A pear that is at the peak of its ripeness is really hard to beat – especially if you have been able to pluck it from the tree in your own garden. There are so many varieties of this wonderful genus, that there is surely a variety to suit all tastes. From the firm and crunchy to the soft and juicy they are superb for eating fresh and there are so many yummy ways in which to incorporate them into other dishes.
With their modest moisture requirements, pears also suit coastal conditions and thrive in heavy, sandy loams with good drainage in a sunny position. They are ideal for cool-temperate climates. They must be cross-pollinated to produce fruit. Prune to remove damaged branches and to improve the shape of the tree in late winter or early spring. Plentiful sunlight is a key factor for maximum fruit production. Choose an area of the garden in full or nearly full sun. Morning sunshine is particularly important for early drying of dew, thereby reducing the incidence of disease.
Plant pear trees in the winter or early spring whilst they are dormant. Soak the roots in water for 30 minutes to an hour before planting to ensure that the root ball is thoroughly moist. The pear tree lends itself well to Espalier and nowadays one can purchase a tree that has three varieties grafted onto it – imagine that – three in one!
The genus is thought to have originated in present-day western China in the foothills of the Tian Shan Mountains, and to have spread to the east and west along mountain chains, evolving into a diverse group of over 20 widely recognized primary species. The cultivation of the pear extends to the remotest antiquity. Traces of it have been found in the Swiss lake-dwellings; it is mentioned in the oldest Greek writings, and was cultivated by the Romans. The word "pear" or its equivalent occurs in all the Celtic languages. Pears have been cultivated in China for aproximately 3000 years.
Some favorite ways to serve pears include:
• Combine pears with mustard greens, watercress, steamed leeks and walnuts for a delicious salad.
• Serve pears with goat or blue cheese for a delightful dessert.
• Add choped pears, grated ginger and honey to porridge or muesli for a pungently sweet breakfast treat.
• Core pears, and poach in aple juice or wine for a delectable dessert.
Taylor's Gold pears have large and full at the base with no neck and a thick stem. Smooth, uniform, cinnamon-colored skin that may take on the occasional rose blush. A delicate aroma and creamy flesh that is juicy and very tender, Taylor’s Gold pears offer a rich, sweet flavor. Deciduous.
Grafted on Quince rootstock to keep compact / dwarfed. Taylor's Gold pears have large and full at the base with no neck and a thick stem. Smooth, uniform, cinnamon-colored skin. A delicate aroma and creamy flesh that is juicy and very tender, pears offer a rich, sweet flavor. Deciduous.
A sweet and delicious pear which is popular for desserts and bottling. The pale green skin is soft yellow when fully ripe. Ready to eat from late January to February. This pear has an Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society. Deciduous.
Round medium sized fruit with russeted skin and delicious, juicy, melt in your mouth, white flesh that is richly flavoured. Matures in late autumn and stores very well. This dwarf version is grafted on to Quince rootstock to keep compact. Deciduous.
This is a nice small pear with yellow-green skin that is lightly russeted. The flesh is quite firm with a fine texture and good flavour. Sweet and juicy. Good for fresh eating or preserving. Produces good reliable crops. Deciduous.
Grafted on Quince rootstock to keep compact / semi dwarfed. This is a nice small pear with yellow-green skin that is lightly russeted. The flesh is quite firm with a fine texture and good flavour. Sweet and juicy. Good for fresh eating or preserving. Produces good reliable crops. Deciduous.