Horticulture

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Author: 
Andi Pettis
EnlargePhoto by Eddie Crimmins

There are an amazing variety of beautiful grasses growing on the High Line. Little bluestem is an unexpected, cooling blue-green in midsummer. The flowers of purple love grass explode into airy fireworks, and then break away and float down the High Line like tumbleweeds in late summer. Switchgrass – with its autumnal burgundies and mauves – gives depth of color and texture to the late fall and winter landscape. These are just a few examples of the dazzling range of colors, textures, and forms that the grasses lend to the park’s landscape. However, there are two species of grass on the High Line in particular that hardly ever get acknowledged. Lolium perenne, perennial ryegrass, and Festuca arundinacea, tall fescue, are the hardworking turf grasses that make up the High Line’s 23rd Street Lawn, and this week we give them their due.

Turf grasses are plants that are specially bred to optimize each species’s natural qualities. Most lawns contain a mix of these species in order to get the benefits of each one. For instance, the Lawn on the High Line is made up of a blend of approximately 20% perennial ryegrass plants and 80% tall fescue plants. Each of these species serves its own purpose in helping to keep the Lawn green and lush in the particular conditions of the park’s environment.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
EnlargePhoto by Mike Tschappat

The beauty of the High Line’s gardens is that the planting beds are an ever-changing palette of textures and colors. This time of year, as plants soak up the summer sun, their foliage seems to grow thicker and thicker each day, sometimes even reaching out into the pathway or over the railings. Summer blooms add fresh pops of color here and there: pink, white, and pale yellow coneflowers, vibrant copper-colored foxtail lilies, bright orange pollen dusting leadplant and purple prairie clover blooms, and so much more.

High Line Photographer Mike Tschappat posted a batch of recent photos capturing nearly all of this season’s blooms and it was incredibly difficult to choose just one to be our Photo of the Week. We chose this one, because it features two of our visitors’ favorite blooms of the season: foxtail lilies, Eremurus stenophyllus, and Vintage Wine coneflowers, Echinacea purpurea ‘Vintage Wine.’

Want more reasons to visit the High Line right now? See the rest of Mike’s photos on his Flickr page, and download our monthly bloom list to learn more about this season’s floral highlights.

Author: 
Emily Pinkowitz
Photo by Rowa LeeTeen staff reflect on that day's work with High Line Educator Gahl Shottan. Photo by Rowa Lee

On June 26, Friends of the High Line will celebrate the graduation of the Green Corps class of 2014 with a Garden Party. In anticipation of this year’s program coming to an end, Green Corps Leaders Beatrice Ramos and Winona Holderbaum have chosen five important moments from the year to highlight.

Author: 
Andi Pettis
Photo by Friends of the High LineThe foxtail lily, Eremurus stenophyllus, is an iconic late-spring bloom at the High Line. Photo by Friends of the High Line

The High Line’s planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew up between rail tracks after the trains stopped running in the 1980s. Today, the High Line includes more than 300 species of perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees – each chosen for their hardiness, adaptability, diversity, and seasonal variation in color and texture. Some of the species that originally grew on the High Line’s rail bed are reflected in the park landscape today.

This week we share one of our gardeners’ current favorites with you.

Author: 
Andi Pettis
Photo by Friends of the High LineIn addition to being an important crop, purple milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens) is a particularly handsome plant. Photo by Friends of the High Line

The High Line’s planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew up between rail tracks after the trains stopped running in the 1980s. Today, the High Line includes more than 300 species of perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees – each chosen for their hardiness, adaptability, diversity, and seasonal variation in color and texture. Some of the species that originally grew on the High Line’s rail bed are reflected in the park landscape today.

This week we share one of our gardeners’ current favorites with you.

Author: 
Andi Pettis
Photo by Beverly IsraelyThe wild legacy of the High Line's landscape is on full display in the summer, when the planting beds are a frenzy of green . Photo by Beverly Israely

The High Line was made by nature when the trains stopped running, and designer Piet Oudolf and the landscape architects of James Corner Field Operations paid tribute to that self-seeded landscape in one of their original design tenets for the High Line: keep it wild.

The plantings on the High Line are meant to change. They mimic the dynamics of a wild landscape. Plants out-compete one another, spread or diminish in number. They drift in the environment to where they can best fill their niches, and their individual seasonal cycles become part of a whole picture. Over the last five years, the work of the High Line gardeners has been to facilitate and enhance the natural processes of growth, change, and movement in the landscape, and at the same time maintain the integrity of the original design by Oudolf and James Corner Field Operations.

Author: 
Andi Pettis
Photo by Friends of the High LinePrairie sundrop (Oenothera pilosella) are a cheerful presence on the High Line. Photo by Friends of the High Line
 

The High Line’s planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew up between rail tracks after the trains stopped running in the 1980s. Today, the High Line includes more than 300 species of perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees – each chosen for their hardiness, adaptability, diversity, and seasonal variation in color and texture. Some of the species that originally grew on the High Line’s rail bed are reflected in the park landscape today.

This week we share one of our gardeners’ current favorites with you.

Author: 
Andi Pettis
Photo by Friends of the High LineAllium atropurureum is the gothic beauty rising above the bright and cheerful blooms in the Chelsea Grasslands of the High Line. Photo by Friends of the High Line.
 

The High Line’s planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew up between rail tracks after the trains stopped running in the 1980s. Today, the High Line includes more than 300 species of perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees – each chosen for their hardiness, adaptability, diversity, and seasonal variation in color and texture. Some of the species that originally grew on the High Line’s rail bed are reflected in the park landscape today.

This week we share one of our gardeners’ current favorites with you.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
Photo by Liz LigonPhoto by Liz Ligon
 

During this time of year, as plants almost rush to spring forth from the soil, the High Line's gardeners are working hard to keep the planting beds in tip-top shape.

Throughout the season, our gardeners are weeding, introducing new plants, pruning, adding beneficial insects, watering, and doing so much more. If it weren't for their steadfast attention to detail and care for the gardens, the High Line wouldn't be as beautiful. We'd like to take this opportunity to recognize them for the work that they do keep the High Line an amazing place to visit. Thank you!

Author: 
Andi Pettis
Photo by Eddie CrimminsPrized for its quiet beauty and rich fragrance, dwarf azalea (Rhododendron atlanticum) blooms from mid-May through June. Photo by Eddie Crimmins
 

The High Line’s planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew up between rail tracks after the trains stopped running in the 1980s. Today, the High Line includes more than 300 species of perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees – each chosen for their hardiness, adaptability, diversity, and seasonal variation in color and texture. Some of the species that originally grew on the High Line’s rail bed are reflected in the park landscape today.

This week we share one of our gardeners’ current favorites with you.

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