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Catalog Data

Metal mesh, wire
15 1/4 × 12 × 12 in. (38.7 × 30.5 × 30.5 cm)
Plant protectors
Victorian (1837-1901)
Plant protector made of wire and mesh. The protector is pyramid-shaped with a horizontal wire band halfway up and loop handle on the top.
Label Text:
A protective covering for individual or small groups of plants was a useful piece of equipment for the Victorian farm or garden. Plant protectors for overwintering and propagating plants that needed extra protection have also been called cloches, bell jars, or hand-lights. Numerous sizes and shapes were available for each variety: cloches and bell jars were bell-shaped, and hand-lights were square with a pyramidal top. They were transparent or semitransparent with glass, plastic, mesh, or fabric sheets on a wood or metal frame. Plant protectors were made in one or two parts and might have removable panes in the sides or top for ventilation. They functioned like a miniature greenhouse, creating a microclimate for the plants. They were used as protective covering to shield plants from pests, wind, and cold weather, were sometimes used with wooden frames or turf pits to protect root cuttings of hardy and half-hardy plants and bring them on more quickly in the spring. They also worked to keep soot off young and vulnerable plants in cities.
cloches  Search this
pyramids (geometric figures)  Search this
gardening  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection.
Accession number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens