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Title: The Canadian Horticulturist Volume 02, No. 02

Date of first publication: 1879

Author: D. W. Beadle

Date first posted: Sep. 21, 2014

Date last updated: Sep. 21, 2014

Faded Page eBook #20140927

This ebook was produced by: Marcia Brooks, David Edwards, Paulina Chin & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net

The Canadian Horticulturist.










VOL. II.]FEBRUARY, 1879. [NO. 2.


An effort is being made by interested persons to call the attention of Canadian planters to certain varieties of trees to which they have given the appellation of iron-clads, and to produce the impression that the trees they are selling are new sorts of recent introduction, natives of northern latitudes, improved to very high quality by careful hybridization and culture. In order to impress more fully upon the mind of the public the value and novelty of these iron-clads, the trees are offered to them at seventy-five cents apiece for the apple trees and from one dollar to a dollar and a half for the pear and cherry trees. If the trees which are thus sold by them at these prices could not be afforded at a less price, no one could make any objection, and it would be cheaper in the end to the planter in northern latitudes to pay these prices for hardy trees than to plant those which will not endure the climate. But on examining the list of varieties mentioned in the circular which is put into the hands of our farmers, one finds among them that well known apple, the Tetofsky. This has been in cultivation by Canadian nurserymen for at least fifteen years, and any farmer in the Province can obtain it if he wishes for twenty-five cents. Another variety is the Duchess of Oldenburgh, which can be had of any of our leading nurserymen at the same price as any other apple tree, and which has been already widely disseminated by them and extensively planted. Another variety is the Grime’s Golden, which was distributed a number of years ago by the Fruit Growers’ Association to all its members, and which may be had as cheap as any other apple tree. The two varieties of pear which are offered as iron-clads at these exhorbitant prices are the Flemish Beauty and Clapp’s Favorite. The former of these has been in cultivation in this country so long that the latter has been grown from seed of the Flemish Beauty, by Mr. Clapp, so that the mother and daughter—the daughter 18 herself no longer in her teens—are offered as recent introductions. It is too bad that such ignorance should prevail among the farmers of Canada as to make it possible for such things to be practiced upon them. No stronger argument than this need be adduced for the necessity of such an organization as the Fruit Growers’ Association of Ontario, and the saving every farmer may effect for himself by becoming a member, and carefully reading the information laid before him in its reports and publications. These pear trees may be had of any respectable nurserymen for fifty cents each, in truth there is not a tree in the list that can not be had for that money, and if ordered by the hundred could be procured for less.

The impositions that have been practiced upon the purchasers of trees have reached to such a magnitude that one might expect that the farmers would cease altogether to deal with these middlemen, and make their purchases direct from the nurserymen. This is not the case however. Human nature seems to like to be humbugged. Venders of wooden nutmegs will not cease so long as purchasers can be found. There are men who prefer to be cheated—to pay three times the value of a thing because some silver-tongued salesman magnifies its virtues and its value, and offers to bring it to their doors, rather than take the trouble to write to the producer and ascertain its price. A class of middlemen have sprung up to meet this very condition of the public mind, men who do not own any nursery at all, but who are prepared to buy where they can do so to the best advantage, as well as to sell to the best advantage. The Huron Signal, published at Goderich, deserves the thanks of all its patrons for showing up a firm of these pretended nurserymen, in its issue of the twenty-third of October last. There has been more than one of these firms doing business in Canada, giving the impression that they are nurserymen, when they are not, and their sales are large, and that at prices which Canadian nurserymen never think of asking. It seems as if it were because they do not charge such exhorbitant prices that the public conclude that they can not have these wonderful new trees—new! like the Flemish Beauty Pear and Montmorency Cherry, trees that our grandfathers cultivated in the long, long ago.

If there be anything more ridiculous than the fact that men are to be found who can be so easily duped, it is the absurd cry sometimes to be met with in the newspapers, calling upon the government to protect 19 the people from such impositions. If men like to part with their money foolishly what right has government to interfere. In these days of light every man may easily inform himself, so that he can know the true value of whatever is offered him, and if he buys without knowing it, he has only himself to blame for his folly.



I notice by the report, that the Downing Gooseberry bush has proved a failure in quite a number of places. For my part, I cannot speak too highly of it; my bush has given the best of satisfaction, bearing heavy crops of berries every year. I picked nine pounds of berries from my bush this year. Last year the Gooseberry Worm attacked it, and would have destroyed the whole crop, but I picked them off when about two-thirds grown. In the fall I scattered unleached wood ashes liberally under the bush, in the spring I gave it another good dressing of the same material, this year there was not a worm to be seen. I think the ashes had a good effect. I never save ashes, but carry them out and scatter around my currant and gooseberry bushes when they are taken from the stove, at all seasons of the year; if there is snow on the ground I throw them on the snow. I never have any trouble with the Currant Worm, but all my neighbors have to use hellebore. I have no doubt that it would be better to save the ashes through the winter season, and scatter them about the bushes in the spring as soon as the frost is out. Ashes are a good fertilizer for currant bushes, and kill the worms that lie in the ground in winter.

The Downing Gooseberry suits me better than any variety I have tried. I have an English variety that has been planted seven years, and have received no fruit yet. The plants blossom well every year, but from some cause unknown to me, the fruit falls off when the berry begins to form. I received the plants from a friend at Rice Lake, near Cobourg, they fruited well with him every year; I was very much taken up with them, and got him to send me a few plants, but they will not bear fruit for me. I have tried them in clay and loam. I intend digging up this variety and putting the Downing in its place. 20



The Editor of the Canadian Horticulturist desires a note of my experience with some fruit,—

“As apple, pear, or cherry,

Or peach, or grape, or berry.”

Now it is a somewhat difficult task to choose, even from this string of fruitful subjects, a topic that may be at once interesting and instructive to the many ripe readers of that very excellent magazine. However, having thought the matter over to some extent, and having spent some considerable amount of wonderment as to what I could contribute that might be of service to the cause, I have at length stumbled upon a short note respecting the American Dewberry, advertised and styled Bartle’s American Dewberry.

Some two or three years ago, A. M. Purdy, of Rochester, N. Y., in his nice little monthly, entitled The Fruit Recorder, advertised and lauded this wonderful berry quite freely, and even promised to send a plant as a premium to any one renewing their subscription to the Recorder. Now my curiosity was pretty well aroused. What on earth could this wonderful berry be? For although it was pretty fully described and largely pictured out, yet good care was taken not to tell exactly what it was; you know this is sometimes done. Well, Webster says of it, that it is the fruit of a species of briar or bramble, the low-vined blackberry that creeps along the ground, of the genus Rubus. Wood, in his “Class Book of Botany” very largely and fully describes two species of Dewberry, under the genus Rubus, viz: R. Canadensis and R. Trivialis, or Northern and Southern Dewberry, but I was ignorant of the difference. Well, at length I sent for a couple of roots true to name, the veritable Dewberry about which so much talk was made, and in due course of time they came in a snug little parcel by mail, and perfectly dried, like small pieces of lifeless sticks. However I was not discouraged, I had faith, I believed there was luscious fruit in them, so I immediately immersed them in water, (in good Canadian water, over head and ears,) for a day or two, and then very carefully planted them out in a nice cool moist place, to give them all the good chances to revive, and they grew! The second year, to my utter astonishment, they ran (not creeping, as Webster has it,) 21 along the ground in various directions, fully twelve feet. I thought sure now I shall have bushels of sweet Dewberries next, and I shall be initiated into all the mysteries of their growth. If those vines are covered their whole length with nice fruit, what a magnificent sight it will be. Surely my fellow fruit growers know nothing of this rich luscious treat, and I may make considerable money out of it. But alas! fond hopes are liable to be blighted. After all my waiting and anxious expectation I have never yet seen any fruit on these fondly prized roots (or vines either). I suppose there was something unsuitable either in the nature of the soil, or the atmospheric relations, or the country, or the sex of the plants, or something, for although they appear to flower well, and grow to my entire satisfaction, yet they perfect no fruit; they are abortive!

Now let us indulge in a reflection or two by way of lessons: 1st. Be careful how you experiment or speculate in new fruits. 2nd. Deal as near home as possible, “encourage home nurseries.” 3rd. Receive the glowing descriptions and advertisements of interested salesmen with an ample degree of allowance. 4th. Give more attention to the improving and perfecting of our own fruits that are sure and known to do well, than to looking to other climates, and suffering expense and loss in testing their fruits. If, however, any of our Canadian fruit growers have had success, and think well of this celebrated Dewberry, we shall be most happy to hear at the earliest possible moment of their success, and to congratulate them in it.



It may be interesting to some of your readers to hear a short account of the fruit growing capabilities of this northern part of Canada. When Collingwood was first settled, about twenty years ago, the site on which the town now stands was a dense cedar and tamarac swamp, with pure sand instead of soil, with the exception of here and there a swale of black muck. However, nothing daunted, gardens were made and fruit trees planted. It was soon found, that although the winds and storms were very severe and piercing cold, the thermometer, in consequence of the large body of water in Georgian Bay, 22 never fell lower than 15° below zero, though at the same time it would be 20° to 25° below further south. This proximity to the lake kept off the early frosts; and when further inland everything green would be destroyed by frost, yet our gardens of potatoes, tomatoes, corn, &c., would be quite uninjured. This encouraged a few to try peaches and grapes, and although not yet extensively grown, enough has been done to prove that these fruits will grow and ripen. I have seen as fine and delicious peaches as could be seen anywhere; and the Delaware, Concord, and other early grapes come to great perfection. But our greatest success is in growing plums. The climate and soil appear peculiarly adapted to the growth of this fine fruit, in every variety yielding abundantly and continuously year after year, with as yet no enemies worth speaking of. Some of our citizens are preparing to raise them largely for the eastern and western markets, and there is little doubt that their efforts and hopes will be realized, bringing them solid rewards for their enterprise and labor. The black knot and curculio have not yet found our orchards; the only insect to annoy is the tent caterpillar. Apples do not thrive so well, owing, I imagine, to the sub-soil being wet and cold; however, those who have taken some pains in draining deep have been rewarded with splendid fruit, showing that the climate is more propitious than the soil in its natural state. Pears, I think will succeed in time; I have not seen any but dwarf kinds, which have bore fine fruit.

I have been trying experiments in raising plums from seed, and so far have been very successful, and the experiments quite interesting, and I expect in time to add several new kinds to our already extensive stock. I grew a most luscious large bell or pear-shaped plum, which ripened early, but only fruited once when showing signs of dying; I cut all the top away, and transplanted into better, and I trust more congenial soil, it is growing slowly, but not enough top as yet to bear fruit. I have also a curious tree which—being quite the opposite to the one just named—refuses to be killed. Long after the winter sets in it is covered with its beautiful blue fruit and green leaves, and defies the storm to shake off its fruit, smiling at the effort, (while every other tree is bare even of leaves,) and allowing the wind to blow off the snow from its cheek, as much as to say, “Do your best, I can stand it.” I gathered the last of the fruit about the end of November. Other curious kinds I shall let you hear of when I have proved them better. 23


“An ambitious amateur” inquires what varieties of apple and pear seeds are the best to sow in order to raise hardy stocks; and by way of explanation added, that he had seen it stated that the seedlings raised from crab apple seed made the most hardy stocks, and again had found that statement controverted.

We have not had sufficient experience in the use of seedlings grown from crab apples to enable us to say whether trees grafted upon them are any more hardy because of the crab apple stock. Nurserymen usually get their apple seed from orchards of native or seedling fruit, where the apples not being of such a quality as to be saleable in our markets, are ground up for cider. The stocks from these seeds are found to be healthy and vigorous; and indeed, if our nurserymen were to endeavor to procure crab apple seed, they would soon discover that it was not to be had in sufficient quantity to meet their needs. But from what is known of the influence of the stock upon the scion, there seems to be great reason to doubt whether the tree would be any more able to endure extreme cold because it was grafted upon a crab apple stock.

With regard to pear stocks, nearly all the seed that is sown is imported from Europe, and perhaps might properly be denominated crab seed. But very little seed however is sown in America in proportion to the number of stocks used, most nurserymen preferring to import the stocks themselves. European grown stocks are usually healthier and better than those grown in America.



Living as I do in a neighborhood where clay soil predominates, and as there is a prejudice existing against such soil for gardening, I thought I would write a few lines for the Horticulturist, and endeavor to dispel that feeling to some extent.

I have often heard parties say, “You cannot have a good garden except on light soil. It must be sandy, or very light loam. Sand is easily worked, and you can do so at all times; it never gets too wet, 24 and does not harden.” Well, I will admit that there is a good deal in those remarks, but it does not follow that because we all have not such land to labor that we cannot grow equally well vegetables, berries, and fruits of all kinds. Light soil as a rule requires more attention than clay. It requires more manure; being loose, the liquid soon percolates through it. It is more given to weeds, and of course requires more labour to exterminate them. Gooseberries, and several kinds of grapes have a strong tendency to mildew, when the reverse is the case on the clay soil, whose stringent nature better retains the fertilizing qualities of the stimulants applied, and gives the benefit of them to the expected crops. Our farmers as a rule, particularly in this neighborhood, pay little attention to the garden. If you ask them, they will say, “Oh, it does not pay, we have not time, the land is too hard.” A very great mistake. Nothing pays better than a cared-for garden; and the soil soon mellows to the industrious hand. Generally there is a little spot fenced in called a garden, near the farm house, but you need not go in to examine it, you have only to look over the pickets, and you see some currant bushes around the fence, struggling with long grass for the mastery, assisted by some burrs and Canada thistles; and a place scraped among the weeds for a dozen of tomato plants and a hundred of cabbage plants, or perhaps a few early potatoes, which, when you go to look for your crop, if the stalks are not green, you may have some difficulty to find. And this is not owing to the tendency of the soil to weeds, but to shere neglect, when an hour now and again would do the work required, and the garden would be a pleasure to look at, as well as a source of profit—yea, more so than any other portion of the farm.

My garden is composed of stiff clay soil. In it I grow six different kinds of gooseberries; white and red raspberries; blackcaps in abundance for our family; fourteen different kinds of grapes, many of the Chasselas family, and no mildew of any kind interferes with them. Asparagus, and other vegetables thrive well. In the orchard, pears and apples succeed, also plums and cherries. But in the cultivation of strawberries I give in to the sandy soil; I think they are easier grown there, and I have no room in my patch to wait for them.

Now, Mr. Editor; my object in writing these few hurried lines is to endeavor to make the cultivation of the garden more popular, particularly on clay soil. I hope that the farmers through the country 25 will not leave it altogether to their wives and daughters, as is generally done, but will assist them in preparing a nice place to grow vegetables and small fruits such as I have mentioned, with a well selected spot therein for the cultivation of roses and flowers of most all descriptions, which can be grown in this Province, and nowhere better than on clay soil.



Wee, sleekit, cowrin, timorous beastie,

O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!

*    *    *    *

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;

What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!

*    *    *    *

That wee bit heap o’ leaves and stibble

Has cost thee mony a weary nibble!

Robert Burns.

If we knew no more about the mouse than what we find under the name in an old copy of Webster’s dictionary, we, as fruit growers, would have reason for gratitude. The definition is: “A small animal of the genus Mus, inhabiting houses.”! Unfortunately for us, the mouse does not confine its devastations to the houses, but plays havoc among our trees out of doors as well. The Hebrew word is Achbar; and the mouse seems to have been an article of food in ancient times, for Isaiah, in chap. 66, v. 17, reproaches the Jews of his time with eating the flesh of mice and other things that were unclean. It is also stated that during the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans, mice, together with rats and dogs, were a common article of diet! Doubtless, however, as in the case of the locust, some other mode of extermination will better suit Canadians than that of serving them as a dainty dish at the breakfast table.

The mouse, which belongs to the sub-kingdom vertebrate, class mammalia, group rodenta, has, in common with other members of its group, no canine teeth, but two enormously developed incisors, with several molar teeth possessing flat crowns, exhibiting curvilinear plates of enamel; and the jaws work backward and forward in place of up and down. The house mouse (mus musculus) is quite distinct from the field mouse, of which there are many species, Arvicola Austerus 26 being perhaps the most troublesome to us as fruit growers; and of this last named species alone, I have seen it stated that there are many varieties.

The following is a very complete list of Canadian representatives of the family Muridæ, for which I am indebted to Prof. J. Ramsay Wright, of Toronto, who kindly adds: “I shall be happy to identify any species for you.”

MuridæMus decumanus, brown rat.
  ”  musculus, house mouse.
Hesperomys leucopus, white-footed mouse.
    ”      Michiganensis.
Erotomys rutilii, long-eared mouse.
Arvicola riparius, marsh mouse.
    ”    Austerus.
    ”   pinetorum, pine mouse.

In addition to the above list of Canadian species may be enumerated many others, such as Mus messorus (English harvest mouse); Mus rattus (the black rat); Hesperomys aureolus (red mouse of Pa. and South); Hesperomys politris (rice field mouse, S. States).

By many naturalists the Arvicolæ or Voles have been grouped separately from the Muridæ, as not being true mice, because of a peculiarity of teeth which indicates an affinity with the beavers.

One kind of field mouse makes its granary under the ground, sometimes as much as a foot from the surface, and here in one repository there has been found as many as a bushel of nuts. He is aristocratic enough not to dine and live in the same room, but usually has another chamber off his store-house in which to live. He is not content, however, to keep within doors for the winter; for instead of hybernating like some other animals, he is peculiarly active in winter, no degree of cold seeming to inspire him with cowardice. Too dainty to be satisfied with what he has in store, he wanders forth in quest of other luxuries, as grasses, the seeds and roots of herbaceous plants, grains and vegetables. Nor is this enough, but intent on destruction, he makes his most dainty repast on the bark of some fine young apple or pear tree. He is delighted to get into the orchard of some careless fruit grower, where he finds rubbish about the trees, as if on purpose to protect him from view; and still more is he pleased when deep snows afford him every advantage for making tunnels and roadways from tree to tree. 27

Immense damage is yearly done in orchards by field mice, and they increase so rapidly that all our vigilance cannot do more than keep them in check. It is said that one female will sometimes rear three litters of six or seven each in a single season. The hawk, the owl, the skunk, and the cat are natural enemies of the mouse, and are consequently friends of the fruit grower. The female cat is considered a better mouser than the male, especially if she is milk-fed and has a couple of kittens. Cats, therefore, should be encouraged by the orchardist, and every other means possible taken to route these destroyers from his premises. Every pile of rubbish that can shelter them should be destroyed; the ground should be cleared along the fences, where too often we see nothing but briars and alders; old rails should be stood on end instead of thrown in heaps, that no harbour be given the mice, and that cats may seize them before they are able to hide.

Traps may also be used with success in the fields. One plan is to sink barrels about half way in the ground, and bore holes through the staves at the surface, into which the mice will take refuge at night. Another and a very simple trap is made by placing a roasted nut under a large flat stone, which is supported by a small stick of wood. The arrangement is such that as soon as the mouse begins his meal, the stone comes down upon his back.

In addition to these means of lessening the number of the enemy, it will also be found necessary to protect the trees themselves against his ravages. The usual method of protection against mice is to heap a mound of earth about each tree, and this has been found by the writer to be at the same time very simple and very effective. One writer recommends tarred bandages, but this would surely be more troublesome than the mounding process.

Mr. D. W. Beadle, of St. Catharines, has recommended painting the trunks of the trees with a mixture which is made as follows:—“Take one spadeful of hot slacked lime, one of clean fresh cow-dung, one of soot, and a handful of flower of sulphur. Mix the whole together with sufficient water to reduce to the consistence of a thick paint. Apply this on the exposed parts of the trees in dry weather in autumn.” This would surely be much cheaper and more expeditious than any other method.

In any case, to be forewarned should be to be forearmed, and if 28 any grower is hereby led to guard his orchard more carefully against this troublesome pest, he may save himself many times the amount of his subscription to the Horticulturist.


There appeared in the Montreal Witness, of November last, the following article:


Sir:—It is important in a country like this—where farming is so little remunerative—to find some special thing that may be successfully cultivated, and for which profitable market can be readily found. I believe this desideratum is found in the vine. Naturally very hardy, it appears to be well suited to both our climate and soil, growing in a wild state as it does all over the country. But for the purpose of commerce it is necessary to find some cultivated variety that will ripen early—both to avoid the danger of early frosts, and that it may compete successfully with the foreign fruit that is usually imported here in the month of September. A variety discovered only some two or three years since, and which has been now named ‘The Beaconsfield,’ appears to meet these requirements—ripening fully between the 25th of August and the 5th of September, earlier than any foreign fruit can be imported. It is very prolific, and of rapid growth; the fruit is large, of a dark purple color, sweet and luscious, and fit for table use, being quite free from that acid taste that foreign imported fruit necessarily has, by reason of its being gathered in an unripe state for a distant market.

“Having gathered all the information I could respecting this vine, I determined to try it, and in the spring of 1877 I planted a vineyard of about three acres with two thousand five hundred vines. A few of them bore fruit that year, and the present year, (1878) gave me a crop of nearly a ton weight, comparatively but a few only of the vines bearing, but the yield of these was very satisfactory, numbers of the vines bearing as many as thirty good-sized bunches, and one in particular fifty bunches. I believe from what I have observed that I am justified in estimating my crop for next year at not less than thirty tons of grapes. As one-half of this crop would more than repay the total cost of the vines, labor, and all expenditure in the ingathering of that crop, it is evident that this will yield a very great profit; and I am so well pleased with the result of my experiment in its financial aspect, and as showing that the vine can be successfully cultivated in this country, that I have made arrangements to plant four thousand vines 29 more in the coming spring; this will give me over six thousand vines, occupying about eight acres of land.

“I am anxious to induce our people to engage in vine culture, for I am convinced it may be made a most important and profitable adjunct to every Canadian farm, and in many cases a principal source of revenue. It is hardy, does not require a specially excellent soil, and its cultivation is perhaps less costly in time and labor than that of any other fruit.

J. H. Menzies.

Point Claire, 11th Nov., 1878.”

The attention of the Editor of the Canadian Horticulturist was called to this new grape by one of the Directors of the Fruit Growers’ Association, who requested that the above article should be published for the benefit of the members who would be interested in so early and valuable a grape. The Editor wrote to Mr. Menzies, asking him to give the history of this grape, where and when it originated, and by whom it was first cultivated and introduced, but up to this time no reply or information of any kind has been received from Mr. Menzies. However, from other sources your editor received the following circular:

Beaconsfield, Point Claire, P. Q., 2nd Dec., 1878.

“Dear Sir:—

“On the 2nd September last, I sent a few grapes grown by me here in the open air, to the Editor of the Daily Witness, and that gentleman was so good as to notice them, in his issue of the same date, in the following terms:—


‘The early Norse voyagers who reached America by way of Greenland reported having reached a country of clustering vines. Champlain found the shore of the Lower St. Lawrence so luxuriantly hung with grapes that he called the Isle of Orleans the Isle of Bacchus. The Riviere au Raisins at Lancaster doubtless owes its name to a similar phenomenon. It is possible, then, that if we have not our hill sides covered with vineyards, it is not because grapes will not grow well, but because we have not discovered the best varieties for our climate. Our wild vines are hardy enough, and their fruit might be improved by culture to be equal to the best. We have been astonished by a present of a box of fully ripe grapes grown by Mr. J. H. Menzies, of this city, in the open air at Pointe Claire. The grapes are riper and sweeter than those that have hitherto reached us from the south, and are of as good quality as are sold. We should have expected to see grapes ripen in Montreal two or three weeks hence, if at all, but Mr. Menzies says he has been eating grapes for a week back. Mr. Menzies planted in the spring of last year a vineyard of twenty-four hundred vines, this being the first bearing year of a part of the vines only. He 30 is now convinced that to the inhabitants of this island the culture of the grape might prove an important source of wealth.’

“Having thus succeeded, as I think, in proving that the vine can be cultivated with success in Canada, I determined to engage more largely in it; and being fully persuaded that vine-culture would prove very profitable to our people, I again drew the attention of the editors of the Daily Witness and the Star to the subject. The former gentleman inserted in his paper a letter I wrote him, and the latter commented on this letter in his issue of the 19th November, as follows:


‘The idea of successfully cultivating the vine in our northern country is one which upon first thought seems to be so preposterous as to merit hardly a moment’s serious consideration. The mind naturally reverts to the sunny climes of France, Spain or Italy as the natural home of this most luscious of all the fruits of the earth. But notwithstanding this natural feeling, the question may be asked why it should be so? The vine is hardy, and appears to be well suited to both our soil and climate, as it grows readily in a wild state; and it may be taken as an axiom that where a tree or plant is found to grow spontaneously, that place is suitable for the successful cultivation of such tree or plant. It remains only then to select a variety which will mature fast and ripen early enough to escape the possible early frosts, and compete with the foreign fruit which is imported so extensively here during the month of September, to make the successful cultivation of the vine in Canada a possibility. A variety for which these qualities are all claimed, and which has been named the ‘Beaconsfield,’ was discovered some three years ago, and brought before the attention of Mr. J. H. Menzies, of the Mechanics’ Bank, a gentleman who has given the question some considerable attention, and who was so favorably impressed with the appearance of this new claimant for public favor, that with commendable enterprise he invested in a quantity of plants sufficient to start a little vineyard at his country house at Pointe Claire. Mr. Menzies says that having gathered all the information he could in regard to this vine he determined to try it, and in the spring of 1877 he planted a vineyard of about three acres with 2,500 vines. A few of these bore fruit that year, and in the present year (1878) he got a crop of nearly a ton weight, comparatively but few of the vines bearing; but the yield of these was very satisfactory, numbers of the vines bearing as many as thirty good-sized bunches, and one in particular fifty bunches. He believes he is justified from his observations in estimating his crop for next year at not less than thirty tons of grapes, and as one half of this crop would more than repay the total cost of the vines, labor and all expenditure to the in-gathering of that crop, it is evident that this 31 will yield a very good profit. Mr. Menzies says the ‘Beaconsfield’ is very prolific, ripens fully between the 25th August and the 5th of September. The fruit is large, of a dark purple color, sweet and luscious, being quite free from that acrid taste that foreign imported fruit necessarily has, by reason of its being gathered in an unripe state for a distant market. So well pleased is Mr. Menzies with the result of his experiment in its financial aspect, and as showing that the vine can be successfully cultivated in this country, that he has made arrangements to plant an additional 4,000 ‘Beaconsfields’ next spring, which will give him upwards of 6,000 vines and a vineyard of about eight acres of land. The success of Mr. Menzies opens to the mind the possibility in connection with grape culture in Canada, which is at once novel and startling, contributing as it would a new industry to Canada, both important and profitable.’

“In consequence of these notices of the press, I have received so great a number of communications and enquiries on the subject of vine-culture—all of so encouraging a nature—that, upon consideration, I have determined to supply the demand for these vines which has sprung up, from my own vineyard.

“For this purpose, I have associated with myself a practical nurseryman, Mr. Geo. F. Gallagher, the gentleman who introduced the vines to my notice; and, on the other side, I beg to hand you a card referring to these vines, to which I invite your kind attention.

“Yours truly,

J. H. Menzies.”

The following is the Card referred to:—

“The Beaconsfield Vineyard, Pointe Claire, P. Q., Menzies & Gallagher, Proprietors. The proprietors are prepared to supply vines of the ‘Beaconsfield’ variety at the undermentioned prices:—Per dozen, $12; per hundred, $75; per thousand, $500; delivered, carriage paid to any railway station in Canada. Mr. Gallagher may be seen daily, at the Windsor Hotel, Montreal, and will be happy to advise with intending purchasers, either personally or by letter, upon all matters connected with vine-culture, suitability of soil, time and manner of planting, pruning, etc.

“The public are informed that the name of this vine, ‘The Beaconsfield,’ has been registered in Canada, and cannot be used by any other than the undersigned proprietors.

“All communications addressed to Mr. George F. Gallagher, Windsor Hotel, Montreal, will receive prompt attention.

Menzies & Gallagher.

Point Claire, 2nd December, 1878.”


At length a letter was received from a gentleman who stated that he had seen Mr. Gallagher, the partner of Mr. Menzies, who said that the Beaconsfield is a new variety raised from seed in Rochester, New York, and introduced by him to Mr. Menzies. Inquiries were then made of several of the best informed and leading nurserymen and dealers in grape vines in Rochester, but they all replied that they had never heard of the Beaconsfield grape, and felt confident that no grape by that name could have been cultivated to any extent about Rochester without having come to their knowledge; and that the description given in Menzies & Gallagher’s circular was very closely that of the Champion Grape.

About the same time information was received that Mr. Gallagher called it by that name (the Champion,) when he first sold it to Mr. Menzies, and that Mr. Menzies had told others that he had planted five hundred vines of the Champion grape. Following up this clue, we have ascertained that George F. Gallagher has resided in the vicinity of Rochester from his youth; that he has been for some time engaged in the business of selling trees and other nursery products, as a travelling salesman and dealer, and that in the spring of 1877 he bought three thousand five hundred vines of the Champion grape.

We are further informed that Menzies and Gallagher have not yet raised young vines of their so-called Beaconsfield, sufficient to supply the additional four thousand vines which Mr. Menzies says he intends to plant next spring, and that all the vines they sell of it for planting in the spring of 1879 must come from Rochester.

There is but one conclusion possible from these facts: Beaconsfield is only the Champion under a new name. Under that name the firm of Menzies and Gallagher offer to sell vines of the Champion grape at the modest price of twelve dollars per dozen, the same vine that is advertised in the catalogues of the Rochester nurseries at fifty cents each, and may be bought, vines two years old, at fifteen dollars per hundred, and one hundred and twenty-five dollars per thousand. Let no man after this ask “What’s in a name?” There is much in a name. A name may double the value of a grape vine, if you do not know it by any other name. What’s in a name? That which man holds dearest may be in a name—honor.


A table of contents has been added for convenience.

Obvious printer errors including punctuation have been silently corrected.

Inconsistencies in spelling have been preserved.


[The end of The Canadian Horticulturist Volume 02, No. 02 by D. W. Beadle]