This Monday, December 21, marks the first official day of the winter season. We love winter and are looking forward to when the temperatures finally catch up with the calendar. Here are 6 reasons to love winter on the High Line. Anything you would add?
As New Yorkers, we often dread snow and everything that comes along with it: questionable slush, forgotten trash pickup, the long frigid walk to the subway, and the impossible task of catching a cab. But snow on the High Line evokes the bucolic beauty of freshly fallen snow in the countryside. The light flakes grasp to dried grasses, perch atop the branches, and transform the park into something magical.
Did you know that the High Line provides a veritable buffet for birds? The fact that plants are left to overwinter naturally – meaning that they aren’t cutback before winter sets in – allows seed heads and berries to provide food for birds all winter long. If you keep your eyes peeled, you might catch a bird snacking, like this mockingbird noshing on Red Sprite winterberry fruits.
In the summer months, you might not have as great of an appreciation for color within the landscape, but in the dreary months of winter, every pop of color is cause for celebration. Along the High Line, you’ll find a variety of winter-blooming (!) trees and shrubs, like witch hazel pictured above, as well as a number of evergreen and fruit-bearing trees and shrubs. Discover more plants to look out for in our monthly bloom list.
If you’re a brave, cold-loving kind of person, you can have the High Line all to yourself on those days where everyone else is scared to leave the warmth of their beds. And, as an added bonus, clear, cold days are some of the most beautiful.
The High Line’s gardens were designed by master plantsman Piet Oudolf to be four-season, meaning our gardeners are gardening with the winter garden in mind too. Winter is the perfect time to appreciate the garden’s “skeleton” – that architectural aspect of dried grasses, seed heads, and bare branches. Some plants like our coneflowers – pictured above – are equally beautiful in winter as they are in summer.
Just as the garden is designed to stay beautiful through the seasons, the art is curated with four seasons in mind. Throughout the year, you’ll see plants grow up around (and even over) the artworks. In the winter, snow and the dying back of plants creates a whole new experience. In our photo here, Carson – a two-foot-tall sculpture by Tomoaki Suzuki part of High Line Art’s first group show Lilliput – gets thigh-high in freshly fallen snow.
We hope to see you this winter! And if you come following a snowfall, don’t forget to thank our hardworking operations staff who arrive at the crack of dawn (or conversely stay after hours) to clear snow by hand to make the park safe for you to enjoy!