The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening Tools, Equipment and Buildings
Chapter: Chapter 5: Machines and Machinery

Canvas curtains

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1947. The canvas curtain is so arranged, by means of pulleys and weights, as to be drawn up over a wall, of a hundred feet in length, in a few seconds, and let down and spread out to dry in nearly as short a time. It is kept at a distance from the trees by cords stretched from the coping to the ground in a sloping direction; a fine example of this occurs at Dalmeny Park garden, near Edinburgh, erected under the inspection of J. Hay, of Edinburgh, a meritorious designer of kitchen-gardens. 'If screens be made in sheets,' Nicol observes, 'they are best to hoist up and lower with pulleys and cords (which pulleys may be fixed to the coping, as above mentioned, or to a beam or stretcher fixed at the top of the wall). They should be suspended over small rafters or spars, of an inch and a half to two inches square, according to their lengths, placed so closely as to prevent the canvas from dashing against the trees, as above hinted. Sheets of this kind may be of any convenient size, and made to cover one or more trees, as may be required. I have had one sheet 200 feet in length, which I could join or unjoin at two or three different places, and could unclew and hoist, or lower and clew up, in fifteen or twenty minutes. I first contrived it to clew at the top of the wall, but afterwards found it safer to do it at the bottom, as a gust of wind had once nearly torn it away altogether. In the clew it was hung by loops to the bottom part of the upright spars (which were placed at four feet asunder), so as to be a few inches clear of the ground. These rafters were fastened with hooks and eyes to the coping at top; and at bottom to stakes driven fast into the earth, eighteen inches clear of the wall.' (Kalendar.)