While snuggled up in front of the fire watching my favourite DVD at the moment, The Victorian Kitchen, I came across something that caught my eye. They mentioned that Joseph Paxton, one time head gardener at Chatsworth, designer and engineer of the Crystal Palace at the The Great Exhibition 1851 and all-round great guy, had invented something called Paxton’s Strawberry Crinoline.
I was intrigued and went straight to the Internet to look it up. Was shocked and dismayed to find, nothing, not a sausage about Paxo’s Crinoline. What? Really? So I’ve made it my mission to furnish the Web with data.
Here, in all its glory is a reproduction of Paxton’s Strawberry Crinoline. Sorry about the quality of photos as I had to take a shot of my TV screen! But you can clearly see what it does. It’s a kind of wire frame (hence the crinoline name) that sits underneath your Strawberry plant and lifts the berries off the ground. Thus keeping them free from dirt and away from the slugs – a bit like straw but better looking.
So there you have it. What a great idea. I’m surprised no-one is selling this – or are they and I haven’t seen it?
That is very cool. If no one makes them then perhaps we could fashion our own – either by repurposing an old wire hanging basket, or out of those horrible metal coat hangers you get from the dry cleaners? Mind you, I don’t have any horrible metal coat hangers, because we don’t have anything dry cleaned. Hmmm…..
Is it a full circle or just a semi-circle? I have used upturned hanging baskets to put under pumpkins but it would be hard to get hold of enough for every strawberry plant! Thinking caps on…
I imagine that unless you tended to the strawberry plants every day, you would quickly have a metal frame that was so tangled in new growth that you would have to destroy the plant just to cut it out.
This is really interesting and I thought the same thing that maybe it was a wire frame used for wreaths and just bent downward to give it the concave look. Thanks for sharing. Now it will be on an infomerical for $19.95, but wait you get 4 aqua globes for free. HA HA.
Great idea. I get sick of the slugs eating my strawberries.
I think I might try some old metal baskets etc from junk shops and see what happens. Does the crinoline go around the plant, over it or under it?
the strawberry patch was one area I was going to sort this year, as last year, everything ate them, so looks a great idea.
Surely us inventive gardener types can fashion them out of some gardening wire and some items from our sheds?!
Sounds like Blue peter!
hate to tell you, but they are actually selling it, though this is a plastic version: http://tinyurl.com/ybtce42. it’s called “erdbeer-reifer”, meaning “strawberry ripener”.
the selfmade’s a lot prettier though! :-)
very cool! Have posted on my facebook page, along with a recent Garden Rant post asking what’s the appeal of “Farmville” a – believe it or not – ‘virtual’ gardening “game” that seems to be very popular on facebook. . . . I’m in the resting up and ‘dreaming of spring’ category that does not require cartooney make-believe gardening and farming activities!
Anyway – thanks for this post, have also passed it along to my fellow gardener friends. Will advise if we come across crinolines for sale!
Never seen anything like that. Could be usefull if you have a chronic slug or rot problem. Surprised this isn’t better known. Thanks for sharing.
What, Joseph Paxton doesn’t have a website? No wonder those Victorians went out of fashion.
I use Y shaped twigs – poke em in the ground with the fork upwards, sit a whole bunch on it and it keeps the berries clear just fine. I still put down some straw to stop bits of earth splashing up onto the fruit when it rains – the mould need the soil to spread onto your preciouses.
Loving the posts here – you reminded me about the autumn raspberry canes, thanks for that!
That is a really good idea – though so are Edward’s Y shaped twigs. I was planning to move on to a strawberry bed this year after using pots previously so will try a combination as I have some surplus hanging basket frames.
Nice idea. As you mentioned noone is offering it I will pass the idea to http://www.dewiltfang.nl . They are a unique, relatively young and family owned dutch company offering great (but rather expensive) garden tools. They have intensive contacts with their suppliers, often also small (but mainly quite old) businesses.
Worth your visit – and you never know whether they’ll take up the crinoline.
Hello – I love reading your blog and wanted to award you with a Sunshine Award!
Maddi (Makes) xxx
well wow! These look an awful lot like my cookie cooling racks!? My strawberry bed is so over grown, I wonder if I could slip a few in. Slugs ate way more then their share last summer. :) (The ducks did too!)
I was thinking about this gadget earlier today and I think I may understand why you don’t see these. While it is a clever invention and as I said before may be useful in a chronic slug situation. Straw is still more practical because, it mulches, protects fruit forms slugs and rot, suppresses weeds, adds organic matter to the soil, and creates the most incredible worm breeding conditions. The crinoline doesn’t compare in its usefullness. So under normal circumstances I don’t see where this is better than a hefty amount of straw.
You’re just playing with us, aren’t you. I looked at that photo and thought that you had ripening strawberries already!!! Phew.
You should patent that pdq; you could make a fortune (I’m only half joking!) Damn good idea.
Have you read Paxton’s biography?
Send this to Lakeland. They claim to remake old ideas that are no longer manufactured. . .
I love the victorian garden series, one of my all time favourites, Make sure you watch the victorian kitchen as well as it has a few bits about gardening in, as well as being nearly as good as the first series!
I tried to grow strawberries in a strawberry pot, not very successful. This loooks a lot better.
That is a very clever idea. I have the Victorian kitchen garden series and this passed me by.
Thanks for mentioning it.
I would love to see this done in wicker!
I like the idea and will give it a shot with some cookie racks this summer :)
Very cool: as an architect and (very amateur) gardener it is exciting to see a creation by Paxton of such a different nature. I never even knew he was head gardener at Chatsworth
Tanja- thanks for the LINK I live in Belgium but regularly go to the Netherlands for my gardening needs- that site is perfect!
Victorian Kitchen Garden is my wet sunday in Hong Kong feeling nostalgic for England DVD. Harry Dobson is my absolute hero. I love how gentle and calm the series is – almost ponderous. Gorgeous.