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.
When this was completed, dwarf walls, marked 3, were built across the border, three and a half feet apart, one foot square, in the pigeon-hole manner: on the top of these walls are laid rough flags; these, in reality, form the bottom of the border, and upon these is placed about six inches of broken stones and bricks, marked 4; then covered with turf, with the grassy side down, to prevent the soil from mixing with the stones. There are flues or chimneys at each end of the border and centre communicating with the drains in the bottom, as shown in the section, marked 2. The top of these flues is nicely made of stone ten inches square, through which is cut a hole of six inches square, into which is inserted a plug of a wedge-like form, so as to fit tightly, but removable at pleasure; these flues are about an inch above ground. At the back of the border are placed cast-iron pipes (marked 5) perpendicularly, and also communicating with the drains underneath; these being higher than the flues in front, cause a motion in the air beneath the border.
After a long continuance of rain, the plugs in the flues in front are taken out, thereby creating a great circulation of air, and thus, to a vast extent, accelerating the proper drying of the borders, which is deemed of much importance.' In the winter season, the borders are covered with leaves and stable manure, to the depth of twelve inches. It is obvious that the whole aim of the constructor of this border was to do that which experience shows to be so very important. He not only got rid of superfluous water, but he introduced air in abundance, and, at the same time, the natural warmth which it carries with it. The result was, Black Hamburgh Grapes, weighing from two pounds nine ounces to five pounds a bunch - beautiful fruit, of admirable quality, on vines just seven years old.
The experiments with concreting vine border were all made with the same end in view - the elevation of the temperature of the soil in which vine roots are formed; this is found to be of great importance.