High Line Blog

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Author: 
Kaspar Wittlinger
Photo by Friends of the High LineAmsonia hubrichtii, the threadleaf bluestar, grows throughout 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
Photo by Mike TschappatAn American robin caught on camera mid-feast, on the High Line at West 23rd Street. Photo by Mike Tschappat
 

This past week, visitors were treated to a surprising sight: a large flock of robins had descended upon the Eastern red cedar trees on the High Line, bouncing back and forth between the branches and feasting on the trees’ bright blue berries. At times, a nearby mockingbird could be seen attempting to defend his buffet of berries, with little luck.

Author: 
Kyla Dippong
EnlargeThe seed heads of the swamp rose mallow add texture to the High Line's winter garden. Photo by Juan Valentin

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.

Hibiscus moscheutos ssp. palustris, the swamp rose mallow, is a year-round star of the wetland plantings on the Diller – von Furstenberg Sundeck. It is hard to miss in the summertime, thanks to its huge (up to six inches) saucer-shaped pink flowers. Although each flower only opens for one day, the plant continues to produce blooms throughout the season. It has stand-out leaves, which spread to the size of a large hand and have a smooth, velvety texture. These large leaves and flowers give the swamp rose mallow a tropical feel, but it is a great New York native, with many cousins native to warmer climates. This fast growing herbaceous perennial can reach more than six feet tall, and grow almost as wide, producing a shrub-like habit. Where it has space it can spread easily and colonize large areas.

Author: 
Amelia Krales
Photo by Gene DalyHigh Line Photographer Gene Daly captured this image of a side street off of our park.
 

Photographer Gene Daly has a talent for photographing quiet city moments. His black-and-white images catch the subtle layers and rich textures of street scenes. In this photograph, he turns the usually unattractive netting of construction scaffolding into a frame, directing his viewer's attention to a Chelsea street in soft focus.

The High Line is an excellent perch from which to view the city. At 30 feet above the street, our park allows visitors to take in Manhattan's West Side from a unique vantage point. On your next visit, why not spend a moment enjoying the beauty of the quieter side streets from our park in the sky?

Author: 
Erika Harvey
 

In celebration of the High Line Calendar, we’re exploring each month’s featured image to bring you more of the behind-the-scenes details. Visit the web shop to pick up your own copy – they’re on sale now for 50% off!

In this month’s serene image by photographer Cristina Macaya, dried spindly stalks and seed heads of coneflowers reach toward the winter sky, the memory of summer long behind them. In a season when many of us long for the vivid colors and lush foliage of summer, this photo exemplifies why we should take a closer look at natural beauty of the winter garden and appreciate this season in a new light. After all, that is what High Line planting designer Piet Oudolf intended.

Author: 
Jennette Mullaney
Categories: 
Photo by Gulnara SamoilovaLia and Michael De Feo radiate joy on their wedding day. Photo by Gulnara Samoilova

The High Line plays host to all kinds of romantic moments – engagements, first dates, weddings, even more engagements – and it's easy to become desensitized to the tales of love blossoming in our park in the sky. But the story of Michael and Lia De Feo has managed to charm even our most jaded coworkers. (Admittedly, we're a pretty mushy bunch.)

Author: 
Kyla Dippong
Photo by Friends of the High LineVirgin’s bower (Clematis virginiana) adds beauty and character to a winter garden – but don't mistake it for the invasive Clematis terniflora! 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: 
Amelia Krales
Photo by Timothy SchenckHigh Line staff worked tirelessly early this week to remove snow from the park entrance at West 14th Street. Photo by Timothy Schenck

This winter has had its share of snow, and it looks like we may be seeing more before spring's arrival. After a storm, staff and volunteers arrive early to clear paths so visitors can safely enjoy a stroll through the magical winter scenery. (Learn more about how you can help us remove snow.)

We use several different methods for snow removal. The tools in our arsenal include power brooms, snow-throwers and – of course – old-fashioned shovels, however, we avoid utilizing rock salt and chemical ice-melt because of the damage these products cause to our plants.

We're incredibly grateful to the staff and volunteers who remove dangerous ice and snow from our park. Clearing the stairs is a particularly time-consuming task, as the steps are shoveled completely by hand. And keeping the walkways free of ice is a particularly difficult job because the High Line is exposed, much like a bridge, making surface temperatures drop quickly.

The safety of our visitors is our top priority. We block off sections of walkway that have become slippery, and – as a last resort – close areas of the park when walking has become dangerous. If you are ever wondering what conditions are like in the park, follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.

Photo by Timothy SchenckHigh Line staff member utilizes a power broom to push heavy, accumulated snow off the walkway near the 10th Avenue Square. Photo by Timothy Schenck

With wet snow, damage to the plants is a concern. Our gardeners work to minimize the negative impact that heavy snow and ice have on the trees, grasses, and perennials. To avoid breakage of woody plants, gardeners will gently shake trees or knock heavy snow off of tree limbs. Snow banks can flatten perennials, although "sleeping" perennials are actually protected by the insulation offered by snow cover. Overall, the plants on the High Line are hearty and can withstand tricky weather.

Photo by Timothy SchenckThe branches of the High Line's Eastern red cedar trees, Juniperus virginiana, bend under the weight of heavy snow. Photo by Timothy Schenck

Have an interest in being in the outdoors, meeting your neighbors, and having fun with park staff while getting a great workout? Come join us as a snow volunteer! Drop by after a winter storm or sign up to receive notifications when we put out a call for extra hands.

Author: 
Mark Hoopes
Photo by Friends of the High LineEven without its bright orange flowers, the butterfly milkweed is a beautiful plant.

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: 
Jennette Mullaney
Categories: 
Photo by Liz LigonOur new Executive Director, Jenny Gersten, grew up minutes from the High Line – her childhood apartment building is visible in the background of this picture. Photo by Liz Ligon

Although it's been only a few weeks since Jenny Gersten joined Friends of the High Line as our new Executive Director, we feel like this dynamic New York City native is already part of the family.

Jenny grew up in Greenwich Village, just minutes from the structure we now know as the High Line. But the High Line of her childhood was not yet a park in the sky with kids programs, blooming flowers, and mouthwatering ice-cream sandwiches. We sat down with the former Artistic Director of the Williamstown Theatre to learn more about her vision for our growing organization.

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