether inadmissible; and I must confess, Mr. Editor, that I read with no little surprise your recommendation of it as one of the best six sorts for dwarf culture, (page 96.) Much disappointment must assuredly result from following unconditionally your advice on this head. [We should be greatly pained to have misled any body; and yet we have just advised a young friend, who is about planting a dwarf Fear orchard, to plant one-third of it with the Bartlett If he selects and plants his trees as we directed him, we shall have no fear for the result. We have never lost but two trees. - Ed].