The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening tours by J.C. Loudon 1831-1842
Chapter: Northern England and Southern Scotland in 1841

Glasgow in 1842

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Glasgow we found greatly increased in extent, even since 1831, when we last saw it, and improved also in its street architecture, which is always a gratifying proof that taste is spreading among the mass of society. The number of manufactories is greatly increased, and such a forest of engine chimneys has been erected in and around the city in consequence of the great increase in the iron manufacture within the last seven years, that the atmosphere, within a circle of two or three miles in diameter, is constantly charged with coal-smoke, in consequence of which trees and shrubs of even the commonest kinds are rarely seen in a thriving state. This cannot be owing to the earthy part of the smoke resting on the leaves, because there is scarcely a day passes without rain to wash it off. The stems are all uniformly black, because on the same surface of bark on these the soot has fallen summer and winter for several years; but the leaves, though thin, rugged, and sickly, are not so black as those of the trees in the London squares. Such, at least, was the impression made on us; heightened, no doubt, by the answer always given when asking why such and such trees, and particularly the Irish yew, the holly, the ivy, &c., were not planted in the different cemeteries now laying out, that these and other evergreens would not grow on account of the smoke. There are three or four large cemeteries, but being pressed for time, and the weather being very unfavourable, we only entered two of them; one was the Sight Hill cemetery, which is being laid out in the pleasure-ground style, with handsome entrance gates, lodges, and chapels, all in a forward state. The other cemetery which we saw is the