William Welles Bosworth
Chief of the Exposition Architectural Bureau
From the Official "Pan-American Art Hand Book"

There do not exist in this country, at least for the public at large, any specimens of formal gardening such as flourished in Europe at the end of the eighteenth century, when the art was perfected by the French. And to-day, to find formal gardening at its best, one must still go where the traditions and formulae established at that time are carefully preserved and put in practice. Such gardens are those at the back of the Luxembourg Palace, in Paris, and those on the terraces at Versailles, which are still very much as they were at the time of Louis XIV, except that, under the care of careful gardeners for nearly two centuries, the hedges, the orange trees and the box bushes have grown to a size which would have astonished even that monarch.

It was the desire of the architects in charge of the landscape work that some of the Pan-American gardening should be done in this spirit, a type of gardening evolved especially to harmonize with formal lines of fountains and balustrades and to be used in the immediate proximity to buildings. The problem was made difficult by the fact that the spaces for gardening were restricted by the lines of the general plan to such retired spots as the Lily and Cyprus courts, and to borders along the main fountain basins, where the circulation of the great crowds would not be interfered with. Moreover, the temporary character of exposition work does not permit of finish and thoroughness of gardening any more than of building, and along time is required for the perfect adjustment of the relative growths of the plants which go to make up the effects of a formal garden. It is only possible to "suggest" effects, as in the case of the buildings. Mr. Walter Cook expressed it very well at one of the early meetings of the Board of Architects: "All we should try to produce in the execution of our plans is the effect of an architectural sketch!"

The essential difference between these formal flower beds and the treatment usually employed in our public parks and gardens is not only in the severe architectural border lines, with vases, steps and balustrades, but in the design of the beds themselves within these borders. The various edgings of box or pivot outline, sweeping curves or ornament which are in turn expressed in brilliant colored flowers. The pattern thus formed is set off on a ground of clear-colored sand, separating it from the border-beds, which follow the architectural outlines of the curbings.

The flowers must be prepared in the greenhouses, so that when one variety fades another is ready to replace it and the effect constantly maintained. This type of flower gardening is called in France "embroidery gardening," which well describes its character. The semicircular beds round the Fountain of Abundance are perhaps the most successful of the many of these beds on the Exposition grounds. They have been carried out by Mr. Rudolph Ulrich, the supervising landscape architect, from the designs of the architects in charge of the landscape work.

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