As in Brussels and Liege, French agriculture and horticulture occupied a place in Ghent commensurate with their importance in the nation's activities.
This brilliant result was due to the influence of the French Agricultural and Horticultural Committee for International Exhibitions, chaired by Senator Viger, former Minister of Agriculture.
A vast gallery, 90 metres in length, brought together, in an overall decoration of a happy effect due to the architect Henri Guillaume, samples of all the products of agriculture.
Heavy and strong wheat threshing machines, engines, locomobiles, ploughs of all sizes and categories, mowers, binder-harvesters, tedders, fertilizer distributors, seeders, root cutters, crushers, presses, degreasers, dairy equipment and cellar equipment occupied the entire centre of the hall.
The grain class presented samples of all categories of cereals grown in France.
Olive oils, both edible and industrial, from Provence, Languedoc, Comtat Venaissin and the Bordeaux region, held a large place among the products on display. The dairy class was brilliantly represented by numerous cooperative societies and more particularly by the French Society for the Encouragement of the Dairy Industry and by the Pasteur Institute, which exhibited the research of its scientists.
Medicinal and pharmaceutical plants, textile plants, oil plants, tannin plants, hops, straw fibres and packing hays, wools, animal oils, thistles and carders, enclosed in very elegant display cases, were very harmoniously grouped together in a most beautiful effect.
The collections of honeys, waxes and meads gave an exact idea of the importance of beekeeping in the northern and central regions of France. In this class, there was also a remarkable biological collection of insects harmful to cultivated plants.
The French gardens also belonged to the agricultural group; at the Avenue des Nations, the Avenue de Flandre, the Park, behind the Palais des fêtes, they were filled with flowers, green plants and shrubs, like the living and seductive setting of the white palaces.
Unless one is a flower lover or a poet, one does not pay much attention to the gardens of our World's Fair. Shy, self-effacing, dominated by the imposing splendour of the palaces, they are content with their modest role of decoration; and yet, in her gardens as in other fields, France affirmed an undeniable art.
Organised by the Horticulture group, designed by the eminent chief gardener of the City of Paris, M. Jules Vacherot, they affirmed the important place of France in this art which counts the immortal Lenôtre.
A fruit garden had been planted in the Park, near the Palais des fêtes. Further on, a flower garden displayed its splendour, a vibrant spot amidst the calm note of the green foliage. A splendid rose garden burst with all the vivacity of its hues, all the warmth of its colour.
©Livre d'Or de l'Exposition Universelle & Internationale de Gand 1913