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Palace of Horticulture
Architects - Bakewell and Brown of San Francisco.
Architecture - Byzantine in the arrangement of the domes (the mosque of Ahmed I of Constantinople being the inspiration) and in the use of tall finials suggesting minarets, but quite French in its ornamentation.
The building is one of great beauty and is considered one of the finest exhibit palaces ever erected at any exposition.
The ornamentation below the dome is by Boutier.
The Caryatids of the Caryatid Porch are by John Bateman of New York.
The great opulence of the harvests of California is brought to mind by the lavish abundance of the ornamentation on this building.
The combination of the smoked-ivory color of the travertine and the lattice green of the decorations produces a more lovely effect.
The basket atop is over thirty-three feet in diameter.
The dome is 152 feet in diameter. St. Peter's dome is 137 feet; the Pantheon dome is 142 feet.
Under the dome will be a constant display of hothouse plants. At the opening of the Exposition were seen cinerarias and cyclamen of glorious hue.
A wonderful display of orchids is seen in another portion of this great building.
Those interested in orange packing will have a chance to see the different stages of the packing as shown from the arrival of the fruit at the packinghouse to the nailing of the cover on the box.
A model olive-oil press is in working order and will afford great interest.
Great steel framework will enable the vast amount of glass of the dome to withstand the wind pressure.
The dome will be illuminated three times a week.
It will at times look like a great pearl or a fiery opal.
Luther Burbank, the wizard of horticulture, and Carl Purdy, of bulb and wild flower fame, will have headquarters at this palace during the entire Exposition, ready to answer and help those who apply to them.
Sixty-five acres of land are to be devoted to horticultural interests.
The Netherlands have fifty-three thousand square feet in a wonderful display of bulbs and other plants.
All the areas on the Exposition site were composed of drifting sands or sands that had been pumped in from the bay, upon which no ornamental plant could grow.
It was necessary to bring down from the Sacramento Valley rich soil (fifty thousand cubic yards), and spread sixteen thousand cubic yards of fertilizer over that, in order to maintain lawns, trees and shrubs.
An immense number of trees, ranging from thirty to sixty feet in height, were moved from Golden Gate Park and the Presidio of San Francisco. It is the largest number of evergreen trees ever moved in connection with any landscape work.
Many plantings will be made thruout the Exposition. It will require the moving of four hundred thousand plants each time a change is made.
Work on the eucalyptus trees was started two years ago, when the plants were six inches high, in flats.
These little trees were transferred into other flats and placed on hot beds. After six weeks of this treatment they were transferred to 12-inch boxes. They remained there for a period of eight months and then were put into 18-inch boxes and made a vigorous growth. They are now 25 feet in height.
In boxing large specimen trees the following method was adopted: The trees were side-boxed, and, after the roots were cut, three inches of space was allowed between the ball and the sides of the box, and this three-inch space was secured with good surface soil so as to start side-root action.
The plants were mulched and watered for a period of from four to six months, when the bottom of the box was put on. This method has been most successful in transplanting palms and trees in general.
(These facts were kindly given by Mr. Donald McLaren of the Department of Landscape Gardening, San Francisco.)