Kyla Dippong

pipe High Line gardener Kyla Dippong at work in the park.

There are certain people with personalities that stretch beyond their person, and High Line Gardener Kyla Dippong is one of them — everything about her exudes the feeling of plants. It's not that she can identify nearly every species growing on the High Line by sight, or that she came to work for Friends of the High Line so she could watch Piet Oudolf's work develop. It's something intangible. You're talking with her and find yourself imagining little roots taking shape beneath the earth. You hear the soft, summer winds running through prairie grasses. Horticulture is in her blood.

Originally from Mynot, North Dakota, and educated as an artist (including an MFA from Cranbrook), Kyla has been professionally gardening for over 20 years. I New York City alone, she has tended the gardens at Wave Hill, the Zoo in Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and most recently, Battery Park.

Kyla's day begins with the park's opening at 7:00 AM. "It's a beautiful time of the day, and not crowded," she says. "You get to watch the day develop. Spencer Finch's piece in particular has a way of opening up." She and the other gardeners work in teams, or alone, in different sections of the park. As the day progresses, and "The High Line is like Battery Park in the sense that much of the day is spent answering visitor's questions," she says. "The difference is that visitors to the High Line are asking about the High Line, rather than directions to the ferry to Liberty Island." Kyla has l Earlier: Johnny Linville.
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