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Posts Tagged ‘pears’

Keswick Codlin, an early cooking apple variety that arose in North West England

I am a farmer in the south Pennines (I have recently taken over the farm from my now retired parents) and am looking to plant some more apple and pear varieties best suited to our climate. I’m hoping to plant around 15 – 20 trees in 2018 and look forward to using this resource to research what varieties to get. If there is anyone reading this based in the North West who has the time to offer advice to someone such as myself please do feel free to get in touch. Our farm website has our contact details on: www.cronkshawfoldfarm.co.uk.

Dorothy McCarthy

And please post your suggestions and comments below and we will pass them on.

We asked Hilary Wilson to give us some suggestions which are posted below – Comment number 3. Hilary  is a great authority on the apples  of the North West and has spent many years identifying and searching for varieties that do well in her native Cumbria, where she also farmed.

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I am trying to identify a pear tree that we had many years ago in Berkshire. It was tall, old and produced knobbly little pears that were hard! But they were fabulous to eat once they had been bottled in syrup!
This was about 30 years ago. I would love to plant another if possible?

Jenny Tarrant

A possibility might be Hessle which was once planted all over Britain, in domestic gardens, market gardens and orchards.

Hessle pear

For more ideas on which variety it might be look here for photographs of some 450 pears, most of which have been grown in the UK at one time or another and now grow in the National Fruit Collection, Brogdale, Kent; also described in detail in  The Book of Pears.

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About two years ago, I attended a local apple day at Audley End, Essex, where I purchased some estate grown pears called Soleil d’ Automne. These were medium sized, barrel shaped, bright yellow with a very slight pink flush; well named, they were just like autumn sunshine. I would like to acquire a tree to add to my orchard but, inquiries at Audley End drew a blank, National Fruit Collection, Brogdale has no mention of it, as has The Book of Pears, nor can I find a nursery offering it. Is this a local naming or has it an alternative name? Any information on sourcing would be most useful.

Keith Jones

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Summer Beurré d'Arenberg

Summer Beurré d’Arenberg

 

I live in Hamburg, North Germany, and I am planting a heritage English orchard. I am looking for two varieties of pear which were bred by Thomas Rivers, but not Conference. Ideally, I would like one to eat ‘off the tree’ and one that would keep for a short while.
My soil is on the sandy side with woodland on the North and East side, but with a high water table (4 meters below ground level). In the very worst of the winters we can get below -12c. Spring arrives at a similar time to the UK Midlands and is as variable!

Bill Boulton

Thomas Rivers (1798 -1877) did not breed many pears, as far as one knows, and, indeed, it seems only one. He raised a great many more varieties of stone fruit – plums, cherries, peaches and nectarines. It was his son T. Francis Rivers (1831-1899) who raised the Conference pear and also Fertility and Beacon.

Summer Beurré d’Arenberg was probably raised by Thomas Rivers; it first fruited in 1863, a decade and more before his death. This ripens during September in southern England, so not really as early as the name suggests. A juicy, melting fleshed pear with a lively, sweet-sharp taste, it crops heavily, although this can result in rather small fruit.

For another pear from the Rivers Nursery, you will need to turn to those raised by his son. Beacon ripens during August, keeps only for a short time and crops heavily. Fertility is a September to early October pear, with melting flesh, sweet and lemony; it can be on the sharp side, but lives up to its name producing prolific crops. (For pictures see www.thebookofpears.fruitforum.net) They all flower around the same time as Conference, or just a little later, and in the mid-period of pear blossom time.

All these varieties of pear are growing and conserved in the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale in Kent. Scion wood – graft wood and bud wood – for propagating your own trees can be obtained from the National Fruit Collection: click here. This is probably the best way for you to get these pears, although they could be worked for you by a nurseryman in England and then sent on to Germany.

Joan Morgan

 

 

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Book of Pears 9781785031472

 

A long time in the making, The Book of Pears is now published. It tells the story of the pear in eight narrative chapters and contains a Directory to around 500 varieties of pear. Following the pear’s journey across continents and cultures, the chapters trace its history, the gradual emergence of its luscious textures, exotic perfumes and increasing status to that of a highly prized fresh fruit. ‘Gold to the apple’s silver, it used to be said. The pear’s role as a market fruit and international commodity forms part of the story and also the use of other pear varieties for cooking and making into the drink perry. Water colour paintings of pears by Elisabeth Dowle illustrate the chapters, plus many period images. In the Directory, which forms the second half of the book, each variety entry contains tasting notes, an account of its origin and history, a full fruit description for the purposes of identification and details helpful to its cultivation. The Directory is based on the Pear Collection in National Fruit Collection at Brogdale in Kent, UK.

The Book of Pears has a companion website, which is now also launched: http://www.thebookofpears.fruitforum.net

The website complements the book and Elisabeth’s paintings by providing photographs of almost every one of the varieties described in its Directory; impossible to include in the book itself. Together with the book, this gallery of photographs can be used to put a picture to a name and help put a name to an unknown pear. All the varieties shown on the website were photographed and grow in the National Fruit Collection (except where noted).

I hope that the book and the website will prove enjoyable and useful and that they will work well together.

Joan Morgan

The Book of Pears is published as a hard back and ebook by Ebury Press in association with the Royal Horticultural Society in the UK and by Chelsea Green in the USA. Available from bookshops, the publishers (Ebury, RHS, Chelsea Green) and Amazon.

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Class 11: Best Collection of Fruit at the RHS Autumn Show 2015 won by Adrian Baggaley

Class 11: ‘Best Collection of Fruit’ at the RHS Autumn Show 2015 won by Adrian Baggaley. Front row, left to right: Howgate Wonder, Mère de Ménage, Reverend W Wilks. Middle row left to right: Conference, Concorde, Pitmaston Duchess. Back row, left to right: Norfolk Royal Russset, Fiesta, Red Devil. The dish of Fiesta in this collection also won the E. J. White Trophy for the best single dish of fruit in the show.

For a number of years we have reported the amazing successes achieved by Adrian Baggaley at the Royal Horticultural Society fruit shows. This year he has excelled and even beaten his own records. He entered 40 classes and won 35 of them at the RHS Autumn Show on 6-7 October 2015. These included ‘Firsts’ for the ‘Best Dish of Apples’, the Best Dish of Pears’ and the  most challenging of all the ‘Best Collection of Fruit’, that is, nine perfectly matched and flawless dishes of apples and pears! To achieve this level of success, you need to be very dedicated – take a look at  Adrian’s article ‘Growing for Showing‘ on our main website.  Well done Adrian!

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King's Acre Pippin apple

King’s Acre Pippin apple

We will track the progress of fruit blossom during the coming weeks through its development in the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale, near Faversham, Kent. Our guide is Lorinda Jewsbury, who is going to give us information on a number of varieties in the Collection: dates when 10% of the buds are open, the tree is in full flower and when 90% of the petals have fallen. The varieties that Lorinda records are listed below with the dates observed so far. Updates will follow as we advance through blossom time.

The year’s season held off from 2014’s early show of flowers, with the apricots, plums, cherries and pears opening their blooms a good 2-3 weeks later than last year. In mid-April we had a few unusually warm and sunny days, which really set the blooms in motion. One moment there was barely a pear tree in blossom, the next saw the orchard awash with white flowers.

For the plums, a cluster of warm days gave a boost to the flowering times, with just 1-2 days between ‘10% of blossom open’ and ‘full flower’ for a number of varieties. It also gave a boost to the bees, butterflies and numerous other insects that appeared to be enjoying the sea of open flowers in the orchard. Hopefully they will have done a good job at pollinating the flowers for us and, weather permitting, a good crop will follow.

Lorinda Jewsbury

2015

PLUM

Cambridge Gage: 15th April (10% open); 16th April (full flower)

Czar: 7th April (10% open); 11th April (full flower)

Denniston’s Superb (Imperial Gage): 11th April (10% open); 14th April (full flower)

Farleigh Damson: 13th April (10% open); 15th April (full flower)

Marjorie’s Seedling: 15th April (10% open); 16th April (full flower)

Oullins Gage: 14th April (10% open); 15th April (full flower)

Pershore Yellow Egg: 14th April (10% open); 15th April (full flower)

Victoria: 13th April (10% open); 15th April (full flower)

PEAR

Concorde: 21st April (10% open)

Conference: 20th April (10% open)

Doyenne du Comice: 21st April (10% open)

Louise Bonne of Jersey: 15th April (10% open); 19th April (full flower)

CHERRY

Early Rivers: 16th April (10% open); 20th April (full flower)

Hertford: 18th April (10% open); 22nd April (full flower)

Lapins: 15th April (10% open); 18th April (full flower)

Merchant: 20th April (10% open)

Stella: 20th April (10% open)

Sunburst: 21st April (10% open)

APPLE

Blenheim Orange:

Bramley’s Seedling:

Cox’s Orange Pippin:

Crawley Beauty:

Discovery:

Egremont Russet:

Falstaff:

Feuillemorte:

Fiesta/Red Pippin:

Gala:

James Grieve:

Jonagold:

Meridian:

Red Astrachan: 16th April (10% open); 21st April (full flower)

St. Edmund’s Pippin:

Worcester Pearmain:

 

See below, in first comment,  for a course on pollination 26-28 June 2015 in Cambridge UK

 

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