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Goodbye, Maeve!

By Jennette Mulaney | April 18, 2014

Photo by Timothy Schenck“Head to the ground” is a compliment in gardening, indicating a serious commitment to work. Maeve demonstrates the pose in this candid shot as she tends to the 23rd Street Lawn. Photo by Timothy Schenck

This week we say farewell to Senior Gardener Maeve Turner. After nearly five years at Friends of the High Line, Maeve is leaving our organization to become the Curator of the Herb Garden at Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. She describes the new role as her “other dream job,” and we’re thrilled that she’s moving on to such an incredible position.

But we’re so sad to see her go. Maeve began working at the High Line in June of 2009, just one week after the park first opened to the public, and her footprint on our gardens is indelible. Although it would be impossible to sum up Maeve’s time here in one mere blog post – not to mention her achievements – we’ve shared a few highlights and cherished memories below.

Photo by Friends of the High LineWe tend to think of the 23rd Street Lawn as Maeve’s own. She’s been tending to the beloved 4,900-square-foot space since Section 2 – stretching West 20th Street to West 30th Street– since it opened to the public in 2011. (“We need a plan for that lawn,” Maeve recalls saying during a Section 2 planning meeting, and it’s been her baby ever since.) Maeve manages to keep this popular area healthy through sustainable means, including a compost tea program she developed after talking with multiple consultants. Photo by Friends of the High Line
Photo by Barry MungerMaeve and Manager of Horticulture Johnny Linville demonstrate how not to use shears in this photograph from Spring Cutback 2013. “I will always remember Maeve’s laughter, insight, and passion during the infancy of our operations,” says Manager of Horticulture Johnny Linville, who’s worked alongside Maeve for years. “The contribution and impact she’s had at Friends of the High Line is immeasurable,” he adds. In addition to her considerable professional achievements, Johnny is grateful to Maeve for introducing him to the joys of salt on apple pie. Photo by Barry Munger
Herb Garden at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Photo: Rebecca BulleneOur loss is Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s gain. As curator of their herb garden, pictured above, Maeve has the opportunity to combine her experience working on a farm with the ornamental gardening experience she gained here at the High Line. “I’m also excited to continue carrying on the objectives of the new herb garden – to show people that you can grow all kind of edibles in NYC,” says Maeve. Herb Garden at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Photo: Rebecca Bullene. Courtesy
Photo by Steven SeveringhausMaeve hesitates when asked to name her favorite plant on the High Line before naming one of many: the Eastern shooting star (Dodecatheon meadia). Could it be because of the plant’s elegant beauty or touchingly brief blooming period? “Because it’s so cute!” she explains. (That sounds familiar.) Photo by Steven Severinghaus
Photo by Friends of the High LineLike magic, a shimmering rainbow appears as Maeve applies compost tea to the 23rd Street Lawn. Maeve helped spearhead the High Line’s composting program, and her commitment to sustainability has been evident in all her efforts here. Photo by Friends of the High Line
Photo by Friends of the High LineRocking shades, Maeve poses in front of the 23rd Street Lawn. “I’m more than just the Lawn!” she says, laughing. And she certainly is. Thank you, Maeve, for being an incredible colleague and a dear friend to so many these past five years. Photo by Friends of the High Line
Photo by Liz Ligon“What I’ll miss the most are my coworkers, particularly the Horticulture staff,” says Maeve. We will miss her too! Photo by Liz Ligon