The Garden Guide

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

Hamilton to Allanton

Previous - Next

JULY 29. - Hamilton to Allanton. Leaving the valley of the Clyde, we pass over a tract of land, which, forty years ago, was little better than a moor, but which is now varied by hedge rows and plantations, and traversed by good roads. The plantations every where want thinning, and the fields draining; but the latter improvement is making rapid progress, and will doubtless end in rendering this part of the country as productive as any tract in the West of Scotland. The walls of the labourers' cottages are generally of stone; and those which are built by feuars, such as carpenters, smiths, weavers, tailors, and others, have the stones squared, and frequently with as smooth a sur face as those in the walls of Hamilton Palace; yet, with all this care of outward appearance in the building, these cottages have scarcely ever a front garden, or any flowers or flowering shrubs between them and the road. They have, however, generally placed over the entrance door, a stone, with the initials of the husband and wife, and the year in which the cottage was built by them, which it is always satisfactory to see, because we sympathise with the feeling of property and independence which we give the possessor credit for enjoying; and with the wish to participate in these feelings which we conclude to be felt by his neighbours, who, we may suppose, are saving money for a similar purpose. As to the front gardens, they will be formed in due time. If the gentlemen throughout the country were to direct their gardeners to advise with the cottagers with respect to their gardens, to furnish them with a few plants and seeds to begin with, and to look at them two or three times a year, for a year or two, the taste would spread rapidly. This effect would be greatly aided by the establishment of Parochial Horticultural Societies.