Horticulture

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Author: 
Adam Dooling
Flameleaf sumacAs its name suggests, the flameleaf sumac (Rhus copallinum) turns a brilliant red in autumn. 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: 
Amelia Krales
Photo by Mike TschappatAutumn has begun to turn the leaves of the Brownies hairy alumroot, Heuchera villosa 'Brownies.' Photo by Mike Tschappat

High Line Photographer Mike Tschappat took this wonderfully moody image of a deep red-brown Brownies hairy alumroot during a recent early morning photo walk. Fall has arrived on the High Line and the vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows are wonderful to see. The crisp air and brilliant sun should stay with us through the weekend.

On Saturday, enjoy the foliage and stay for some Halloween fun. From 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM, we'll be hosting our fourth-annual Haunted High Line Halloween, featuring a variety of spooky activities throughout the park.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
Northern Spur PreserveHigh Line Gardeners working to apply beneficial nematodes on the Northern Spur Preserve earlier this season. Photo by Timothy Schenck

To the untrained – a category most of us citygoers fall into – gardens look pretty inert. However, beyond the beautiful blooms and verdant leaves of your common garden, a whole ecosystem of life is orbiting around the plants.

A sparrow here, and a mockingbird there. Then there are the large beneficial bugs: worms aerating the soil, and spiders, lady beetles, and praying mantises munching on some of plants’ worst pests. Soil itself is packed with minerals, organic matter, and very importantly, a whole host of tiny and even microscopic organisms. A teaspoon of soil may contain up to a billion bacteria, many of which are beneficial to the garden ecosystem. All these critters together help support healthy soil and healthy plants, making plants more resistent to diseases and pests.

Learn more about how High Line Gardeners keep the park healthy after the jump.

Author: 
Adam Dooling
pink muhly grassIn autumn, the flowers of the pink muhly grass have a feathered, cloud-like appearance. 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: 
Amelia Krales
Transplanting tassel ferns on the High LineHigh Line Gardener Orrin Sheehan and Volunteer Lebasi Lashley work along the Philip A. and Lisa Maria Falcone Flyover. Photos by Friends of the High Line

Approximately 360 species of perennial plants flourish on the High Line and are cared for by a team of dedicated High Line Gardeners and volunteers.

Most of this planting activity on the High Line takes place in the spring and fall. Last week, High Line Gardener Orrin Sheehan transplanted tassel ferns, Polystichum polyblepharum, taking them from dry spots and relocating them to more heavily watered areas. On this particular day, he and High Line Volunteer Lebasi Lashley also planted a few wild ginger, Asarum canadense, and barrenwort, Epimedium grandiflorum, plants along the same beds beneath the Falcone Flyover.

Volunteers work alongside High Line Gardeners throughout the year to keep the High Line beautiful. We are so thankful for all of our volunteers and their enormous efforts.

For more information about what is growing on the High Line, plan your visit and take along our October Bloom List.

Author: 
Adam Dooling
Photo by Friends of the High LineThe yellow flowers of the swamp sunflower (Helianthus angustifolius) are a beautiful sight on the High Line in autumn. 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 with you one of our gardeners’ current favorites.

Author: 
Adam Dooling
Photo by Friends of the High LineBluebird smooth aster is a magnet for monarch butterflies and other pollinators. 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 with you one of our gardeners’ current favorites.

Author: 
Kat Widing
Photo by Timothy Schenck Carol Bove’s Celeste (2013) peeks through the Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota) at the rail yards. Photo by Timothy Schenck

Carol Bove’s organic shapes and weathered metals seem to sprout from the natural landscape on the undeveloped section of the High Line at the Rail Yards like the green grasses, trees, and flowers surrounding them. For those that have seen Bove’s fantastic installation, Caterpillar, you may have wondered about the names and types of plants around you on your tour, and so have we! Luckily, Tom Smarr, our Director of Horticulture on the High Line, walked us through the rich variety of flora at the rail yards, giving us a crash course about the rich assortment of plants and trees occupying the landscape.

Author: 
Adam Dooling
Photo by Friends of the High LineThe flowers of the azure blue sage, Salvia azurea, will bloom until early frost. 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 with you one of our gardeners’ current favorites.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
EnlargePhoto by Friends of the High Line

At the southern end of the 14th Street Passage an out-of-place tree sways in the September breeze, attracting the attention of park visitors as they pass. With its tall, nearly 18-foot stature, full head of verdant fronds, and slender bare trunk, this tree looks as if it’d be more at home along a white-sand beach than among the soft textures and warm colors of the High Line’s fall landscape.

This curious tropical visitor is Adonidia merrillii, also known colloquially as the “Christmas Palm.” It earned this nickname because its fruit turns a bright scarlet color in winter. Don’t be fooled, however, about its cold-hardiness. While the trees are well-adapted to living to habitats outside their native Philippines, you won’t find it north of the southernmost reaches of Florida.

So, then, what brought this tropical palm to a four-season park like the High Line? Keep reading to find out.

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