This section is from the book "The Gardener V2", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
I shall feel obliged if some of your correspondents who are able and willing should give their experience on the culture of Peaches, Pears, Apples, etc, in pots under glass. Several gentlemen have made inquiries at me about this, and being myself unable to give an answer, it has occurred to me to ask for information through your columns. One gentleman asks if it would be advisable, and likely to prove satisfactory, to erect an orchard-house, without any artificial heat whatever, for Pears, Apples, Plums, and the ordinary outdoor fruits 1 I understand he proposes to grow them in pots, but it might be well to consider whether that or planting them in the soil would be the better course. Another gentleman suggests that the best form of an orchard-house might be discussed. He himself inclines to the idea of having a semi-span house running east and west, but the back wall, as it were, to be entirely of glass. Some doubts are expressed about the advisability of having wide houses 20 feet and upwards, for fear that those trees placed in the middle of the house may be too far from the glass, and the fruit not get properly ripened.
Is there anything in this?
Probably in consequence of the late unfavourable season, the interest in fruit-culture under glass seems at the present time to be spreading; and as I am sure some of your numerous and able correspondents can throw much light on the subject, I hope you will give this a corner in your next issue. A. D. Makenzie.
2 Grove Terrace, Edinburgh, November 8, 1879.
[A very interesting and important subject, and we shall be glad to have the experience of our correspondents. - Ed].