The High Line Blog

  • Plant of the Week: Graceful cattail

    One of my favorite memories of Spring Cutback on the High Line occurred two seasons ago. Our team was working in the bog with our annual group of Google volunteers. As we cut back the area, the densely packed seed heads of the cattails exploded everywhere, mimicking snowfall on that sunny Marc... read more
  • Plant of the Week: Indian hemp

    On bright days in early March, with a low yet strengthening winter sun, it's often preferable to walk the High Line from south to north to avoid glare. The crimson of open dogbane fruit throughout the Western Rail Yards, however, only reveals itself when lit from behind as one heads south towa... read more
  • Plant of the Week: Corsican hellebore

    Hellebores are among the first plants to bloom in spring. On the High Line, our species of choice is Helleborus argutifolius, or the Corsican hellebore. The species is from Europe and Asia, and is suitable for growing zones 5a-8a in the United States. It prefers the dappled light or shade of a... read more
  • Plant of the Week: Golden Bunch crocus

    Do you want a break from the winter? Come take a stroll on the High Line to experience the delicate yellow blooms of Crocus ancyrensis 'Golden Bunch', commonly referred to as the Golden Bunch crocus. This yellow beauty is our earliest blooming crocus here on the High Line, and one of our most ... read more
  • Plant of the Week: Common snowdrop

    If you find yourself lucky enough to be strolling through the High Line gardens in late winter, you may notice the white nodding blooms of Galanthus nivalis, the common snowdrop. While other spring ephemerals and perennials are still slumbering away, this little bulb seems unaffected by freezi... read more
  • Plant of the Week: Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’

    On February 2, the groundhog saw his shadow, forecasting six more weeks of winter. Not to fear, the High Line features a four season garden where something is blooming 'round the clock. Even in February, typically the coldest month of the year, visitors will find hellebores, witch hazels, and ... read more
  • Plant of the Week: Parker’s Variety fern-leaf yarrow

    There are approximately 100 yarrow species and at least three times as many cultivars in existence. On the High Line, there are two species and three cultivars, including A. filipendulina 'Parker's Variety,' also called fern-leaf yarrow, A. millefolium 'Terracota' and A. millefolium 'Walther F... read more
  • Bur Oak

    Plant of the Week: Bur oak

    I last wrote about the bur oak in September, during our celebration of the Chelsea Grasslands. In that blog post, I mainly focused on the characteristics of the tree that make it a classic specimen of the tallgrass prairie. Winter is a chance to highlight different features of the native oak. The... read more
  • Plant of the Week: Giant pussy willow

    January usually marks the true beginning of winter weather here in the city. With the temperature starting to hover around freezing and lately being quite below that, it is tempting to spend more time inside planning for the next season. However, the intrepid gardener venturing through the fri... read more
  • Plant of the Week: Virginia rose

    This time of year, the serrated leaves of Rosa virginiana are an eye-catching bright yellow set off by prickled red stems. Virginia rose, as it is commonly called, is hard to miss among the taupes and khakis of the winter garden. This is only the latest stage in a dramatic transition from deep... read more