High Line Blog

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Author: 
Anne Hunter
Photo by Friends of the High LineThe young bur oaks, Quercus macrocarpa, growing on the High Line have distinctive corky ridges along their limbs. 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
Photo by Phil VachonVerdant tufts of grass fight their way through a melting layer of snow at the 23rd Street Lawn. Photo by Phil Vachon
 

This inspiring image by High Line Photographer Phil Vachon offers a good reminder – especially on cold days like today – of the pleasures of the warmer season ahead. By summer, the park’s 23rd Street Lawn will be carpeted with lush grass and playing host to High Line Kids programs, leisurely picnics, first dates, and even urban sunbathers.

While the grass is most certainly greener on the other side of winter, this time of slow transition offers emerging hints and signs of the coming season. At the High Line, excitement is building among our gardeners and volunteers for Spring Cutback, and around the city, residents dream of picnics and strolls to be enjoyed. Spring is just around the corner (we promise)!

Learn more about how winter affects the High Line’s plants in a recent post by Director of Horticulture, Thomas Smarr.

Author: 
Thomas Smarr
Photo by Eddie CrimminsAlthough the snow has finally begun to melt, continued bitterly cold temperatures may delay the emergence of spring blooms. Photo by Eddie Crimmins
 

We typically can predict that winters will be cold and summers will be warm, but the more subtle dynamics of weather are much harder to foresee. This winter we have experienced a constant pattern of lasting, significant cold temperatures along with repeated snowfalls that kept piling up throughout late January into late February. It appears we are finally getting through the most severe part of this tough winter, but it will leave a lasting effect on our landscape.

Author: 
Clay Grable
Photo by Friends of the High LineMichael Vitiello examines a book of old West Side Line (a.k.a. the High Line) advertisements in the Williamson Library. Photo by Friends of the High Line
 

On the wall of Michael Vitiello’s office, hidden in the upper levels of Grand Central Terminal, hangs a bronzed fedora. It belonged to Paul "Tick Tock" Kugler, the last clock master of Grand Central, who wore it to work there every day of his 47-year career. Michael, Grand Central's supervisor of building maintenance, is the last person Tick Tock trained to service the station’s old self-winding clocks before he retired at age 70. The sole survivor of these “master clocks” also hangs in Michael’s office, a space that feels less like a workplace than a peek into an era that has slipped away.

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.

EnlargeSwamp rose mallow in summer. Photo by Eddie Crimmins

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.)

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