By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Woodward's Graperies and Horticultural Buildings
Author: Woodward, George E. (George Evertson), 1829-1905, Woodward, F. W. (Francis W.)
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Woodward's Graperies and Horticultural Buildings" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

(This file was produced from images generously made




   Horticultural Buildings,


   GEO. E. & F. W. WOODWARD,





   Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1865, by

   GEO. E. & F. W. WOODWARD,

   In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States,
   for the Southern District of New York.



   Introduction                                                        7

   Position of Houses                                                 17

   Forms of Houses                                                    19

   Heating by Flues                                                   22

       "    " Steam                                                   22

       "    " Tanks                                                   27

       "    " Hot Water Pipes                                         33

   Construction, &c.                                                  35

   Hot Beds                                                           39

   Cold Pit                                                           44

   Propagating Houses                                                 46

   DESIGN NO. 1.

   Propagating House                                                  54

   DESIGN NO. 2.

   Propagating House                                                  57

   DESIGN NO. 3.

   Propagating House                                                  61

   DESIGN NO. 4.

   Grapery and Forcing House                                          64

   DESIGN NO. 5.

   Green-House                                                        68

   DESIGN NO. 6.

   Green-House and Grapery                                            70

   DESIGN NO. 7.

   Cold Grapery                                                       73

   DESIGN NO. 8.

   Polyprosopic Roof                                                  77

   DESIGN NO. 9.

   Green-House                                                        81

   DESIGN NO. 10.

   Cold Grapery                                                       85

   DESIGN NO. 11.

   Plant-House                                                        90

   DESIGN NO. 12.

   Cold Graperies for City Lots                                       94

   DESIGN NO. 13.

   Grapery                                                            98

   DESIGN NO. 14.

   Hot Grapery                                                       102

   DESIGN NO. 15.

   Extensive range of Horticultural Buildings                        105

   DESIGN NO. 16.

   Green-House                                                       111

   DESIGN NO. 17.

   "Lean-to" Grapery                                                 115

   DESIGN NO. 18.

   Green-House                                                       119

   DESIGN NO. 19.

   Large Range of Horticultural Buildings                            123

   DESIGN NO. 20.

   Green-House and Grapery combined                                  127

   Orchard Houses                                                    131

       *       *       *       *       *


Graperies and Horticultural Buildings.

       *       *       *       *       *


It is less than twenty-five years since the first cold Grapery was
erected on the Hudson. Since the success of the culture of the delicious
varieties of the exotic Grape has been demonstrated, the number of
graperies has annually increased, and during the last ten years in a
very rapid ratio, until they have become recognized as possible and
desirable, among those even whose circumstances are moderate and
limited. The newly-awakened interest in this branch of culture is
manifested in the number and variety of books and other publications on
this subject, the space devoted to it in the agricultural and
horticultural journals, and especially in the increased number of
graperies and vineyards which have been erected and planted in the last
decade. There seems to be a general consciousness of the fact that, in
the struggle for wealth and the greed for wide possessions, as well as
in the inherent difficulties of our situation--thrown as we have been
upon a new and vast continent--we have too long neglected the culture of
the Vine, one of the most ancient and useful arts of life; an art which
has, in all ages, been the fruitful source of comfort and luxury, of
health and happiness, to the masses of mankind. The neglect of this
important and beautiful department of culture is the more remarkable,
since our country embraces every degree of latitude, and every variety
of climate and soil in which the grape is known to flourish.

It having been demonstrated by years of experiment, resulting in every
case in utter failure, that the foreign grape cannot be successfully
grown in the open air in the United States--the States of the Pacific
excepted--we are obliged to confine our culture to glazed structures,
erected for the purpose, where an atmosphere similar to the vine-growing
regions of Europe can be maintained, and that bane of the foreign grape,
the mildew, avoided.

The culture of choice foreign grapes under glass in this country dates
from before the War of Independence, from which time to this the
beautiful but perishable Chasselas, the delicious Frontignac, and the
luscious Hamburg, have been, here and there, carefully cultivated and
ripened. But these efforts have been chiefly confined to the vicinity of
large cities, and the management has mainly been kept in the hands of
foreign gardeners, who have imported themselves from the vine regions of
Europe, to instruct us in the arts and mysteries of grape-growing.

That many of these are men of great practical experience in the art, we
know full well; but, however skillful they may have been in foreign
countries, their success in our climate has been achieved only by
discarding many of their preconceived ideas, and adapting their practice
to agree with the peculiarities of our climate. When the public shall
have learned that the culture of grapes under glass is only a plain and
simple pursuit or pastime, which any one of ordinary capacity can
comprehend and successfully carry out, then we shall have made a decided
and important advance.

The American people are rather disposed to be self-reliant, and we may,
therefore, safely predict that, when we take hold, in real earnest, of
the business of grape culture, either under glass or in the open air, we
shall do it with our customary determination and energy, and that
success will just as surely follow as it has in other cases where
imported ideas have been improved upon and superseded. We have shown, we
think, in other fields of enterprise, that we may venture to rely upon
native-born talent, ingenuity and industry, to work out this problem
also, and that, by a practical demonstration, we shall, gradually and
surely, reach a point of success beyond what has been attained with all
the advantages of foreign aid. And this success will be equalled by the
simplicity of its methods. Grape-growing in this country is yet in its
infancy, and as respects the varieties best adapted to our soil and
climate, essentially experimental. As yet it has attracted any
considerable attention only of the more intelligent and far-seeing
portion of our population, but it is surely beginning to command the
regard and study of the larger number of our cultivators, and the
inevitable result will be that, in a few years, it must be an important
source of our country's wealth.

The great obstacles among us to grape-growing under glass, especially to
persons of moderate or limited means, are the first cost of building,
planting, &c., and the necessity of regular and systematic care and
attention to the vines which must be given, during a short season
however, in order to insure success. To those who are influenced by the
consideration of such obstacles as these, it may be said that, even in
these times of high prices for all descriptions of labor and
material--if we except, perhaps, brain-work and intellectual
material--complete and substantial grape-houses can be erected at
moderate cost, and with proper management they can be made a source of
income and profit. As to the care and attention required, and the
regularity of the periods at which they must be bestowed, at the risk of
losing the crop, it can be easily demonstrated that these attentions and
duties can be perfectly comprehended and understood by several members
of the family, by the older children, and intelligent servants, so as to
be overseen and performed by one or another in the absence of the person
to whom the care is usually confided. Moreover, when one becomes
interested in the management of a grapery, the employment gets to be too
fascinating to allow of the thought of restricted action or irksome
labor. It soon comes to be regarded as a delightful as well as healthful
employment, whose duties are simple, and easily understood and

The love of flowers is becoming quite a passion with many at the present
day. This is indicated by the multiplication of nurserymen, and the
rapid increase of their sales. Fifteen years ago the sales of flowering
plants were confined to a few city Florists; now the trade has become so
extensive, that large numbers are grown in our surrounding suburban
towns, to meet the demand, which at particular seasons, as the Christmas
and Easter holidays, for the decoration of our churches and other
purposes, reaches proportions that would surprise the uninitiated. One
cultivator has stated that during the fall of 1863 and winter of 1864
he cut and sent from his establishment, 230,000 blooms of the various
flowers he cultivates, and he is but one of many engaged in the
cultivation of flowers for the bouquet makers of New York. An extensive
grower of pot plants, from information carefully gathered among his
fellow nurserymen, estimates that the plant trade of the vicinity of New
York reaches nearly the sum of $200,000 annually, and this for plants
mainly employed as "bedding plants," in the decoration of gardens and
city yards, leaving entirely out of the question, those for winter
culture at windows and in green houses, as well as the immense stock of
the growers themselves to supply the demand for cut flowers. The growing
taste for flowers may be observed in the constantly increasing demand
for decorative purposes, in our churches, at public festivals, and
private gatherings, and is especially apparent in the numerous depots
for their sale on our principal thoroughfares. Much of this is due to
the general diffusion of Horticultural literature, unveiling the
mysteries of plant culture, and demonstrating the simplicity of the

Small green-houses or conservatories attached to dwellings are now
frequently to be met with both in city and country: these are entered
from some one of the principal rooms of the house, and are an attractive
feature both within and without.

The pleasure derived from such a source is a constantly increasing one,
which can only be estimated by those who may have the means for its
gratification. But little time and attention is needed, which, with a
proper acquaintance with the wants of the various plants, and some
experience in their cultivation (knowledge easily and quickly acquired
by those who have a genuine love for it), will enable us at any time
during the winter season to enjoy our flowers, send a bouquet to a
friend, or make use of them in adding to the attractions of home. Such
glass structures would afford pleasure to the ladies of the family, in
their moments of leisure, being of easy access from the dwelling,
without the necessity of exposure to the outer air, which would prevent
visits to larger buildings, remote from the house, and could be managed,
with occasional assistance in potting and arrangement, wholly by them.
Designs for houses of the above character will be found in the course of
the work, as well as those adapted as isolated buildings, to grounds of
moderate and large extent.

In the construction of Horticultural buildings, the matter of economy is
an important and desirable consideration with many persons. But it
should be understood that a common, low-priced structure is not the best
economy, or the most desirable for a series of years. The dilapidated
appearance that soon over-takes cheap, make-shift constructions,
creates an impression that cannot be pleasing either to the spectator or
the proprietor. It is an excellent rule, that what is worth doing at
all, is worth doing well; and it is just as applicable to horticultural
buildings as to any undertaking in life. Rough hemlock lumber, rudely
put up and whitewashed, would be a cheap mode of construction, which
might be tolerated on a merely commercial place, but would illy
correspond with neatly-kept private grounds, however humble and
unpretentious they might be. The plan selected may be devoid of mere
ornament, which would increase the cost, without adding to the capacity
or usefulness, but the proportions should be satisfactory, the
arrangement convenient, the materials the very best of their kind, and
the workmanship well and faithfully performed. Rough work, open joints,
ill-fitting ventilators, ill-proportioned plans and forms, and a general
tumble-down appearance, is not the kind of economy we should recommend
to our readers or practice on our own place. One may choose between wood
and masonry for the foundation walls; between the several grades and
sizes of glass; between elaborate finish and ornament, and plain work;
in the matter of the various modes of heating, &c.; but whatever is
decided upon, let the plan and proportions be correct, and the materials
and work of good, honest description.

In the various designs which we present our readers in this volume,
nearly all of which have been erected under our superintendence, and are
now in operation, the manner of construction can be judiciously
economical, or it may be elaborated to the most substantial and
ornamental structures of the class to which they belong. There is no
more reason for making these buildings of a temporary character, than
there is for putting up our barns and other outbuildings in a cheap and
unworkmanlike manner. The enjoyment of a country place naturally depends
very much on its neat and tasteful appearance, the completeness of all
its appointments, the order and good taste of all its arrangements. And
although we do not advocate extravagance, or needless cost in
ornamentation, which would be unsuitable to the purpose for which these
structures are designed, we think that true economy would indicate the
use of the best materials and workmanship requisite for substantial and
permanent buildings. Horticultural buildings are not intended for a few
years' use merely. Their profit, and the enjoyment they afford, will
last for many years, and may be transmitted, with the other improvements
of the country seat, as substantial and attractive appendages, indeed,
as real property, worth all the money they cost, to the future

There is still much to be learned in the matter of exotic grape-growing
in this country, and, in fact, in the management of conservatories,
orchard-houses, and all descriptions of horticultural buildings, and all
classes of plants cultivated under glass. Whatever progress may have
been made abroad, where experiments are carried on upon a large and
costly scale, and often with eminent success, is of little or no value
to the American horticulturist. Our climate is very different in its
character and conditions from that of Europe, and especially that of
humid England. We have, what they lack, real sunshine, with clear skies.
Under the English methods of treatment, our graperies and green-houses
would speedily be ruined. Nor are we willing to accept as final and
conclusive the present best-known methods of vine culture. If there are
better modes of managing exotic or native vines, and of developing the
whole theory of grape culture, we shall be quite sure to find them out
in the wide sweep of experiment which we are boldly and patiently
undertaking in various parts of the country.

We do not propose, in our present work, to enter upon the investigation
and discussion of the various theories of heat, light, color, radiation,
&c., which properly belong to scientific treatises on these subjects. We
intend to give only practical examples and results, from an extensive
professional experience, with numerous designs and plans of buildings,
most of which are now in successful operation, with the expectation
that this volume will contribute not only to the general information of
our horticulturists, and of gentlemen who are establishing themselves in
the country, but also to create and encourage a taste for this kind of
culture of exotic and delicate fruits, as well as the exquisite but
tender gems of the floral world. When we find that we can command, at
comparatively small cost of money and attention, the beautiful and
luscious fruits of southern and tropical climes--their rarest and
choicest flowers--the most delicious grapes, the finest peaches,
nectarines, and apricots, the fig, and the pineapple, if we will; and
that we can command these in abundance, to load and adorn our tables
daily, the time cannot be distant when horticultural buildings, of
various descriptions, will be found on all our country places or
attached to our city homes.


For lean-to or single-roofed structures used as forcing-houses for
grapes or other fruits or plants, a southern aspect is generally
preferred. Our own preference would be a position facing South-East, on
account of the advantage gained from the morning sun, which is so
favorable to the health and growth of all descriptions of plants.
Although an hour or two of the evening sun might be lost to a building
in this position, yet the rays are then comparatively feeble, and this
loss would be much more than compensated by the more genial morning

Cold Graperies, with span roofs, and glazed at both ends, are better
placed North and South,--that is, with the ends facing these points,--as
nearly as a due regard to the positions of other buildings in the
vicinity, and the general symmetry and apportionment of the grounds will
permit. Each side of the roof will thus receive an equal amount of
sun-light. For span-roofed Green-houses the rule is not so arbitrary,
the glass not being lined with foliage, as in the case of graperies, the
diffusion of light would not be materially obstructed. Under some
circumstances, Green-houses may be placed east and west, as when a
portion of the house is to be devoted to the purposes of propagation.
The north side can thus be advantageously used, being less exposed to
the sun's rays. Many plants requiring partial shade, would find there,
also, the most favorable conditions for their cultivation.

Green-houses or Conservatories attached to dwellings, will answer in
almost any position that convenience may require, or the taste suggest,
as they are generally not so much intended for the growth of plants as
for their display when in bloom. The sun should shine upon them,
however, at least half the day. When they are intended for the growth of
plants, then the more sun-light they can have the better.


Until within a few years past, the straight-pitched roof, both single
and double, has been used almost exclusively in the construction of
glass houses. That there is an advantage in this form over some others,
on the score of expense, and because there is less skill required in the
builder, we admit, but there the advantage ends. The superiority of the
curvilinear form is now beginning to be very generally acknowledged, on
account of its being more graceful and pleasing to the eye, and because
of its superior adaptability to the growth of plants. When to the curved
roof is added the further improvement of circular ends, as illustrated
in some of the designs furnished in this work, we have secured forms of
houses that will admit double the light of the old-fashioned, heavy
sliding sash structures which were built twenty-five years ago. Happily
these old glass houses are fast falling into decay, and but few new ones
are erected on their model.

Curvilinear roofs possess advantages over those of a straight pitch
which may be briefly summed up as follows:

1. A larger run of roof for a given width of house, and consequently,
more and better diffusion of light.

2. A greater power of reflecting the sun's rays, because of the
constantly varying angle at which they strike the glass.

3. A greater amount of head room within the building, without the
necessity of high parapet walls, or perpendicular sides.

4. Greater strength of the roof, enabling it to resist pressure from
accumulated snows, without the necessity of supporting columns under the
rafters, which are indispensible under a straight roof of considerable
span, to prevent its settling down, and the opening of joints in glass
and wood work, admitting the cold air from without.

A good proportion for a grapery or conservatory, is twenty feet in width
by fifty feet in length. We think the width should never be much less
where the roof is of double pitch. Single pitched houses should not
exceed sixteen feet in width.

Mistakes are frequently made in the erection of structures for the
growth of plants which, notwithstanding all the skill and art of
experienced gardeners, render it impossible to arrive at satisfactory
results. One of the most common of these is the excessive height of the
roof. Men of experience in the construction and use of glass houses,
have satisfied themselves that the lowest elevation which the uses and
purposes of the building will admit, is the best. The difference in
temperature between the floor and roof of a house twenty feet in height,
will vary from ten to fifteen degrees. It is obviously desirable that
there should be as little difference as possible in the temperature of
the air on the ground, among the lower parts of the plants, and in the
upper regions of the house. The nearer we can approach an equilibrium,
the better success will attend our efforts. Nurserymen generally, and
sometimes other cultivators, understand this, and they build their plant
houses with roofs of low pitch, affording scarcely room to stand upright
within them. Their plants are thus brought near the glass, and they grow
stocky and firm, presenting quite a different appearance from the
attenuated specimens frequently met with in private establishments.


The proper heating of Horticultural buildings being an important feature
in their general management, and an essential condition of their
success, we shall consider the subject at some length, availing
ourselves of the practical experience of others, as well as of the
knowledge we have acquired in our own experiments and practice.

Hot air stoves have been so generally condemned and discarded as a means
of heating glass structures, that we shall not discuss their faults or
merits, but confine ourselves to heating by flues, steam, and hot water
in pipes and tanks.

FLUES.--Flues have been generally used in heating for many years, and
although the method is rude, imperfect and unsatisfactory, they possess
certain advantages on the score of economy, which will prevent their
total supercedure until some equally cheap and effective method shall be
found, to take their place. It cannot be questioned that houses of
moderate extent can be heated at much less expense for the original cost
of apparatus by the flue system than by any other now before the public.
Flues have the advantage over steam or hot water in their power to
generate heat and supply it to the green or hot house in a very short
space of time, and with this apparatus, the fires may be allowed to go
out on mild and bright days in winter, with the certainty that heat can
be easily and quickly commanded at nightfall. Steam cannot be generated
quickly, and the hot water apparatus requires considerable time to get
into full operation, with the usual amount of fuel.

Among the serious objections to the use of flues, is the unequal
distribution of heat throughout the house; the parts near the furnace
being overheated, while at the chimney it is scarcely warm. This
difficulty can be partially obviated by the use of materials in the
construction of the flues, of different thicknesses,--being made thick
and heavy at the furnace, and gradually becoming thinner and lighter as
it extends towards the chimney. Again, flues generally require more fuel
than a hot water apparatus, and moreover, they are unsightly in an
ornamental house, and with the best care in their construction and
management, they do not give entirely satisfactory results.

Earthenware drain-pipe is frequently employed for flues, and when care
is taken to prevent their cracking by the excessive heat near the
furnace, they answer the purpose very well. When properly secured at
their joints they prevent the escape of gaseous matter more perfectly
than brick flues.

Flues should be elevated a few inches above the floor, and supported by
bricks, to allow all the radiating surface to act upon the atmosphere of
the house, and should have, in order to secure sufficient draft, a
gradual rise through their whole length from the furnace to the entrance
into the chimney.

The furnace should be built inside the house at one end, with the fire
and ash-pit doors opening into a shed outside, to prevent any escape of
gas into the house while replenishing the fire. It will be necessary to
place the furnace low enough to allow a proper rise to the flue. If the
flue be made to rise immediately from the furnace about one foot, it may
then be carried fifty feet, with a rise of not more than six inches, and
the draft will then be sufficient.

The dimensions of the flue may vary from 8 to 12 inches in width, and
from 12 to 18 inches in height, according to the space required to be
heated. The usual mode of construction, when bricks are used, is to lay
them crosswise and flat for the bottom and top, and to set them edgewise
for the sides. Tiles for the bottom and covering are an improvement upon
bricks: being thinner, the heat passes through them more readily, while
they still retain the heat sufficiently to equalize the temperature.
Tiles used for the top covering are sometimes made with circular
depressions for holding water for evaporation.

STEAM.--The employment of steam for heating green houses, graperies,
&c., is almost entirely superceded by the hot water method. It will,
therefore, be necessary only to allude briefly to this part of our
subject. It occasionally happens that a conservatory attached to a
dwelling is heated by the same steam apparatus employed to heat the
latter, but we believe that a person who should advocate, at the present
day, the general adoption of steam as a means of heating horticultural
structures, would be regarded as belonging to a generation which has now
passed away.

Steam travels through pipes with great rapidity, and parting with its
heat rapidly, it becomes quickly condensed, unless the boiler is of
large capacity and capable of furnishing a full supply. It is, at best,
an unsatisfactory mode of heating plant houses, for if from any cause
the water in the boiler is reduced below the boiling point, the steam in
the pipes is instantly condensed, and with it all heat, except that
remaining in the iron of the pipes, and the condensed steam, is

Hood, an English author on heating, quoted by McIntosh in his valuable
work the "Book of the Garden," thus compares the merits of steam and hot
water. "The weight of steam at the temperature of 212° compared with the
weight of water at 212°, is about as 1 to 1694, so that a pipe that is
filled with water at 212°, contains 1694 times as much _matter_ as one
of equal size filled with steam. If the source of heat be withdrawn from
the steam pipes, the temperature will soon fall below 212° and the steam
immediately in contact with the pipes will condense: but in condensing,
the steam parts with its _latent heat_ and this heat in passing from the
latent to the sensible state, will again raise the temperature of pipes.
But as soon as they are a second time cooled down below 212° a further
portion of steam will condense, and a further quantity of latent heat
will pass into the state of heat of temperature, and so on until the
whole quantity of latent heat has been abstracted and the whole of the
steam condensed, in which state it will possess just as much heating
power as a similar bulk of water at the like temperature; that is, the
same as a quantity of water occupying 1-1694th part of the space that
the steam originally did.

By experiments made by the above authority, it has been proved that a
given bulk of steam will lose as much of its heat in one minute as the
same bulk of hot water would in three hours and three quarters. And
further admitting that the heat of cast iron is nearly the same as that
of water, if two pipes of the the same calibre and thickness be filled,
the one with water and the other with steam each at 212° of temperature,
the former will contain 4.68 times as much heat as the latter;
therefore if the steam pipe cools down to 60° in one hour, the water
pipe will take four hours and a half to cool down to the same point. In
a hot water apparatus we have in addition to the above, the heat from
the water in the boiler, and of the heated material in and about the
furnace, which continues to give out heat for a long time after the fire
is totally extinguished; whereas in a steam apparatus, under the same
circumstances we have no source of heat except the pipes by which it is
conveyed--giving an advantage in favor of hot water over steam as
regards its power of heating hot houses, and maintaining heat after the
fire ceased to burn, in nearly the proportion of 1 to 7--that is, hot
water will circulate from six to eight times longer than steam under the
above circumstances."

TANKS.--This mode of heating horticultural buildings has been used in
England for some years, and has, of late, obtained considerable
popularity in this country; mainly, however, for the purpose of
obtaining bottom heat. The tank method is more steady and reliable in
its operations in this respect, than heating by flues or pipes, but even
its most strenuous advocates must admit that for atmospheric heat hot
water pipes or flues must be employed in some shape or other, where the
tanks are covered with earth or sand beds for propagating purposes.
With slate or metallic covering they are sometimes used solely for
atmospheric heat, and are found to answer well. But if tanks are
constructed of substantial and enduring materials, they possess little
if any advantage, on the score of expense, over hot water pipes, while
they occupy much more room and are unsightly objects in a well ordered

Wooden tanks are frequently used where the heat is required to rise
perpendicularly from them. If constructed of good pine plank, well put
together with white lead, and thoroughly painted inside and out, they
will last for several years. Scarcely any heat will be radiated from the
sides and bottom of a wooden tank. Tanks of brick and cement would
answer better than those made of wood, if it were possible to make them
water-tight when supported by piers above the ground, as they are
usually built. But however carefully constructed, these materials are so
unyielding to the expansion and contraction they are subjected to, that
it is nearly impossible to prevent leakage for any length of time. A
large number of brick and cement tanks have come under our notice, and
we cannot call to mind a single one of them all that has not been a
continual source of vexation and expense to its owner, since its first

The principle objections to tank heating, as usually employed, are an
excess of bottom heat and a deficiency of atmospheric heat, with a
superabundance of moisture when the vapor from the tank is not properly
excluded from the house. Tanks should be covered with some good
radiating material, as slate or metal. If slate is employed, the joints
should be carefully and effectually cemented. Boards are sometimes used
as a covering, but their radiating power is slight, and their decay

Soil or sand, to the depth of six to ten inches, is usually placed upon
the tanks, and used as a plunging bed for pots containing cuttings; or
the cuttings are sometimes inserted in the bed itself.

Any arrangement by which vapor from the tanks is admitted to the roots
of plants is to be avoided, for however desirable a moist bottom heat
may be, it is found from experience that the soil is frequently rendered
a mass of puddle, in which no living roots can exist.

A portion of the covering of the tank may be made moveable to allow
moisture to escape into the house when required.

By means of the tank, bottom heat for propagating or other purposes, can
be very steadily and uniformly maintained, more so than by other modes,
and the changes of temperature of the outer air do not materially
affect it. But the case is different with regard to the air of the
house, which is frequently reduced below the freezing point, in severe
weather. If the bottom heat is of the required temperature, any attempt
to counteract the coldness of the air of the house by increasing the
fire, would produce an injurious excess of bottom heat. It is evident
that while the required supply of heat for the bottom is uniform, and
that for the top exceedingly irregular, both objects cannot be properly
secured except by a separate supply of heat for each. For these reasons
we would employ a hot water pipe or pipes, passing around the house, on
the same level with the tanks, supplied with a valve to regulate the
heat at pleasure, or a brick smoke flue constructed in the usual manner.

Tanks are usually divided in the centre, thus forming channels for the
flow and return circulation side by side, equalizing the temperature
throughout their whole length. This form is sometimes departed from by
carrying the tank around the house, and connecting each end with the
boiler, but in this case, except in small houses, a uniform temperature
cannot be maintained, as the water will have lost several degrees of
heat before it has accomplished its circuit. Another arrangement is to
connect the remote end of the tank by an iron pipe for the return
circulation, passing under the tank the whole distance to the boiler.
This is not as perfect and effective an arrangement of pipes and tanks
as that before referred to, as in this case we do not have the heat from
the pipe under control.

A writer in a late number of the "Gardeners' Monthly," gives the
following description of tanks erected by him to obviate excessive
moisture and radiate a portion of their heat into the atmosphere of the

"In the winter of 1863-4, I finished two span-roof houses, each 60 feet
in length, with water tanks three feet in width, running entirely around
on both sides of each house, and heated by a single furnace. The tanks
were made with wooden bottoms and sides, and covered with slate
carefully cemented. My design was to heat the houses entirely by the
tanks, by far the larger portion of the heat being given off from the
slate covering, and as a bottom heat for plants. As I understand the
various writers upon this subject, this is the approved plan. But I have
found considerable difficulty, and have been obliged to modify my plan
in various respects:

In the first place, wooden tanks, with the top covered with sand, will
not give off heat sufficiently to keep up growth in houses of this size
during extremely cold weather. By protecting the houses with shutters,
this difficulty may be obviated. Crowding the fire, and raising the
water in the tanks to a high temperature, is a more objectionable
remedy. In this way the bottom heat is too strong. But my most serious
difficulty has arisen from excessive humidity. I put three inches of
sand over the whole slate surface of the tanks, using a part for
cuttings, and the rest, (say 100 running feet of the three feet wide
table), for standing pot plants upon the surface of the sand. The plants
dried rapidly, and required watering every morning. The result was, that
in watering the plants, and of course the sand on which they stood, to
some extent, it was like pouring water upon a flue, or upon hot pipes: a
constant steam was given off; all the moisture in the sand was rapidly
converted into steam; so, also the water in the pots was quickly
expelled. In order to heat the house sufficiently, the bottom heat
became too strong, and the plants were in too direct contact with it. In
cold days the house was in a perfect fog. It was ruinous to the plants.
The remedy was simple: more heat must be allowed to escape from the tank
into the house, without coming in contact with the sand-bed, and the
moist earth of the plants. Another slate floor was laid, an inch above
the tank slate, on which to put the sand and stand the plants. This hot
air chamber opens into the house on the back and front side of the tank.
Thus the whole radiating surface of the top of the tank may be directed
into the house, or may be confined as bottom heat, as may be found
necessary. By this plan, excessive humidity may be entirely obviated,
and the heat completely controlled, as wanted."

HOT WATER PIPES.--It is generally conceded, among practical men, that
the circulation of hot water in iron pipes is the best known method of
heating plant houses. The property which heated water possesses of
retaining for a considerable length of time its heat and transmitting it
to the pipes at long distances from the boiler, renders it a most
effective agency for such purposes: A perfect control of the moisture of
the atmosphere, by means of evaporating pans attached to the pipes;
entire freedom from deleterious gases, sometimes escaping from flues,
and the substantial character and enduring qualities of the apparatus,
are important considerations in favor of this method of heating which
are not to be overlooked or underrated.

It is true that a house of a given size cannot as soon be brought to the
required temperature after the fire is first lighted, as by other modes
of heating, but when once in full operation greater regularity is
maintained, and if the fire should by any neglect go out, heat is still
radiated, often for several hours, before the pipes become entirely

For heating ornamental houses of glass, pipes are also to be
recommended on account of the little room they occupy and the neatness
of their appearance compared with the unsightly flues or tank. If
properly put up, the pipes never leak at the joints, as is the case
frequently with tanks, and scarcely need any repairs for years. The
first cost of apparatus for heating by hot water pipes exceeds that of
the other methods which we have named, but when we take into account its
great durability, economy of fuel, and the satisfactory results produced
in the growth of plants in houses heated in this manner, it must be
evident that this method is the cheapest in the end.

It is generally supposed that the heat obtained from steam or hot water
pipes necessarily contains moisture. For those who have had any
experience in the use of these methods of heating, it is needless to say
that such is not the case. To obtain moisture evaporation of water in
some manner in the atmosphere must be effected. This is provided for by
attaching to the pipes evaporating pans filled with water, by which the
moisture can be perfectly regulated and controlled. The capacity of the
boiler and the length of the pipes should be in proportion to the size
of the house to be heated, bearing in mind that it is better to have a
reserve of heating power for extraordinary occasions. In such cases
economy in fuel will be secured, as the fires will not be required to
be kept constantly burning brightly.

Fault is sometimes found with the apparatus when it lies entirely with
the proprietor of the establishment, who in his short-sighted economy,
has restricted the builder in the amount of pipe put into the apparatus.


The general plan of Horticultural structures may be as perfect as
possible, but if the details are not well carried out, and especially if
the workmanship be not good, they will prove a source of never-ending
vexation and expense. Insecure foundations, ill-fitting doors and
ventilators, imperfect glazing, and inferior workmanship of every
description, are evils that skillful gardeners have to contend with, and
upon whom the consequences of such defects usually fall, when they
should be placed upon the shoulders of the constructor.

Methods for building cheap Graperies and Green houses have often been
described, and we find many of these imperfect and temporary structures
scattered through the country. Such buildings may be cheap as respects
their first cost, but their durability is a question which should enter
into the calculations of their builders, as well as the consideration of
the original outlay. After a year or two we find them with open joints,
leaky roofs, and decaying foundations. The inferior and temporary
character of materials and workmanship is often a source of serious loss
to their owners, and every building of this description demonstrates the
mistaken and short-sighted economy of its projector. It is much wiser
and truer economy to expend at the outset, a sufficient amount of money
and care to make the structure permanent, and to obviate the necessity
of constant repairs. Experience has taught us that if they are well and
substantially built, these structures will endure for twenty years with
very few repairs except an occasional coat of paint. It need not be
demonstrated that the profit and gratification to be derived from a
well-built house far exceed those accruing from a cheap and imperfect
one, with escapes for the heat in winter, and inlets for cold air and
driving snow and rain.

The foundations of Horticultural buildings should be of stone or brick,
both below and above the ground, if they are to be of a permanent
character. The superstructure should be of the best white pine and
thoroughly painted. In building curvilinear roofs the rafters and sash
bars should be sawed out in pieces to the regular curve. The rafters
being put together in sections, breaking joints are thus equally strong
throughout their length. The advantages of sawed bars over those bent in
the usual manner, are very great. The thrust of the roof is but slight,
and the house always remains in shape. With the bent bars the strain is
enormous, as may be seen in the settling of such houses at the ridge,
and expansion at the sides, besides the liability of breaking the glass
by the constantly varying strain of the bars.

Iron has been frequently and strongly recommended in the construction of
horticultural buildings. It has been used, with very satisfactory
results in England, and doubtless it may there be found to be the best
and most economical material for such purposes. It has been tried also
in this country, but the experiment has not resulted so favorably. The
main difficulty is that, in this climate, the expansion and contraction
of the iron rafters and bars are so great that the glass is continually
and badly breaking, and it is very difficult to keep the joints tight
enough to repel the rain and the cold air. There can be no doubt that in
this country, wood is a better material than iron for these purposes.

Thick and double thick glass has heretofore been used almost exclusively
for first class houses, but the high price of glass has of late,
compelled the use of a thinner article. It is generally believed that
thick glass will resist hail storms better than thin, but on this
question practical men differ in their opinions. It is contended, on the
other hand, that the elasticity of the thin panes resist a blow better
than the unyielding thick one, also that the latter is more likely to be
broken by the accumulation of water between the laps of the glass.

We have found that the 8 by 10 size of single thick French window glass,
second or third quality, is sufficiently good for Horticultural
buildings, and we do not use any other, unless especially called for by
the proprietor.

Glazing is often badly executed, half an inch lap, and sometimes more,
being often allowed to the glass, from the mistaken idea that rain, in a
driving storm, will find its way through. A lap of one-eighth of an inch
is amply sufficient in any case. The glass should be well "bedded" down
to the sash bar, in putty containing a portion of white lead, and well
secured with small iron nails or glaziers points. All putty should be
removed from the outside when the work is finished, and the sash bars
should then be painted with a heavy coat of thick paint which will close
up the joints and render them water tight.

Ample ventilation should be provided both at the top and bottom of
houses, so that large quantities of air may be supplied when necessary,
as in ripening the wood of vines in graperies, and in "hardening off"
plants in green houses before removal to the open air.

By reference to the numerous designs given in this work, the manner of
arranging the interior details, such as shelving, tables, walks, hot
water pipes, and the general features of construction and adaptation,
will be understood.


The most simple form of Horticultural structures, and one known in
almost every garden, is the Hot-bed. To persons of experience in their
construction and management, we cannot hope to give any important
information, but having seen in many instances the operations of these
beds imperfectly performed, we offer a few simple suggestions and
directions which will be of advantage to the novice.

The location of the bed should be, if possible, a sheltered one,
especially on the north side, while towards the east and south it should
be open. This shelter or protection is needed chiefly to prevent an
undue radiation of heat from the glass, and the entrance of a strong,
cold current of air when the sashes are lifted for ventilation. This
radiation is not only hurtful to the plants by causing sudden and
extreme changes of temperature, but, if allowed to proceed too far, will
cause the heat of the bed to "run out." Let the shelter, therefore, be
as thorough as possible.

We have found the south side of a barn, or a tight board fence a good
location. The barn would be preferable, on account of its proximity to
the materials that furnish the source of heat--the manure pile.

If the soil is wet, or of a heavy nature, it would be better that the
bed be made entirely upon the surface. If the situation is a dry one,
and the soil gravelly or sandy, then a pit may be excavated, of the size
of the intended frame, and three feet in depth. A hollow brick wall
should be built up from the bottom, six inches above the surface, if it
is intended that the bed should be permanent; otherwise the excavation
may be lined with boards, or if designed for only a season's use, it may
be left without any support. Hot-beds made under ground require less
material, are more lasting in their heat, and require less attention
than those built on the surface. On the contrary, should the heat fail
from any cause, beds built up on the surface possess the advantage of
being more easily renewed by the application of fresh fermenting
materials, or "linings" as they are usually termed.

About the 20th of February is early enough, in this latitude, to gather
and prepare materials for the hot-bed. Fresh stable manure alone may be
used, though preference is generally given to a mixture, in equal
proportions, of manure and forest leaves. Place on the ground, (under a
shed if possible,) a layer of leaves one foot thick, and on this a foot
of manure, then leaves and manure alternately until the required
quantity is obtained. Let this heap remain four or five days, or until
it begins to heat, then turn over and thoroughly mix the leaves and
manure together, and throw them up into a compact, conical heap. In four
or five days more your materials will be ready for your bed. Mark off
your intended site, running as nearly east and west as practicable. Your
frame should be about six feet wide and of any required length. The
manure bed should extend a foot outside the frame on the sides and ends.
See Figure 1, in which _a_ is the manure heap.

[Illustration: FIG. 1.]

Build up the manure square and level, shaking, mixing, and beating it
with the back of the fork, to the height of about four feet, making the
centre somewhat higher than the sides, to allow for settling. The frame
should be of 1-1/4 inch pine, twenty inches high at the back, and
seventeen inches in front, and may be put together with hooks and
staples, so as to be removed and stored, when not in use. The sashes
should be six by three and a half feet, and the frame should have
cross-bars at every sash for support. It is well to have the frame
divided by partitions into two or three compartments, that one section
may receive more or less ventilation as the plants grown in them may
require. In three or four days the heat will be up in the bed, and then
it should be covered with six inches of fine garden mould, which should
be raked off level. When the soil is heated through, the seeds may be
sown. Ventilation should be given to let off the steam and vitiated air,
but with caution to avoid the loss of heat. Straw mats will be required
to cover the sashes at night, and should be regularly put on. If the
weather is very cold, shutters or boards in addition are necessary. If
care is exercised in the management, the heat will be maintained as long
as is desirable.

Figure 2 represents the hot-bed partly beneath the surface.

The frame in this case will be fifteen inches in height at the back, and
twelve inches in front, constructed in the same manner as that before
described. The materials and the general preparation of the bed is also
the same. A space of about eight inches should be left between the
surface of the mould and the glass, to allow for the growth of plants
before the sashes can be removed. Coarse litter should be put around the
frame, and up even with the top of it, to confine the heat. Beds should
be well covered before the sun has left them in the afternoon, and not
opened in the morning until the sun is well up. Seeds of vegetables for
early planting, and those of annual flowers may be sown, and cuttings of
green-house and bedding plants started in pots. Such a bed will also be
a favorable place for the propagation of grape eyes, in which an
experienced person will often succeed better by this humble means, than
with the best designed and most conveniently arranged propagating house.

[Illustration: FIG. 2.]


Many who have not the advantage of a green-house, wish to preserve over
the winter their half-hardy plants which have ornamented their garden
during the summer. These are generally consigned to the cellar to dry up
and be forgotten. In the darkness they loose their leaves, and when in
spring they are again brought to light many are dried up and dead.
Properly constructed cold pits offer superior advantages for the
protection of many plants of a half-hardy nature, and indeed some that
are usually considered tender here find a congenial location. Such a pit
should be permanent in its character, and located in a spot easy of
access to the house, that it may receive proper attention during the
winter. A convenient size, and one sufficient for an ordinary garden
would be ten feet long by five wide, varied somewhat from these
dimensions to suit size of glass in sashes. The pit should be excavated
four feet and a half below the surface, and a hollow wall of brick built
up to one foot above the surface. Six inches in depth of coarse gravel
should be placed in the bottom on which the pots containing the plants
rest. Shelves may be also placed around the sides for the smaller
plants. The wall above the ground should be "banked up" to within three
inches of the top and sodded.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--_Cold Pit._]

Double sashes we have found give great protection and save attention in
covering the pit. The bars of these sashes are "rabbited" on both sides
and double glazed, thus enclosing a stratum of air affording a good
non-conductor of heat from within, or cold from without the pit. The
plants when first put in the pit will require to be watered and the
sashes opened during the day, until cold weather. But little water is
required during winter, as the plants are in a state of rest, and
partial dryness at the roots is of advantage. In very severe weather
straw mats would be required, but the double glass would keep out 10 to
15 degrees of frost. Some ventilation must be given on mild days when
the sun is bright to carry off the dampness, but in dull cold weather
all should be kept closed up. Camellias and Azaleas do admirably in such
quarters, and can be brought into the dwelling and flowered at any time
during the winter. Many plants grow with surprising luxuriance after
remaining dormant in such quarters all winter. As the season advances in
the spring ventilation must be given during the day, closing the sashes
at night until the weather becomes mild when they may be gradually
removed altogether.


Cheap and effective propagating and plant houses, for Nurserymen, have
become of late years a necessity from the great increase of the trade in
flowering plants for the decoration of our gardens and green-houses, and
the very extensive demand for the new and superior varieties of the
native grape. PETER HENDERSON, Esq., of Jersey City, long known as an
extensive and successful propagator, in an article written for the
HORTICULTURIST, thus speaks of his house and management:

"After many years of extensive practice, I have arrived at the
conclusion that cuttings of almost every plant cultivated by the florist
or nurseryman will readily and uniformly root, if the proper conditions
of TEMPERATURE and MOISTURE are given them. It matters little or
nothing how the cutting is made, or what may be the color or texture of
the sand or soil in which it is planted; these have little or nothing to
do with the formation of roots. But an absolute condition of
_invariable_ success is uniformity of temperature and moisture. To
attain this uniformity, the structure of the house is of vital
importance; and it is owing to the erroneous construction of buildings
for this purpose that so many have to deplore their want of success. I
will briefly describe the construction of the propagating pit we have in
use, and the manner of operations, which will best explain my views on
the matter. The pit, which faces north, is 65 feet in length by 8 in
width, and 3 feet high at back by 1 in front, the pathway being dug out
to give head-room in walking. The front bench is 3 feet wide, walk 2
feet, and back bench 3 feet. All along the front bench run two wooden
gutters 9 inches wide by 3 inches deep, the water in which is heated by
a small conical boiler connected by two pieces of leaden pipe to the
gutters. Three inches above the water in the gutters is placed the slate
or flagging, (resting on cross slats of wood,) on which is two inches of
sand. By regular firing we keep a temperature _in the sand_ from 55 to
75°; and as the pit has no other means of heating, except that given out
by the sand in the bench, the atmosphere of the house at night is only
from 40° to 50°, or 25 degrees less than the "bottom heat." In the
daytime, (in order as much as possible to keep up this disparity between
the "top" and "bottom" heat,) a little air is given, and shading the
glass resorted to, to enable us to keep the temperature of the house
down. And here let me remark, that when propagation is attempted in
green-houses used for growing plants, (such houses facing south or
southeast,) the place usually used for the cuttings is the front table;
and it being injurious to the plants to shade the whole house, that part
over the cuttings alone is shaded; the consequence is, that the sun,
acting on the glass, runs the temperature of the house up, perhaps, to
80°, or _above_ that of the bottom heat, the cuttings wilt, and the
process of rooting is delayed, if not entirely defeated. All gardeners
know the difficulty of rooting cuttings as warm weather comes on. When
the thermometer marks 80° in the shade fires are laid aside; and if the
rooting of cuttings is attempted, the sand or soil in which they are
planted will be 10 or 15 degrees _lower_ than the atmosphere, or the
opposite of the condition required for success.

The advantage possessed by the gutter or tank, as a means of bottom
heat, over smoke flues or pipes, is in its giving a uniform moisture,
cuttings scarcely ever requiring water after being first put in, and
then only to settle the sand about them. Still, when this convenience
is not to be had, very good success may be attained by closing in the
flue or pipes, regularity in watering, and a rigid adherence to these
degrees of temperature.

The propagating pit above described is used for the propagation of all
kinds of plants grown by florists, such as Camellias, Dahlias, Roses,
Verbenas, Fuchsias, Grape Vines, etc. The time required in rooting
cuttings of soft or young wood is from seven to ten days. Last season,
during the month of February, we took three crops of cuttings from it,
numbering in the aggregate forty thousand plants, without a loss of more
than one per cent. In fact, by this system we are now so confident of
success, that only the number of cuttings are put in corresponding with
the number of plants wanted, every cutting put in becoming a plant.

In this narrative of our system of propagating, Mr. Editor, I have not
attempted to theorize. I give the plain statement of operations as we
practice them, thoroughly believing that the want of success in every
case must be owing to a deviation from these rules. Ignoring entirely
most of the maxims laid down in the books, such as "use a sharp knife,"
and "cut at a joint," we use scissors mostly in lieu of a knife, and we
never look for a joint, unless it happens to come in the way. We are
equally skeptical as to the merits of favorite kinds and colors of
sands or other compounds used for the purpose. Of this we have reason to
be thankful, for a nicety of knowledge in this particular in the head of
a scientific (?) propagator may sometimes become an expensive affair.

A friend of mine, a nurseryman from the far west, deeply impressed with
our superior horticultural attainments in the Empire City, hired a
propagator at a handsome salary, and duly installed him in his
green-house department; but, alas! all his hopes were blighted. John
failed--signally failed--to strike a single cutting; and on looking
about him for the cause, quickly discovered that the fault lay entirely
in the sand! but my gullible friend, to leave no stone unturned,
freighted at once two tons of silver sand from New York to Illinois!
Need I tell the result, or that John was soon returned to where the sand
came from?"

During the past year, Mr. Henderson has erected an extensive range of
houses, after the following description and plan:

"I have read and examined from time to time, with much interest, your
remarks and sketches of Plant Houses, and it is not to dissent from your
views that I now write, although it seems to me that your ideas run all
one side of the matter, for your designs and descriptions are almost
exclusively of an ornamental character, and adapted only for
conservatories or graperies, leaving the uninitiated commercial
nurseryman or florist to look in vain for something to suit his case. I
have said that your ideas seem to be one-sided, in describing only
ornamental erections; they seem also so in your uniformly recommending
the fixed roof principle. Now, for the purposes of the florist or
nurseryman, I think there is but little doubt that the advantage is with
the sash over the fixed roof. The difference in cost is trifling;
probably a little in favor of the fixed roof; but balanced against that
is, that your house, once erected on your favorite plan, you are
emphatically "fixed." It is not portable, (unless made in sections,
which is only a bad compromise with the sash plan,) and any alteration
requiring to be made, your roof is of but little or no value. But the
most serious objection to it is the difficulty with air. I have never
yet seen a house built on the fixed roof principle that had means of
giving air so that plants could be grown in a proper manner, and I could
name dozens who have been induced to build on this plan, that one year's
experience has given them much reason to regret.

[Illustration: FIG. 4. _a, ground level.--b, bench or table on which to
stand plants, 4-1/2 feet wide.--c, 4 inch pipe, 3 in each house.--d,
pathway, 2 feet wide._]

We are now adopting for plant houses, low, narrow, span-roofed
buildings, formed by 6 feet sashes, one on each side, the _ends_ of the
houses facing north and south. These we attach three together, on the
"ridge and furrow" system, as shown in sketch. This system presents
great advantages, and, by using no cap on the ridge piece, air is given
in the simplest and safest manner, by the sash being raised by an iron
bar 9 or 10 inches long, pierced with holes, which answers the double
purpose of giving air and securing the sash, when closed, from being
blown off by heavy winds. There is no necessity for the sashes being
hinged at the bottom, as might be supposed; all that is required being
to nail a cleet along the wall plate, fitted tight to the bottom of each
sash. Every alternate sash is nailed down; the other is used in giving
air in the manner described.

The advantages of such erections are so obvious, that I need not
trespass much on your space to enumerate them. The plan can be adapted
to detached buildings already up, by erecting houses of the same length
alongside; or, in the erection of new houses, if not more than one is
wanted, it may be put up with a view to further extensions. I have had
four houses on this plan in operation for nearly two years, and I have
never before had so much satisfaction with any thing of the kind.
Intending next season to remove my green-houses from their present site,
all shall be put up after this style."

Messrs. Parsons & Co., of Flushing have also built several houses
similar in design for the propagation of grape vines. These latter are
heated by brick flues and have proved very satisfactory. The vines are
grown in beds and not staked. Pot culture in the usual manner would
require greater height of roof. The only objection that we can see to
houses built in this manner is the accumulation of snow in the furrows.
Mr. Henderson assures us that this is not an objection of any moment in
this latitude, and that the expense attending the removal of snow is too
slight to be considered.


Figures 5 and 6 are a section and ground plan of a propagating house for
growing grape vines, but it might serve as well for other plants. The
length of the house is on an east and west line, giving a northern
exposure to the roof on one side, the opposite facing the south. A board
partition runs through the centre dividing the house into two. This
partition might be made movable, so that at any time the house could all
be thrown into one. The foundations are of stone projecting 6 inches
above the ground. Two and a half feet of vertical boarding, above which
is two feet of sash, give a height of four and a half feet above the
foundation for the side of the house. The side sashes are hinged for
ventilation. Top ventilation is afforded at the ridge by ventilators
raised by rods from the inside. The roof is on the fixed principle that
is composed of sash bars extending from plate to ridge, in which the
glass is set. In the north division a combination of the tank and flue
systems of heating is adopted, by which economy of fuel to a
considerable extent is effected. The boiler is so set that the back of
it and all the connecting pipes are inside of the house, only the fire
and ash pit doors project through the brick partition into the boiler
pit. Much heat is generally wasted from hot water boilers by the direct
connection of the chimney with the outer air, that might be saved by
means of a well constructed flue. It will be seen that the smoke from
the boiler is carried under the tank, in this instance through 8 inch
vitrified drain pipe. To prevent the cracking of the pipe near the
boiler the first 6 or 8 feet is laid with cast iron pipe. Wooden tanks
built on posts and elevated two feet above the floor furnish bottom
heat. These tanks are two feet six inches wide and six inches deep,
built of 1-1/4 inch pine, well put together with white lead and securely
nailed and screwed. A division through the centre separates the flow and
return water. Roofing slate of proper size is used to cover the top, the
joints of which are carefully cemented to prevent the escape of steam.
Sand is placed directly on the slate as a plunging material for the pots
containing cuttings. In the south division tanks are also used, but as
the plants are potted off when placed there, bottom heat is not so
necessary; the sand is dispensed with and the pots rest on a shelf or
table built about two inches above the tanks, allowing the heat radiated
from the slate to diffuse itself through the house. Slides in each tank
afford means of shutting off the water allowing each house to be worked
independently. The centre of house is occupied by an earth bed in which
the plants (after becoming well rooted in the small pots, to which they
are first transferred from the cutting pots) are carefully transplanted
and will form large and vigorous vines by the end of the season.

[Illustration: FIG. 5.--_Section of Propagating House._]

[Illustration: FIG. 6.--_Plan._]


In Figure 7 is given a perspective view of a propagating house of an
ornamental character. It is intended for forcing early vegetables,
strawberries, grapes in pots, and such general propagation of plants as
are needed on a country place of moderate extent. The curvilinear roof
gives beauty to the design as well as affording more head room inside
than the ordinary straight rafter.

[Illustration: FIG. 7.--_Perspective View._]

The pitch of the roof is quite flat, a straight line between the ends of
the rafter forming an angle of only 28 degrees with the horizon. It was
desirable to have the roof as low as was consistent with sufficient head
room, that the plants might be as near the glass as possible, without
the necessity of high staging in the centre. The house has the ends to
the east and west. At the west end is an ante-room, not shown in
perspective view, containing the boiler, seed drawers, desk, &c. On the
north side of house are beds for propagating plants, and the south side
is used for early vegetables, strawberries, &c. In the centre is a large
bed of earth used for grapes in pots, vegetables and plants. A portion
of the roof on the south side can be raised when it is desirable to
harden off the plants in spring. The foundation is of wood, locust posts
being used, with boards nailed upon both sides and coated with coal tar.
The house is forty one feet long and sixteen feet wide, and is heated by
a tank constructed as follows: brick piers are built three feet apart on
which are laid common blue flag stones six feet long and two feet wide.
The sides and divisions of the tanks are built of brick, and cemented
inside. One of Hitchings & Co.'s boilers furnishes the heat, and is
connected with the tank by two inch iron pipe. Above the tanks are the
propagating beds as shown in figure 8. The tank, with the exception of
that part across the end of the house is covered with beds and no
provision is made for other heat than that radiated from the sides, and
that portion left uncovered at the end. In the practical working of the
house, this has been found insufficient, and pipes have been introduced
for atmospheric heat, the tanks being still retained for bottom heat.

[Illustration: FIG. 8.--_Section._]

[Illustration: FIG. 9.--_Ground Plan._]

[Illustration: FIG. 10.--_Perspective View._]


The following plan is similar to the one previously given, and was
erected for the same general purposes. It has, however, been found to
answer so well for a general green-house, that there is but little
forcing or propagation carried on. At the east end is the boiler pit,
seed room, &c.; the roof of which is of tongued and grooved boards bent
to the curve of the roof and battened. The foundation is of stone, and
the whole house of a substantial character. Bottom heat is furnished by
brick tanks built in the same manner as before described, the water in
which is heated by iron pipes running through the tanks (see section
_Fig._ 12.) The pipes being also used to heat a grapery near by on a
higher level, it was necessary to carry them thus. This arrangement for
bottom heat is not as good as when the water flows directly into the
tank from the boiler. There is a large bed in centre of house in which
pots of plants are plunged, and considerable shelving at ends of house.
Bottom ventilation is obtained by six inch earthen drain pipe, placed on
a level with the floor inside and running through the wall and up to
the surface of the ground outside, where they are covered with wooden
caps for regulating the amount of air required. Ventilators are placed
over the doors and in the opposite end of house, in addition to which,
the sash in the doors are hinged and can be opened when needful.

[Illustration: FIG. 11.--_Ground Plan._]

[Illustration: FIG. 12.--_Section._]


This design combines a grapery, and forcing, and propagating house in
one. _Figs._ 13, 14, 15, show side elevation, south front, and section
through the centre. The dimensions are twenty feet in width by forty
three feet in length, to which ten feet have since been added, enclosing
boiler pit C. and potting room not shown in sketch. The foundation is
built on locust posts with plank nailed upon both sides. Such
foundations we do not advocate, as they are a bill of expense, for
needful repairs, every four or five years, and the additional outlay for
permanent brick or stone foundations is money well invested. In the
present case, the owners wishes were carried out. On the ground plan,
that part designated A. is devoted to the growth of grapes. The border
is all inside of the house and is about three feet in depth. At the
dotted line a wall is built across the house to sustain the border, the
floor of B. being two feet lower. The central portion of B. is devoted
to grapes in pots. At the sides of B. are beds for propagating plants,
forcing vegetables, &c., furnished with bottom heat from brick tanks
which extend entirely around the house and heat the grapery part as

[Illustration: FIG. 13.--_Side Elevation._]

[Illustration: FIG. 14.--_South Front._]

[Illustration: FIG. 15.--_Section._]

Pipes laid underground from the outside furnish fresh air when desired
and ventilation in the roof is also provided for.

[Illustration: FIG. 16.--_Ground Plan._]


The following design is a house with a straight roof of low pitch, and
was built with considerate regard to cost, for which reason, among
others, the foundations are of wood, and side lights are omitted. The
sides are of inch and a half plank nailed to locust posts, the space
between the inside and outside lining being filled with charcoal dust.
Such foundations do very well at first, but the wood in contact with the
ground will decay in three or four years, and require repairs--though
locust posts will last for many years.

This house is quite narrow, being only twelve feet wide. It has tables
on either side and a walk in the middle, through which is a row of light
posts to support climbing plants. Ventilation is effected at the ridge
by six ventilators. There are also ventilators over and in the doors.
The house is heated by two four inch pipes under the tables. The boiler
pit is located in a sunken shed outside, not shown in the plan. This
house has been used for growing such plants as are generally found in an
amateur's collection, and has given satisfactory results.

[Illustration: FIG. 17.--_Perspective View._]

[Illustration: FIG. 18.--_Ground Plan._]


Our next illustration is of a green-house and grapery combined, seventy
feet in length by twenty feet wide. It is divided by a glass partition
into two compartments, either of which can be heated at pleasure from
the same boiler, by means of cut-offs in the pipes. This house was
designed to be heated entirely by the tank system, but pipes were
afterwards substituted except for the propagating beds. This house is
located on a large village lot at Kingston, N. Y., near the dwelling,
and is in full view of the street. The exposure is all that could be
desired, and the protection from northerly winds perfect. A boiler pit
is located outside, at the side of the building, over which a handsome
summer-house is built which shields it entirely from view. The
foundation is of brick, and the whole workmanship is first class. The
side sashes are three feet high, and each alternate one is hung for
bottom ventilation. There are also the usual ventilators in the roof.

[Illustration: FIG. 19.--_Ground Plan._]

[Illustration: FIG. 20.--_Section._]

[Illustration: FIG. 21.--_South Front._]


[Illustration: FIG. 22.--_Perspective._]

[Illustration: FIG. 23.--_Section._]

[Illustration: FIG. 24.--_Ground Plan._]

This design is for a Cold Grapery of low cost. The object contemplated
is to secure a house that shall answer the purpose intended, and be a
complete working house in all its parts, without unnecessary expense.
The general outside appearance, Fig. 22, is similar to a plant house
before illustrated, the straight roof affording little opportunity for
architectural variety. By referring to Fig. 23, section, and Fig. 24,
ground plan, it will be observed that rafters to support the roof are
dispensed with, except two at each end to form the verge and finish. The
ridge and purlins are supported by light 2x3 inch posts, which rest upon
larger posts beneath the ground. This is a considerable saving, both in
material and workmanship. Posts set three feet into the ground form the
foundation for the sides and ends of the house. The sides are two feet
above the ground, and the entire structure is but ten feet in height,
enabling the gardener to reach nearly every part of the roof from the
ground. The posts may appear to be an objection, but in practice they
are found not to be so, but are useful to train the vines upon. Five
rows of vines are planted, two in the usual manner at the sides, and one
row along each line of posts. The object in planting thus, was to get
as much fruit as possible in the shortest space of time. These centre
vines will give several crops of good fruit before they will be much
interfered with by those trained upon the roof. 9x15 glass was used in
glazing, to lessen the expense of sash bars, the glass being laid the
15-inch way. This glass, being very true, has made a good roof, but
10x12 is as large a size as will usually be found to answer. This house
is distinguished from most of our other designs by the greater amount of
light admitted, owing to the absence of rafters and the less than usual
number of sash bars. The sides and ends are boarded perpendicularly, and
battened. Ventilators are provided on each side of the ridge and over
the doors, while the sashes hung in the doors furnish sufficient bottom
ventilation. It was desirable to have the house raised or appear higher
owing to the slight depression of the ground at the site, and for this
reason the border was all made above the surface two feet and a half in
height, composed largely of decayed sods, with an addition of muck, coal
and wood ashes and a small quantity of stable manure. It has been found
to work admirably, and preserve an even moisture throughout. Elevated
borders are highly recommended by some exotic grape growers, and our
experience with them is much in their favor. At present the inside
border is alone completed, as it was desirable to plant the vines, and
sufficient materials were not at hand to complete the whole. Vines were
planted the 1st of June, 1864.



Polyprosopic is not a dictionary word, at least we cannot find it in our
two-volume large quarto edition of Webster, but Loudon makes use of it
to name a special form of roof sometimes made use of in the construction
of Horticultural buildings, the true meaning of which we believe is,
that the interior side or outline of the rafter is curvilinear and the
exterior formed of planes or faces.

A very extensive practice in the design and erection of Horticultural
buildings of all classes and for all purposes, from the low priced
commercial shed to the finished crystal palaces, that adorn our finest
country seats, has led us to a more thorough investigation of this now
very important subject, and we have been enabled by a long practical
experience in the construction and practical management of Horticultural
buildings to reach conclusions relative to form, combination, heating
and management that could not be arrived at in any other manner.

We have illustrated examples of the straight and curvilinear roofs, and
now give the polyprosopic roof, in which manner we have erected some
half dozen graperies and plant houses.

[Illustration: FIG. 25.--_Perspective._]

This particular form of hot houses was described by Mr. Loudon in his
encyclopedia of gardening some thirty years ago, and he says, "he
considers it to be the _ne plus ultra_ of improvement as far as air and
light are concerned."

Mr. Leuchars in his practical treaties on hot-houses published some
twelve or fifteen years since, illustrates this form of house and says:
"It is by some considered superior to all other forms for winter

[Illustration: FIG. 26.--_Section._]

Mr. James Cranston of Birmingham, England, has also adopted this form of
construction, which in many respects he considers ahead of all others.
It seems to have been very generally known and used by many builders of
glass-houses, and its numerous combinations of sliding, lifting, and
permanently fastened sash, has been public property for upwards of
thirty years. Although nearly approaching to the curvilinear, form it
lacks the graceful beauty of a continuous curved line, and as excessive
ventilation so necessary in the climate of England, is not required in
our dry sunny atmosphere, the lifting or sliding sash roof is not
considered so desirable as the continuous fixed roof, which is at once
the most beautiful and the most economical roof yet introduced.

The principal advantage of the Polyprosopic roof, is its portability,
that is, it can be made in sashes, and transported to any portion of the
country, thus obviating the necessity of painting and glazing in the hot
atmosphere of the interior, or loss of time from storms, etc., on
outside work. The fixed roof house can be sent anywhere primed, but the
glazing and second coat of paint must be done after the erection of the
building; either house we think equally well adapted to growing
purposes, but as a matter of beauty and economy we give the preference
to the fixed curvilinear roof.

The engraving is a view of a Plant House, erected by us for Mr. Geo. H.
Brown, on his beautiful estate of Millbrook, near Washington Hollow,
Duchess County, New York. The plan of the house gives two nearly equal
apartments, one to be used as a propagating and forcing house, and the
other as a conservatory or show house for plants and flowers. Both are
heated by the circulation of hot water and can be worked independently
of each other. Such houses add very much to the attractions of a country
estate, and impress a stranger with a higher degree of taste and
refinement, while the owner has added very much to his luxuries and


[Illustration: FIG. 27.--_Perspective View._]

[Illustration: FIG. 28.--_Ground Plan._]

In this design we give a small Green House which has been erected in a
substantial and permanent manner. The Green House is quite small, being
only 20 by 30 feet. It is intended to keep bedding plants, Camellias,
Oranges, and similar things, during the winter, and also to propagate
such plants as may be wanted for bedding purposes on a place of moderate
dimensions. This house runs east and west. Its position was determined
partly by the nature of the ground, but mainly by the propagating bed.
_Fig._ 28 is the ground plan. The large compartment is nearly twenty
feet square. The potting-room, which is at the west end of the house, is
eight by ten feet, and is fitted up with desks, drawers, and other
necessary conveniences. The furnace pit, at the same end of the house,
is eight by eight feet, and contains ample room for coal. The house is
heated by two four-inch pipes. The large compartment has a side table
for plants. On the north side of the house there is a propagating bed,
the bottom heat for which is supplied by a hot-air chamber. This hot-air
chamber is formed by simply inclosing a portion of the iron pipes. In
the plan there is a large table in the centre of this compartment; but
this was not put in, the owner adopting the suggestion of setting his
large plants on the floor of the house; a very excellent plan in itself,
but which was subsequently very much marred by filling in the whole
floor of the house to the depth of six inches with coarse pebbles, to
the injury, we think, of the subsequent well-being of the house. The
idea was, an appearance of neatness, the preservation of the tubs, and
to prevent the roots from running through; but an inch of nice gravel
would have secured the first without the objections that lie against the
thick coat of pebbles, while the other objects will not be secured; for
the tubs will rot, and the roots will not thus be prevented from running
through the pots. This object must be secured by other means than
pebbles. The pebbles are unpleasant to walk on, become heated, and dry
off the house too rapidly, to the manifest injury of the plants. We
merely mention the subject, that our readers may avoid a similar error,
and save themselves the money thus needlessly spent.

_Fig._ 72 is a perspective view of the house. The west end is boarded
and battened. This corresponds with the general design of the house, and
presents a neat finish. The sides, except the potting room, are of
glass, the sashes being about three feet high. Every other sash is hung
at the bottom, for the purpose of ventilation. The roof is a continuous
glazed roof, and is quite flat, which is a decided advantage to the
plants within. There are no ventilators in the roof, the top ventilation
being effected by means of the sashes over the doors at each end, which
are hung at the bottom for this purpose, and afford abundant ventilation
for a house the length of this one. There is an ornamental crest along
the ridge, and at each end a neat finial.

DESIGN No. 10.

[Illustration: FIG. 29.--_Perspective View._]

[Illustration: FIG. 30.--_Section._]

Our next example is a Cold Grapery, erected at South Manchester,

_Fig._ 29 is the perspective view of the house, and _Fig._ 30 is a
section. The house is twenty feet wide and sixty feet long. In _Fig._
30, _a_ is a stone wall, with a drain under it. _b_ is a hollow brick
wall. _d_, _d_, is the ground level of the house on the inside; the line
below _b_ is the level on the outside, but the earth is embanked
against the brick wall to within an inch of the sill. A small house is
shown at the north end which is used for tools, potting, &c. The border
is about three feet deep, and occupies the whole interior of the house.
There is no outside border. On the bottom is placed about one foot of
"tussocks" from a neighboring bog, which may in time decay. The border
is made up pretty freely of muck, with the addition of sand, loam,
charcoal dust, bone dust, etc. There is a row of vines, two feet and a
half apart, at each side of the house, at _d_, _d_. There are two other
rows at _e_, _e_. There are also a few vines at _c_, and at the ends of
the house. The rows at _d_, _d_, form fruiting canes half way up the
rafters; those at _e_, _e_, go to the roof with a naked trunk, and
furnish fruiting canes for the other half of the rafters. The fruiting
canes are thus very short, and easily managed. The house was planted in
the month of April, with such grapes as Black Hamburgh, Victoria
Hamburgh, Wilmot's Hamburgh, Golden Hamburgh, Muscat Hamburgh, Chasselas
Fontainebleau, Frontignans, Muscat of Alexandria, Syrian, Esperione,
Tokay, and some others. The plants were very small, and the wire worm
injured some of them so as to make it necessary to replant; but the
growth of those not injured was very good. A fine crop of Melons,
Tomatoes, Strawberries, etc., was taken from the house the first year.
The second year a few bunches of grapes were gathered, and every thing
went on finely.

[Illustration: FIG. 31.--_Ground Plan._]

This is the third year in which the house has been in operation. Our
last visit was in the early part of August, 1863, when we counted 734
bunches of grapes, weighing from one to seven pounds each, the Syrian
being the grape which reached the last figure. Almost as many bunches
were thinned out. In some cases too many are left, but they look very
fine. The Muscats are extremely well set, and some of the bunches will
weigh fully three pounds. The Black Hamburghs look quite as well; but
the finest show of fruit is on the Esperione. The large number of
bunches is owing to the manner of planting; so many could hardly be
taken the third season from a house planted in the ordinary way. The
canes, it will be borne in mind, are now only fruited about half their

The exposure of this house is a very bleak one, and the climate cold
and fickle. In order to provide against a late spring frost, a coil of
one inch pipe was inclosed in brick work, with a fire chamber under it.
From this coil a single one inch pipe was carried around the house next
the side sashes. It is found to answer the purpose, having on one
occasion kept the frost out of the house, when the crop in the house of
a neighbor was destroyed. In many places, some resource of this kind is
necessary, and a small boiler with a single pipe will in most cases
prove sufficient.

DESIGN No. 11.

The following illustration is of a Plant House attached to a dwelling,
and is quite different in its plan from those before given. It was
designed and erected for J. C. Johnston, Esq., of Scarborough, N. Y.

It is built on the south side of the dwelling, and is entered from the
parlor as well as from the pleasure grounds. _Fig._ 32 is a perspective
view, which gives the reader a good idea of its general appearance,
though we can not help saying that in this case, at least, the picture
does not flatter; the house looks finer on the ground than in the
picture. The circular house on the southeast corner is strictly an
ornamental feature, and a very pretty one.

[Illustration: FIG. 32.--_Perspective View._]

[Illustration: FIG. 33.--_Ground Plan._]

The interior arrangement is shown in the ground plan, _Fig._ 33. The
house is divided into two compartments, A and B. The last is intended
for growing and propagating plants. The house is heated by hot water
pipes, the boiler being placed in the cellar of the dwelling, which is
entered by the steps, _f_; _e_ is a propagating tank, fitted with
sliding sashes. It is quite large enough to propagate all the plants the
owner will want; _d_, _d_, are beds about a foot deep, with a moderate
bottom heat, for plunging pots in when desired; _w_ is the walk. This
compartment is to be used for bringing plants into bloom, after which
they are to be taken to the show room or conservatory, marked A in the
plan. The arrangement of this compartment is such, that all the plants
in it may be seen from the parlor door or window, the steps leading to
which are marked _b_; _a_, _d_, _d_, are tables; _c_ would make a pretty
little fountain, but it is intended at present to put it in the form of
a rustic basket, and fill it with ornamental plants. The effect can not
be otherwise than good. Climbing plants of various kinds will be trained
up the mullions and rafters of the circular house, and allowed to hang
in festoons from the roof. When the house is filled with flowering and
ornamental-leaved plants, with climbers dependent from the roof, the
effect will be charming.

DESIGN No. 12.


In this illustration is given three graperies, designed and constructed
by us for Mr. John H. Sherwood of this city, which are among the first,
if not the first erected in New York, as an elegant, substantial and
attractive addition to three very superb palatial residences on Murray
Hill, near 5th Avenue. These latter are buildings, such as, in style and
workmanship, very few persons in this country, outside of New York, have
seen, and such as but few of the first class builders of New York are
competent to erect.

Centrally located in the aristocratic portion of a city noted for its
wealth, taste and influence, these Graperies will be carefully watched
as an index of what the future may do in the increased demand for houses
on city lots for Horticultural purposes.

A full sized lot in the city of New York is twenty-five feet wide by one
hundred feet in depth. The ground attached to each dwelling in this case
is equal to two full sized lots, being twenty-five feet wide and two
hundred feet in depth. The dwellings front on Fortieth Street, behind
which are the yards, twenty by twenty-five feet; the Graperies, which
are twenty-five feet by forty feet; then the coach houses, which front
on, and are entered from, Thirty-ninth Street, thus using the whole

[Illustration: FIG. 34.--_Perspective._]

[Illustration: FIG. 35.--_Ground Plan._]

The graperies are intended to be used without heat; but whenever
desirable, heating apparatus can be easily introduced, and the grape
season materially lengthened. For practical purposes only, and on open
grounds, it would, perhaps, have been better to have built the houses
lower; but as grapes are usually fruited next to the glass, the
principal objection to high houses for grape culture is the extra labor
in getting up to the vines for pruning and training. These houses are
purposely built higher than is now usual, to give a finer effect from
the drawing-room windows, and to secure, as far as possible, the
influence of the sun's rays.

By the use of glass houses on city lots, much enjoyment may be had by
all who have a desire to spend their time in growing fine fruits and
flowers. Pot vines and trees condense a vineyard and orchard into a
wonderfully small space, and border vines yield a harvest of glorious
fruit that surprise all not accustomed to seeing and eating such
luxuries. Our city lots, with rare exceptions, are well adapted to the
growth, under glass, of grapes and orchard fruit, and the forcing of
vegetables. There are many of them somewhat shaded during portions of
the day, yet the better protection is something of a compensation, and
besides that, it is still an open question whether sun-light is alone
essential in perfecting fruit; daylight in many cases does pretty well.

The failure to receive the sun's rays the entire day would not deter us
one moment from the erection of a horticultural building. Those who grow
fruit where all conditions are most favorable to success, do not enjoy
the same pleasure nor attain the same skill as those who battle with
difficulties; success easily acquired has not the same value as success
which is reached by persistent effort against adverse circumstances.

Unlike the garden of a country gentleman that blossoms and fruits and
passes away in a season, the horticultural building properly heated is a
perpetual pleasure, a garden the year round; vegetables and fruit and
flowers follow each other without intermission.

Very much is due to the foresight and energy of Mr. Sherwood, in
inaugurating the introduction of horticultural structures of this class
in New York. Few gentlemen of wealth have had the same opportunity, and
few less would have the courage to take the first bold step in this
matter. It cannot, however, by horticulturists, be looked upon as an
experiment, however much those inexperienced in such matters may be
disposed to criticise.

We are sure that Mr. Sherwood has done something that will advance the
cause of Horticulture, and equally sure that he will be successful in
the result. We shall feel much interested in his progress.

DESIGN No. 13.

[Illustration: FIG. 36.--_Perspective._]

[Illustration: FIG. 37.--_Ground Plan._]

In our present illustration we have an example of what may be done with
a wall. It was necessary, for certain purposes, to cut away an
embankment, and build a sustaining wall. After this had been done, we
were asked if the wall could not be devoted to some useful purpose, and
it was determined to build a lean-to grapery against it. The chief
difficulty in the way was the wet and springy nature of the ground at
the level marked water line in _Fig._ 38. It was found, however, that it
could be drained; but at certain seasons of the year surface water would
accumulate from the overflow of a milldam. But there is generally
some way to overcome difficulties. In this case, the border was placed
inside the house, and well raised, with a firm concrete bottom between
the ground and water lines, and suitable drains connecting with the main
drain under the front wall, to secure the requisite degree of dryness
inside. Up to the present time we believe every thing has gone on very
favorably. We have no doubt that many other places, now deemed useless,
might be converted into good graperies at an expense that the results
would fully warrant. In case this was successful, it was the owner's
purpose to extend the house along the wall at the left; and it was
therefore deemed best to insert the valley at the angle, to save future
expense in tearing down the end of the house.

[Illustration: FIG. 38.--_Section._]

_Fig._ 36 is a perspective view of the house, which, in connection with
_Fig._ 38 will give the reader a good idea of the general arrangement.
_Fig._ 37 is a plan.

DESIGN No. 14.

Our next illustration is a hot grapery. It is forty-one feet long and
twenty feet wide. _Fig._ 39 is a perspective view. It is covered with a
low, continuous, curvilinear roof, and is without side lights. The
omission of side lights materially lessens the cost of the house, and
secures additional warmth. In some cases, side lights serve no other
purpose than architectural effect. Graperies, propagating houses, and
plant houses generally may very well be constructed without them; some
of these houses, indeed, are very much better without them.

In the present instance, to prevent what is called a "squatty"
appearance, and also to give additional headway, the side walls were
carried up some twenty inches above the ground line. The house is thus
made to assume a handsome appearance. Air is introduced into the house
at the sides, through underground wooden air chambers opening on the
inside near the walk. Instead of these wooden air chambers, we now use
six inch glazed pipes, as being more convenient and durable. It is an
effective and excellent mode of introducing fresh air, without letting
it directly on the plants. Ventilation is effected by the sash over the
end doors, and also by ventilators placed along the ridge board.

[Illustration: FIG. 39.--_Perspective._]

[Illustration: FIG. 40.--_Ground Plan._]

_Fig._ 40 is the ground plan. At the north end a small room is
partitioned off for a boiler pit. On one side is a chest of drawers for
seeds, &c., and on the other some shelving. In connection with the
boiler pit is a coal bin, not, however, of very large capacity. The
house is heated by two four-inch pipes, the design being not to work the
house very early. The border is entirely inside the house, and is
composed principally of sod, muck, and gravel, with the addition of some
old manure and bone shavings. The vines have done well, annually
ripening a fine crop of fruit, and the house has in all respects proved
to be satisfactory.

DESIGN No. 15.

This is a plan of a range of houses designed and built for Joseph
Howland, Esq., of Matteawan, N. Y. It is a large and imposing structure,
befitting the character of Mr. Howland's ample grounds. It stands at the
north end of the kitchen garden, and conceals it from the dwelling, from
which the range is in full view. A part of the structure on the right,
used as a green house, not shown in ground plan, was built some four or
five years ago with the old sliding sash roof, which was found so
unsatisfactory that at the time of the erection of the new portion, this
roof was removed and replaced with a curvilinear fixed roof to
correspond with the rest.

It will be observed that the range is divided into two parts by a
road-way. The design of this was to enable the family to visit the
houses at any time in the carriage without exposure to the weather, and
enjoy the fruits, flowers, and temperature of tropical climates, without
the necessity of leaving their homes.

The north side of the middle houses is covered with boards and battened.
End ventilation being impracticable here, top ventilation is increased
so as to meet all requirements.

[Illustration: FIG. 41.--_Ground Plan._]

[Illustration: FIG. 42.--_Double Gate._]

_Fig._ 41 is the ground plan. On the right is the old green house, a
portion of the foundation of which is shown. This communicates with the
hot grapery and tool house, under which is a capacious root cellar. From
the covered road-way, all the parts of this extensive range are easily
accessible. Across the road-way, between the houses, is a handsome
double gate, a sketch of which is given in _Fig._ 42.

Crossing the road-way, we enter the cold grapery. The foundation of this
rests on piers, the border being outside. There are hot-water pipes in
this compartment, to be used only to keep out frost. It may, however, be
used as a "second" hot grapery. Passing out of the cold grapery, we
enter what may be called the conservatory, its principal use being for
the show of ornamental plants; and to this end it has several
accessories which add much to its beauty. One of these which may be
noticed is a neat fountain in the centre; always a pretty feature
wherever it can be introduced. Another is a rustic niche or alcove in
the north wall, built of rough stones, over and through which the water
constantly trickles into a basin. Its full beauty will not be seen till
it has acquired age, and become covered with mosses and ferns.
Fortunately for the plants and for good taste, there is no shelving in
this house. Beds are formed of brick, with a neat coping, in which the
pots are set. This arrangement is much more effective than any manner
of staging could possibly be.

[Illustration: FIG. 43.--_Interior View._]

In order to give the reader an idea of the interior of this apartment,
we have prepared a perspective view of it. (See _Fig._ 43.) From this a
good conception can be formed of the appearance and arrangement of the
beds, fountain, &c.

Returning through the cold grapery, we have on its north side a boiler
and potting room. The boiler pit is sunk beneath the floor of this room,
and has connected with it a coal bin and shoot. Communicating with the
potting-room is a propagating room, in the north end of the
conservatory, and divided from it by a solid partition. It is provided
with hot-water pipes for furnishing bottom heat. It will propagate all
the bedding and other plants needed on the place. It will thus be seen
that there are ample facilities for furnishing an abundant supply of
grapes and flowers. The house, as a whole, forms a marked feature of the

DESIGN No. 16.

The following design was prepared for Dr. Butler, of the Retreat for the
Insane at Hartford, Conn. The doctor had conceived the idea that a
green-house might be made to serve a very important part in the
treatment of the insane, having noticed the soothing influence of plants
upon his patients, more especially the females. We have no doubt that
his anticipations will be fully realized; for we can scarcely conceive
of anything better calculated to heal the "mind diseased," than daily
intercourse with these voiceless, but gladsome children of Nature.

_Fig._ 44 is a perspective view of the house. It is twenty-four feet
wide and seventy-five long. It has a low, curved roof, and side sashes
three feet six inches high. We do not make these roofs low for the sake
of architectural effect, though this point is certainly gained; but
rather for the sake of the plants, a low roof, in this respect,
possessing incalculable advantages over one that is steep. When
attention is once generally fixed on this point, plant growers will not
be slow to acknowledge the superiority of the low roof. It has often
surprised us that gardeners will assume a great deal of unnecessary
labor for the sake of an old prejudice. Some of them are slow to
avail themselves of improvements that not only lessen their toils,
but bring greater certainty and pleasure to the pursuit of their
profession. Others, again, are quick enough to avail themselves of every
facility brought within their reach. We could wish that the latter class
might multiply rapidly.

[Illustration: FIG. 44.--_Perspective View._]

[Illustration: FIG. 45.--_Ground Plan._]

One of the prettiest features about this house is its rounded ends. The
pitch of the roof and the width of the house are such, taken in
connection with the circular ends, that all the lines flow into each
other with the utmost harmony. These different parts were studied with
reference to producing this result, and we think it has been done with
some degree of success. The finials, the ornament along the ridge, and
the entrance door, are all in keeping with the rest of the structure.

_Fig._ 45 is the ground plan. This presents some peculiarities. The
house being designed for the use of the insane, it was desirable to
place the heating apparatus out of their reach; the boiler is therefore
placed under ground. For this purpose a vault of sufficient size to hold
the boiler and several tons of coal, is built under ground in front of
the house. It is substantially built of brick, and arched over. The
smoke shaft is carried up through the roof, and finished above ground in
the form of a column or pedestal, surmounted with a vase, as seen in
_Fig._ 44. To harmonize the grounds, and conceal the purpose of this
column, another is placed on the opposite side of the path. In summer,
these vases will be filled with plants, and the columns are intended to
be covered with vines, thus making them subserve an ornamental purpose.
There are two entrances to the boiler vault, one from within by a
concealed trap-door, and the other from without. The house will be
heated by hot water pipes.

There will be neither shelves nor tables in the house. The plants will
be set either on or in the ground, and the whole interior made to
resemble as much as possible a flower garden. The plants will thus be
easier seen, better enjoyed, and more appreciated than if placed either
on tables or staging. In any well-designed house, the plants look and
grow infinitely better upon flat tables; and a large class of plants
will grow even better upon the earthen floor of the house.

DESIGN No. 17.

Our next example is a lean-to grapery for early forcing. It was designed
for a gentleman in Connecticut, and we believe has since been built.

[Illustration: FIG. 46--_Perspective View._]

[Illustration: FIG. 47.--_Ground Plan._]

_Fig._ 46 is a perspective view. It runs east and west, and is designed
to correspond in a measure with another house on the place, though the
roof of this is much flatter. There are no side lights. Ventilation is
effected by openings along the ridge, and by the sashes over the doors,
which are hung for the purpose. The roof is continuous, and both ends of
the house are glazed.

[Illustration: FIG. 48.--_Section._]

_Fig._ 47 is the ground plan. The sills of the front or glass part rest
on brick piers, to allow the roots of the vines to run out, the border
being both in and outside the house. A wooden partition on the north
side of the walk divides the house into two unequal parts, the north
being used for a potting shed, tool house, etc. This apartment is
furnished with tables, etc., and is well lighted by windows at the side
and ends. A water tank is conveniently placed in the middle. In the
northwest corner is the boiler pit. This is sufficiently large to hold
coal, and is furnished with a shoot for throwing it down. The grapery is
to be heated by four rows of pipes, the object being to force early.

_Fig._ 48 is a section, showing the arrangement of pipes, walk, etc.

DESIGN No. 18.

Plant houses having a specific object in view, it is not possible to
indulge in a great variety of forms without sacrificing their utility,
or creating a great deal of room that can not be applied to any useful
purpose whatever. In this respect they differ in a marked manner from
dwelling-houses, which allow of great latitude in design and
construction. That some degree of picturesqueness, however, is
consistent with utility, we think will be apparent on examining the
design herewith presented. The plan was made for H. B. Hurlbut, Esq., of
Cleveland, Ohio. It is intended for a green-house and hot-house
combined. It is located near the dwelling and in sight of the public
highway. It is in the form of a cross.

[Illustration: FIG. 49.--_Perspective View._]

[Illustration: FIG. 50.--_Ground Plan._]

_Fig._ 49 is a perspective view, as seen from the street. The porch or
front entrance is ornamented, but with an entire absence of heavy wood
work. The finials and crest along the ridge are light, and harmonize
with the general design. The valleys and angles break up the structure
in a very pleasing and effective manner, and the elevation, as a whole,
is one that will arrest attention.

[Illustration: FIG. 51.--_Section._]

_Fig._ 50 is the ground plan. Directly opposite the front entrance is a
fountain. There are two centre tables for plants, also others around the
sides of the house, not shown in the plan. This apartment will be used
principally for plants in bloom. The other apartment which will be kept
at a higher temperature, for the purpose of forcing plants into flower.
At the end, on the right-hand side, is the boiler-pit, which is
partitioned off. It is large enough to hold two or three tons of coal.
There is a coal-shoot on the outside. On the left is the potting-room.
This will be fitted up with a writing desk, and shelves and drawers for
books, seeds, etc. Every other side-sash is hung at the bottom for
ventilation. There are also ventilators on the top, and over the doors.
_Fig._ 51 is a sectional view of the house.

There is scarcely any part of this structure that does not, at some time
during the day, receive a portion of the sun's rays; some more, some
less. A little judgment, therefore, on the part of the gardener who has
charge of the place, will enable him to grow well a large variety of

DESIGN No. 19.

[Illustration: FIG. 52.--_Perspective._]

[Illustration: FIG. 53.--_Ground Plan._]

This design is of a plant-house of larger dimensions than any we have
heretofore given. Its form was determined by its location. _Fig._ 52 is
a perspective.

The principal building runs east and west. This is divided by a brick
wall into two unequal parts, that facing the south being the largest. On
the north side we have first, at the west end, a small Camellia house.
It would be also adapted to Orchids, Caladiums, Begonias, Ferns, and all
plants requiring partial shade. Next we have a moderate sized
bed-room for the man who attends to the boilers, one of which is in the
next room. These two rooms are covered with boards bent to the curve of
the roof and battened instead of glass. On the south of these three
rooms is a hot grapery, to be used as a "second" house. Next, on the
east, is a house designated "Forcing House" in the plan. (See _Fig._
53.) It should be "Hot House," as this room is not adapted to forcing
purposes. It is intended for plants that require a high temperature to
keep them in good health. East of this is a room, or a "potting shed."
Being covered with glass, it is well adapted to growing Mushrooms,
propagating plants, &c., all the room not being needed for potting
purposes. By the side of this room is another boiler room, and on the
south another Hot Grapery, to be used as a "first" house. Then, on the
east is the Cold Grapery, of goodly dimensions. Last of all we have a
Green-house of large size south of the Hot-house. Thus, under one roof,
we have all that is needed on a large place. We do not wish to be
understood as saying that it is always best to put these houses in this
particular shape; but where money is no particular object, and
architectural effect is sought for, this form gives an opportunity in
its broken outlines for considerable display.

DESIGN No. 20.

Green-houses and Graperies are usually erected as separate structures.
While it is desirable that they should be so on extensive places where
much accommodation is required, in grounds of moderate extent many
advantages are gained by having the houses connected. Facility for
heating and management, protection of those houses requiring the most
heat, by those kept cold or at only moderate temperature, and the ease
with which all departments may be visited by the owner, are all obtained
by such an arrangement. In the present instance the Green-house occupies
a position east and west, and is protected on its north and most exposed
quarter by the Grapery. The boiler located as shown on the plan,
supplies heat to all the houses. The Grapery, not being intended as a
forcing or early house, has but one hot water pipe, which will afford
sufficient heat to enable the vines to be started two or three weeks
earlier in the spring, or if not desirable to anticipate their natural
growth, will prevent them receiving sudden checks from frosty nights,
which sometimes happen at the latter end of April and beginning of May,
after the vines have broken their buds. We can prolong the season also,
until about Christmas, in favorable years. Several of the late
ripening, and late keeping varieties of the Grape, are intended to be
grown. Lady Downes, Barbarossa, Frogmore St., Peters and others. These
by the addition of another pipe and proper care in management, could be
kept on the vines in fine condition until February, and perhaps March.

[Illustration: FIG. 54.--_Perspective._]

[Illustration: FIG. 55.--_Ground Plan._]

The sill or wall plate of the Grapery, is but two feet above the border;
thus giving nearly the whole length of cane for fruiting upon the
rafter. Side lights are dispensed with bottom ventilation being afforded
by apertures through the brick wall, closed by shutters. The wall is
supported on stone lintels, resting on brick piers placed about five
feet apart, extending to the bottom of the border, allowing free access
for the vine roots to the outside. Ventilation at the top is effected by
means of sashes, hung in the roof at the ridge, which are raised and
lowered by an iron shaft running the length of the building, with elbow
attachments at each ventilator. A cord and lever at one end, works the
shaft, raising the whole of the ventilators at one operation. This is by
far the best method of ventilation, but more expensive than that
generally used. It is strong, effective, rarely requires repair, and the
sashes are never in danger of being blown open and broken by high winds.
The floor level of the Green-house is two feet below that of the
Grapery, in order that there may be sufficient height at the sides, to
place plants on the tables, and bring them near the glass. General
collections of plants cannot well be grown in one house; for this
reason, we have the house divided by a glass partition. By an
arrangement of valves in the hot water pipes, and independent
ventilation, a different temperature can be maintained in each. Plants
requiring a considerable degree of heat will find a congenial location
in the central house, while those in bloom, and others to which a cooler
atmosphere is more suitable, will be placed at the circular end of the

Three rows of heating pipe run around the Green-houses, which will give
ample heat in the coldest weather. A propagating table is provided by
enclosing a portion of the pipes in the central house. Beneath the floor
is a cistern of 3,000 gallons capacity, from which tanks holding 100
gallons each are supplied by pumps. The Green-houses are entered through
a door and porch on the south, not shown in the engraving, also through
potting room and Grapery. The design of these houses gives an
opportunity for further addition if desired, by a wing on the south,
corresponding with the Grapery on the north. Such an extension would
improve the architectural appearance of the whole. An early Grapery
might be thus located and be heated from the same boiler. These houses,
lately designed and erected by us for John L. Rogers, Esq., of Newburgh,
N. Y., form a picturesque and attractive feature in his well kept
grounds, and will no doubt be a source of much enjoyment to their


Glass-houses devoted exclusively to the cultivation of such fruits as
are usually found in our orchards and gardens, would seem to be hardly
necessary erections in our climate, with its bright and genial sunshine.
But we must call to mind the almost total failure of the peach crop for
several years past, on account of the severity of the winter frost, in
sections of the country where this fruit was formerly cultivated with
the greatest success, and ripened in the fullest abundance and
perfection. We cannot forget, also, that it is next to impossible to
prevent the attacks of the curculio upon our smooth-skinned fruits,--the
Nectarine, Apricot and Plum--and the vast amount of vigilance and care
required to counteract the invasions of the various other insect pests
which visit us, and to obtain even a moderate crop, in many localities,
out of doors. And we must be willing to concede that the certain means
of securing even a limited supply of these delicious fruits, is worthy
of our careful consideration.

Well managed Orchard houses will give us, without doubt or failure, the
Peach, the Apricot, the Nectarine, the Plum, the Fig, and many other
fruits in great perfection. With the addition of fire heat these may be
forced, and the fruit obtained much in advance of its natural season.

In England, houses for the growth of these fruits, which will generally
not ripen in the open air of that climate, have been in successful use
for a number of years. In these houses the trees are planted in prepared
borders, which gives the roots liberty to ramble at will. The fruit thus
produced is very beautiful in appearance, and if abundant ventilation is
supplied, at the proper season, it is of tolerable flavor. The great
difficulty in this mode of culture, seems to be in not being able to
furnish adequate ventilation to the house at the period of ripening, to
enable the fruit to acquire its full flavor and perfection of delicacy
and richness. Another difficulty is the over vigorous growth of the
trees, and the care required to restrain them within proper bounds.

An impetus was given to the erection of Orchard houses in England, by
Mr. Rivers, the celebrated nurseryman and fruit grower, by the
publication of his little work on the subject of Orchard houses, in
which he advocated the growth of trees in pots. By this system of pot
culture, we are enabled to remove the trees when the fruit begins to
color, and thus to ripen and perfect it in the open air. The over-growth
of wood is also restrained in this system of culture, the trees being
easily managed and controlled. Great success has, in many instances,
attended this mode of culture in this country. Although it is but a few
years since experiments were commenced here, some of our fruit growers
have acquired such skill and experience, as to enable them to realize
considerable profits from their investments in a money point of view,
besides demonstrating the practicability of the system.

The majority of houses erected for this purpose among us, have been of
the cheapest possible description. While the culture was merely
experimental, this was all well enough; but now that the Orchard house
has taken its place among other Horticultural structures, the same
arguments we have urged against cheap Graperies will apply with equal
force to this class of buildings.

The principal differences between the plans for Orchard houses and
Graperies are, first, the somewhat lower roof of the former, that the
pots containing the trees may stand upon the earth floor or border,
while the foliage may be brought as near as possible to the glass; and
secondly, the very ample ventilation required by the trees, at certain
periods of their growth, and in completing the "hardening off" process
of the wood, and leaves if the trees are to be removed to the open air.

Fruit trees are frequently grown in pots in Graperies. After the vines
have expanded their leaves maturely, and obstructed the light, it
becomes necessary to remove the trees to the open air. The leaves and
new grown wood being very tender, the abrupt change to a different
climate is too great, and they suffer in consequence. In a well
constructed Orchard house, the means of ventilation should be so ample
that the trees may be gradually inured to the change; or if it is
desirable to let the trees remain within the house through the summer,
the access of the air must be so abundant as to give as nearly as
possible that flavor to the fruit which it would acquire if fully

_Fig._ 56 is a perspective view of a "lean-to" Orchard house, erected
some years since by J. S. Lovering, Esq. of which the following
description has been furnished to us:

"Mr. Lovering's Orchard House is 165 feet long by 14 wide, is a lean-to,
points south, under shelter of a hill. Back wall 12 feet high, 8 feet
stone work; on top of wall 4 feet of wood, in which the back row of
ventilators (2 feet by 20 inches) work, hung on rollers, and all opened
and closed simultaneously by means of a wire representing a front door
pull. Front wall 4 feet high, made by nailing plowed and grooved planks
to locust posts, in which are cut the front ventilators, 4 feet 8 inches
long by 18 inches deep, and covered by a screen of gauze wire with board
shutters to close tight. The roof is made of 16 feet rafters, on which
rests 8 foot sash, immovable; the glass is first quality, 8 by 10. A
single row of supporters on one side of the wall completes the roof. The
interior is divided into three borders: the front border (3 feet 6
inches wide) is raised 9 inches above the walk (which is 2 feet 6 inches
wide); the first back border is 3 feet wide, and raised 16 inches above
the walk; the second back border is raised 1 foot above the front one,
and is 4 feet wide. On this further back border are placed the largest
trees only, having the most head room--the smallest pots standing on the
front. The appearance of the house, when seen by the writer on the 7th
of April, 1860, was truly magnificent, being one dense mass of bloom,
(except some of the early kinds, on which the fruit was already set,)
resembling a green-house of Azaleas in full flower. Peaches, apricots,
nectarines, plums and figs are embraced in the assortment, and are grown
principally in 11-inch pots placed about three feet apart, every leaf
being fully exposed to the sun-light--vines being, of course, entirely

[Illustration: FIG. 56.--_Perspective View._]

Of the success of this mode of culture in America, no one who has
witnessed Mr. Lovering's house can have the shadow of a doubt. With him
it is no new experiment, having fruited pot trees in his cold graperies
for several years."

_Fig._ 57 is a section of a "lean-to" form of house, showing arrangement
of trees and sunken walk to give sufficient head room.

_Fig._ 58 represents perspective view of a span-roofed house, in which
ventilation is effected at the bottom and very freely at the ends. No
ventilators are placed in the roof as they were not in this case deemed

[Illustration: FIG. 57.--_Section._]

_Fig._ 59 gives a view of the interior of the span-roofed house, in
which are shown the pots containing the trees. The span-roofed house we
consider better adapted to the growth of Orchard fruit than the
"lean-to" form, except where it is desired to force the fruit in advance
of its season, in which case the lean-to possesses the advantages of
better protection, and of being more easily heated from the smaller area
of glass exposed to radiation. These designs are of houses of a cheap
class, such as might be erected for merely experimental purposes.

[Illustration: FIG. 58.--_Perspective._]

[Illustration: FIG. 59.--_Interior View._]

We consider the successful cultivation of Orchard fruit under glass, to
be a fact so well settled, that we should advise substantial structures
to be erected at the outset. Some of our numerous designs for graperies,
both of the curvilinear and straight roofed form, would, with slight
alteration in adding to the means of ventilation, be well adapted to
this purpose. This is especially the case with designs numbered 7, 8,
and 14.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Woodward's Graperies and Horticultural Buildings" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.