High Line Blog

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Author: 
Andi Pettis
Photo by Gene DalyBeautiful variations in color, from pale pink to bright violet, have appeared among the High Line’s Hummelo hedgenettle (Stachys officinalis ‘Hummelo’). Photo by Gene Daly

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: 
Andi Pettis
EnlargePhoto by Eddie Crimmins

There are an amazing variety of beautiful grasses growing on the High Line. Little bluestem is an unexpected, cooling blue-green in midsummer. The flowers of purple love grass explode into airy fireworks, and then break away and float down the High Line like tumbleweeds in late summer. Switchgrass – with its autumnal burgundies and mauves – gives depth of color and texture to the late fall and winter landscape. These are just a few examples of the dazzling range of colors, textures, and forms that the grasses lend to the park’s landscape. However, there are two species of grass on the High Line in particular that hardly ever get acknowledged. Lolium perenne, perennial ryegrass, and Festuca arundinacea, tall fescue, are the hardworking turf grasses that make up the High Line’s 23rd Street Lawn, and this week we give them their due.

Turf grasses are plants that are specially bred to optimize each species’s natural qualities. Most lawns contain a mix of these species in order to get the benefits of each one. For instance, the Lawn on the High Line is made up of a blend of approximately 20% perennial ryegrass plants and 80% tall fescue plants. Each of these species serves its own purpose in helping to keep the Lawn green and lush in the particular conditions of the park’s environment.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
EnlargePhoto by Mike Tschappat

The beauty of the High Line’s gardens is that the planting beds are an ever-changing palette of textures and colors. This time of year, as plants soak up the summer sun, their foliage seems to grow thicker and thicker each day, sometimes even reaching out into the pathway or over the railings. Summer blooms add fresh pops of color here and there: pink, white, and pale yellow coneflowers, vibrant copper-colored foxtail lilies, bright orange pollen dusting leadplant and purple prairie clover blooms, and so much more.

High Line Photographer Mike Tschappat posted a batch of recent photos capturing nearly all of this season’s blooms and it was incredibly difficult to choose just one to be our Photo of the Week. We chose this one, because it features two of our visitors’ favorite blooms of the season: foxtail lilies, Eremurus stenophyllus, and Vintage Wine coneflowers, Echinacea purpurea ‘Vintage Wine.’

Want more reasons to visit the High Line right now? See the rest of Mike’s photos on his Flickr page, and download our monthly bloom list to learn more about this season’s floral highlights.

Author: 
Emily Pinkowitz
Photo by Rowa LeeTeen staff reflect on that day's work with High Line Educator Gahl Shottan. Photo by Rowa Lee

On June 26, Friends of the High Line will celebrate the graduation of the Green Corps class of 2014 with a Garden Party. In anticipation of this year’s program coming to an end, Green Corps Leaders Beatrice Ramos and Winona Holderbaum have chosen five important moments from the year to highlight.

Author: 
Andi Pettis
Photo by Friends of the High LineThe foxtail lily, Eremurus stenophyllus, is an iconic late-spring bloom at the High Line. 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: 
Erika Harvey
EnlargePhoto by Phil Vachon

If you’ve walked to the High Line’s southernmost tip, you’ve likely noticed the abrupt – yet visually captivating – way the park ends. Long ago, during the years that freight trains still chugged along these elevated tracks, the High Line cut a straight path all the way down to St. John’s Park Terminal, which occupied four riverfront blocks between Clarkson and Spring Streets. Between the 1960s and the 1990s, the portion of the High Line below Gansevoort Street was demolished a few stretches at a time, leaving us with the length you see today.

To this day, a remnant of the High Line’s southern portion still adorns the Westbeth Artists’ Housing building, on Washington Street between Bethune and Bank Streets. In this striking recent photo of Westbeth by High Line Photographer Phil Vachon, wild plants can be seen peeking through the fencing along this stranded stretch of railway that almost floats above the city streets.

Author: 
Jennette Mullaney

Great Museums has created a new documentary about the High Line, Elevated Thinking: The High Line in New York City. The piece details the remarkable transformation of the High Line and the people who made it possible.

Author: 
Andi Pettis
Photo by Friends of the High LineIn addition to being an important crop, purple milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens) is a particularly handsome plant. 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: 
Ashley Tickle
Photo by Timothy SchenckAn installation view of Carol Bove's High Line Commission Caterpillar installed on the High Line at the Rail Yards in 2013. Photo by Timothy Schenck.

Friends of the High Line founded High Line Art in 2009 with the opening of the first section of the High Line. The mission of High Line Art is to present a wide array of artwork including site-specific commissions, exhibitions, performances, video programs, and a series of billboard interventions. We invite artists to think of creative ways to engage with the uniqueness of the architecture, history, and design of the High Line and to foster a productive dialogue with the surrounding neighborhood and urban landscape. Since 2011, High Line Art has been curated by Cecilia Alemani. Previously, the program was curated by Lauren Ross.

Since 2009, High Line Art has worked with over 120 artists from around the world, including up-and-coming artists as well as mid-career and established artists. We have presented more than 22 commissions; 21 videos on High Line Channels 14 and 22; 18 billboards; and 14 performances.

Author: 
Christian Barclay
Photo by Joel Sternfeld Joel Sternfeld, Fallen Billboard, November 2000. Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York.

"As soon as Joel saw it, he took me aside and said, 'I want to do this. Don’t let anyone else up here for a year. I will give you beautiful photos.'" – High Line Co-Founder Robert Hammond, High Line: The Inside Story of New York City’s Park in the Sky

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