Welcome to the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens as they looked during Luther Burbank's lifetime. These three pages aren't really a tour; they are a collection of original photos. In his lifetime, Mr. Burbank used the Farm in Sebastopol for his really big plant experiments, and used the Home and Gardens mainly for his plant nursery business. You can compare the photos on these pages with the photos on the Present Tour of the Home and Gardens. What looks the same? What looks different?
Familiar Sights

Luther Burbank arrived in Santa Rosa in 1875. He had heard of the wonders of California for many years, and decided to move here. Mr. Burbank came to Sonoma County because he had relatives who lived here. As you can see, the gardens were very different in Luther Burbank's day. This is a good photo to start with because it shows some familiar sights from the Present Tour. Can you recognize the Greenhouse, the Home, and the Carriage House? In this picture, you can also see some of the raised beds that Mr. Burbank used in his gardens.

Side Trip: Watering

In the photo above, you can also see long pipes. These were 1" thick irrigation pipes, used by Mr. Burbank to water his numerous beds. Nozzles were placed along the pipe every 12-20 feet. Regular rubber hoses were used to get the water to this piping system. The pipes were on tall stakes; this made the irrigation system portable. At Gold Ridge Farm, there was no need for irrigation systems; the natural underground water and regular rainfall were enough to grow Mr. Burbank's experiments.

Raised Beds in Bloom

In the background, you can see the houses on Charles Street; they haven't changed all that much. The big white flowers at the bottom of this picture are Mexican primroses, and poppies are planted in the beds behind them. Spineless cacti (plural for "cactus") are at the very back. (Some things never change!)

Magazine Cover

Here, Luther Burbank is examining a plant. This photo was taken in the 1920s for the cover of "Mentor" Magazine. Because he was so well-known, Mr. Burbank's photo appeared often in magazines, newspapers, and books.

Spineless Cacti

In this photo, Mr. Burbank is standing by some cacti (plural for "cactus"). Because he experimented with cacti for over 20 years, creating dozens of new species, cacti took up a lot of the garden space in the Santa Rosa Gardens and at the Farm in Sebastopol, too.

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