This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
To build a cheap vinery, use posts at back 5 feet apart, 5 inches by 2 1/2, 8 feet out, and 2 feet in the ground; posts in front 5 feet apart, of same dimensions as those at back, 3 feet out of the ground and 20 inches in; the ground must be well rammed around the posts. Rafters, 14 feet long, 3 inches by 2 1/4; mine were ready cut for glazing at Montgomery's saw-mills, Brentford. They have been in their present places eight years, and have neither warped nor sagged; they may be placed 15 inches apart. These 14-feet rafters give me ground width inside of about 12 1/2 feet; so that my house is 8 feet high at back, 3 feet at front, and 30 feet long. To give more head room, I have a sunken path in its centre 15 inches deep, and 2 feet wide. My wails are formed of 3/4-inch Deal boards, not feather-edged or rebated, nailed as closely together as possible (they shrink and let in air all the better); they are, as well as the rafters and other parts of the house, painted with, anti-corrosive paint of a bright stone color, and the effect is neat and good. Three sliding shutters (each 3 feet long and 10 inches wide) are in the back wall, or, rather, boards, within about 18 inches of the top.
One 10-inch board at front is on hinges, forming a shutter, so as to give a continuous opening there 10 inches wide. The roof itself is fixed - a matter of some importance in cost My soil is dry and sandy, so I have not prepared any border, but merely forked in some rotten dung, mixing it with the soil to about 20 inches deep. I prune the vines on the spur method, do not grow large bunches, and always have a nice crop. I have fourteen Black Hamburgh vines in my house, for I reckon that a vine on the spur system, and the summer shoots well shortened in, ought not to occupy mere than 2 feet in width; they give me, in round numbers, about one cwt. of grapes annually. The vines are planted inside the boarded wall in front, and as there is no brickwork, their roots have full liberty to go inside or out. Air is my great ally; I believe that our summer's sun gives heat enough to ripen all the fruits of temperate climates under glass, and that the vast increase of heat by day, when the sun shines, is quite enough without endeavoring to " shut it in" at night, as the old gardeners used to say, which only gives grapes with thick skins, and without color.
Grapes, particularly Black Hamburghs, are easily grown under glass. I have not yet said the cost of my vinery. I am almost fearful it will, by the builders, be thought too cheap. My 30-feet house did not cost seventy-five dollars, and I have a strong suspicion that a man fond of doing his own carpentry might do it for fifty or sixty. Glass is cheap, rafters are cheap, and 2/4-inch boards for the walls are also cheap enough. - Vigneron, in London Florist.