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The Crystal Palace's Guide to Greenhouse Irrigation

One of the first, and most spectacular, examples of modern greenhouse irrigation was the Crystal Palace which stood in London from 1851 until 1936. This 19-acre glass building was the brainchild of horticulturalist and garden designer, Joseph Paxton. Paxton submitted his design for England’s Great Exhibition held in 1851.


A New Style of Architecture

The Crystal Palace was so called because it was constructed almost entirely of glass panes held in place by metal girders. Many of the architectural methods of strengthening a glass building were invented during the design of the Crystal Palace. These construction details may be common today but to 19th century Londoners they were spectacular.


New Inventions in Greenhouse Irrigation

Just as spectacular were the fountains and cascades that were housed among the lush, exotic exhibits inside and out. When the building was moved in 1854, designers added two massive water towers to each side of the building to provide a gravity-fed water supply.

According to ‘The History of the Drip Irrigation System,’ the modern automated greenhouse irrigation system whereby water is dripped through pipes wasn’t used until 1866, and then met with only limited success. It’s hard to imagine that, with such an intricate fountain system, people were watering the lush gardens by hand, but this may well be the case. We may never know because the original Crystal Palace is gone, destroyed by a fire in 1936.

Whether you’re working with a massive greenhouse or one in your backyard, contact the greenhouse irrigation specialists at W. P. Law, Inc. to find the watering system that will work best for your needs.

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