This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
We are sometimes asked to give a list of trees, shrubs, and flowers, that will grow in or near smoky towns and cities. The following contains such a catalogue, and may be usefully consulted even for places where smoke is not seen, but where the evident effects of a close population prevent many things from fully prospering:
Handsome foliage and branches.
This close-twigged, bushy-growing tree is sometimes seen in such a situation of considerable size.
Several varieties of Thorns will live in the neighborhood of towns, provided the soil is dry and deep.
This half-shrubby tree can be recommended for the heart of towns.
This is the very best for planting near cities or towns.
Some Poplars thrive in a middling way in towns. The best is the Balsam Poplar (Populus balsamifera).
This is scarcely a tree, but it has the quality of being very hardy in all places. Plant it where nothing else will grow.
At a small distance from the town, the Lime may be planted. It loves a dry, deep soil.
This evergreen shrub seems almost created to bear the smoke with impunity. Where the common Laurel, Box, and others languish and die, this hardy Eastern plant flourishes well. Hardy though it is in Philadelphia, it will not bear the strong currents near high buildings nor exposure to the winter sun.
Well-known as a perfectly hardy evergreen near Philadelphia and New York.
This shrub thrives very fairly in such situations, provided a deep, good, dry loam is present.
Not very handsome, but bears smoke well.
In addition to the above, we would recommend the common Lilac, Syringa, and Snow-berry shrubs, that will live almost anywhere, provided care is taken to thin their branches out, and destroy the suckers annually.
The list of flowers that will live in or near large, smoky towns, is, of necessity, but scanty. In general, early flowers do the best, because their foliage has so short an existence that they do not suffer so much as others whose foliage is more persistent. To keep them as healthy as possible under such an unfavorable position, let the syringe and the rose water-pot be in constant use during the growing months.
Anemone japonica. " vernalis. Anthericum liliastrum. Arum Italicum. Aster, several varieties. Astrantia major. Betonica grandiflora. Caltha palustris flore-pleno. Campanula glomerata. Centaurea montana.
" maorocephala. Clematis erecta. Dielytra formosa. Doronicum Caucasicum. Erigeron Villarsii. Ficaria ranunculoides flore-pleno.
Hemerocallis flava. " fulva.
Iris, many varieties.
Saxifraga. Many species of Saxifrage bear smoke well. We remember seeing several large patches in the very centre of one of the smokiest of towns.
Veratrum nigrum, fine foliage.
Vinca major and minor.