Spring Cutback Begins

Photo by Liz LigonThe sight of all these bright green buckets dotting our planting beds means winter is on its way out. Photo by Liz Ligon

On Monday we began to trim back the dried grasses and striking seed heads that added beauty and texture to our gardens this long winter. This annual horticultural endeavor, called Spring Cutback, takes four weeks and involves our entire staff, as well as hundreds of volunteers. It's hard work, but there's no better way to greet spring than plant-by-plant on a park in the sky, New York City humming in the background.

See more photos from the first week of 2014 Spring Cutback below.

Photos by Liz LigonOver the next few weeks we'll be shearing back more than 100,000 plants, creating an enormous amount of organic debris. This plant matter is sent to the Department of Sanitation's Fresh Kills Composting Facility, where it will be turned into compost for use around the city. We filled 35 of these bags this week alone! Photos by Liz Ligon
Photo by Liz LigonThis sinonome toad lily Tricyrtis ‘Sinonome,' may not look like much now, but by early autumn it will blossom with exquisite mottled flowers. Photo by Liz Ligon
Photo by Liz LigonWe couldn't resist snapping a photo of this adorable visitor, who brought along these fluffy chicks to introduce them to his favorite park. Photo by Liz Ligon
Photo by Joan GarvinWorking in pairs, with one person holding the plants in place and another operating the shears, makes the process easier – and a lot more fun. Erin and John pause to smile for the camera. Photo by Joan Garvin
Photo by Joan GarvinHigh Line Gardeners brightly colored flags to mark emerging bulbs. These green shoots are Hawera daffodil, Narcissus ‘Hawera,’ a beautiful pale yellow flower that is among the first of our spring blooms. Photo by Joan Garvin
Photo by Liz LigonVolunteers from The Standard, High Line came by to lend a hand on Tuesday. With their help, we were able to make a significant amount of progress this first week, exceeding the pace we set the year before. Photo by Liz Ligon
Photo by Liz LigonThe best part of Spring Cutback? The amazing people. Here, High Line Gardener Sheray flashes an infectious smile at the camera. Photo by Liz Ligon
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