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.
Some thirty years since, I planted numerous beech hedges for shelter; these stand with their ends S. E. and N. W. A few years ago their S. W. sides looked such compact green walls, 8 feet high, that I was tempted to rear against them four lean-to houses, each 40 feet long and 12 feet wide, 8 feet high at back, and 3 feet high at front, with a sunken path in the centre. The climate in these houses in the summer months is most delightful. Tea-scented roses, magnolias, and other shrubs liable to injury from our severe winters, thrive admirably, owing to the dryness of the soil and air. Apricots and peaches ripen about three weeks or a month later than those on walls; but, owing to the quantity of cold air admitted through the back hedge in spring, their blossoms often suffer in April, if frosts are severe. I found this to be the case in 1854 and 1855; this induced me to build some small span-roofed houses, 12 and 14 feet wide, 4 feet high at the sides, and, instead of using boards, to plant them with hedges to form the walls, - one with yew, the other with Siberian Arbor Vitae. These are clipped twice in the growing season; they now form compact hedges, and seem to flourish all the better for the drip from the glass which pours into them when it rains heavily.
I mention these span-roofed hedge houses, not only because their climate in spring, summer, and autumn, is most charming, and perfect as a promenade for persons in delicate health, but for their convenience in retarding fruits. The trees bloom ten or twelve days later than those in the regular orchard house, and generally escape injury from spring frosts; there is such a constant percolation of air through the hedges when the sun shines, that the healthy growth is surprising. If Royal George and Noblesse peaches are to be retarded, they may be removed from the boarded orchard house to the span-roofed hedge house from the first week in June till August; they will ripen about three weeks later than those left in it. Apricots, plums, and pears ripen well in these houses, and are always perfect in flavor; cherries are liable to be eaten by birds which creep through the hedges. The great charm of them is, their perfect ventilation without any trouble. For many kinds of greenhouse plants they will be found the best of summer quarters; the increased temperature in sunny weather, from 15° to 20° above the open air, and the absence of heavy storms, which so often injure exotics when placed out of doors in summer, are most advantageous to their well doing.