The High Line Blog

  • Plant of the Week: Winter sun mahonia

    Mahonia x media 'Winter Sun' is small to medium-sized evergreen shrub capable of growing ten feet tall and five feet wide. It becomes a prized specimen when it blooms in the late fall or early winter, producing fragrant yellow flowers. These inflorescences develop into clusters of waxy blue be... read more
  • Gardening in the Sky: Preserving Local Character

    Many plant species native to New York also grow in climates that are drastically different from ours. For example, wild bergamot's ( Monarda fistulosa) native range extends through Canada and nearly every state in the continental US. In Mississippi, nursery growers found a population of wild... read more
  • Plant of the Week: Early goldenrod

    When a snow-laden goldenrod leans into your path along the Western Rail Yards, seize the opportunity to take a closer look at its gritty structure. Dense panicles of ripe seed are held on stiff stems that bear high winds and sleet for the coming months. It takes a weed like Solidago juncea, the ... read more
  • Plant of the Week: Rose mallow

    This December, we've already had two snow storms on the High Line, which is a dramatic difference from last December's unseasonably warm weather. Right now our perennials are blanketed under a layer of fresh snow, and it looks winteresque here. One of our more striking winter architectural pla... read more
  • Plant of the Week: Lace Grass

    The natural community type for lace grass (Eragrostis capillaris) are oak barrens and hillside prairies. Hillside prairies are natural grassland communities that occur on moderate to steep exposed slopes, usually found on the crest of hills surrounded by oak forests. These communities nearly alwa... read more
  • Plant of the Week: Grace smokebush

    This October brought record high temperatures to New York City. While many people enjoyed the unexpected sunshine and warmth, trees did not adapt as well. The hot and dry fall allowed the trees to continue producing chlorophyll, keeping their leaves green late into the season and resulting in ... read more
  • Gardening in the Sky: Predicting Success

    Failure is a big part of gardening, especially in the unusual conditions we have on the High Line. Growing plants in 15- 18" inches of constructed soil on a bridge that passes over streets and buildings presents unique challenges. By observing plants in the wild we can form an idea of how they... read more
  • Plant of the Week: Wintergreen

    The bright red berries of this low-growing evergreen can easily be spotted on a walk through the New Jersey Pine Barrens or Harriman State Park in the Palisades. Though the fruit's texture is somewhat mealy, the minty flavor is refreshing. In fact, wintergreen is a flavor in toothpastes and ch... read more
  • Plant of the Week: Autumn moor grass

    As the colorful leaves of autumn begin to drop and winter seems to be just around the corner, Autumn moor grass or Sesleria autumnalis is in peak form. This is a cool season semi-evergreen grass that puts on its strongest growth during the cool months of spring and fall. After the heat of summer ... read more
  • Plant of the Week: Viking black chokeberry

    Viking black chokeberry is a deciduous shrub that provides three seasons of interest, a distinction much valued by High Line gardeners. Clusters of white flowers bloom in spring, and summer features glossy dark green leaves. Currently we are enjoying the many colors of the fall foliage, which als... read more