Pears to the fore as Lubera, East Malling and Brogdale look again at the fruit

Lubera has launched a new pear, while Brogdale has a new book out on the fruit.

'Joy of Kent'
'Joy of Kent'

Swiss grower and mail order fruit tree supplier Lubera christened its new mini pear 'Joy Of Kent' at a launch at East Malling Research Centre in Kent.  Readers of the Gardeners World newsletter were asked to send in their chosen name for a chance to win a tree, which retail by mail order for £24.99.

The history of the variety goes back to the old French variety Nain vert (synonym Poire à bois monstrueux) that bore fruit  for the first time in 1839 and was found by Nerbonne in France.

In two different breeding steps and crossing generations, in the second half of the last century,  Dr Frank Alston combined the quality of the pear varieties Conference, Comice and Packhams Triumph with the compact habit of Nain vert at the research station of East Malling.

Four years ago the Markus Kobelt of Lubera discovered the pear and has developed it into a dwarf tree, which is now available from the company.

Meanwhile, at the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale, also in Kent, Joan Morgan has had published a new monograph on the pear.

The Brogdale National Apple Festival in Faversham is on October 17-18. Brodgale preserves 2,200 different varieties of apples and 550 pears in the National Fruit Collection.

Dr Morgan, also known as "The Apple Doctor" will be identifying apples and pears over the weekend with her team of experts. She will also be launching her new "Book of Pears" to sit alongside the "New Book of Apples".

Brogdale said: "These books far exceed any other public reference available on varieties of Apples and Pears and represent years of study and recording."

Thye Book of Pears tells the story of the pear from its breeding and cultivation, following the fruit’s journey through history and around the world.

The book is illustrated with 40 botanical watercolour paintings by Elisabeth Dowle.

Morgan celebrates the pear’s long history as both a fresh and cooking fruit, reveals the secrets of the pear as a status symbol, some of the most celebrated fruit growers in history, and how the pear came to be so important as an international commodity.

The pear directory, which makes up the second half of the book, covers the world’s ancient and modern varieties, each with full tasting notes and historical, geographical and horticultural detail.

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