This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Some years ago, some attention was given to growing Grapes on what is known as the extension system; that is, training a Grape vine so that in time one plant filled a whole house. In the hands of a good grower, we believe it is a much better plan than the single rod system. In hopes to recall attention to this good plan, we give the following from an Irish paper on the single vine in one large house at the Vice-Regal Lodge, Dublin:
"Taking it all in all, we are strongly of opinion that the great vine at the Vice-Regal Lodge, Phoenix Park, may fairly claim to be the finest example of a single vine grown on what is called the extension system to be found in these islands, or, perhaps, outside of them. It is quite possible, and very probable, too, that there are other monster vines monopolizing entire houses, and covering a larger space; but we doubt if the Finchley or any other celebrity in its way presents such a picture of successful grape culture as does at this present moment the large vine at the Vice-Regal Lodge. The crop this year is, perhaps, the heaviest it has yet matured, certainly the size and weight of the bunches is beyond the average. Not a few of these would turn the scale between three and four pounds, and the weight of the general run of bunches will be fully two pounds each. The number of bunches which are strung along the lines of rod with almost mathematical precision is somewhere about five hundred, and everyone of them fit for the exhibition table. The heaviest bunches are, as a matter of course, to be found at the extreme end of the house, opposite to that at which the vine is introduced, and from which rods are conducted horizontally the entire length of over seventy feet.
The large-sized bunches illustrate the fact in grape-growing that size and sable are not at the same time attainable; to have the former you must forego the latter to some extent. Notably, too, the bunches which crowd the hip or back portion of the roof, which is less exposed to light and sunshine, have the color laid on more decidedly than those which are more fully exposed to these elements. Nothing can be more robust, clean, and healthy than the foliage. Altogether it is a triumph of cultural skill and good management, and the worthy and skilful chef who holds the horticultural helm at the Lodge may well be congratulated on the present aspect of his noble Black Hamburgh".