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Photo by Liz Ligon Photo by Liz Ligon

Plants Grown
on the
Wild Side

The High Line’s planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew wild for 25 years after the trains stopped running. Wandering through our gardens, you’ll find perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees that were chosen for their hardiness, sustainability, and ever-changing textures and colors in all four seasons.

Download the plant list

The High Line’s planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew wild for 25 years after the trains stopped running. Wandering through our gardens, you’ll find perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees that were chosen for their hardiness, sustainability, and ever-changing textures and colors in all four seasons.

Download the plant list
Blog

Gardening in the Sky: Starting From Seed

Learn more about how the High Line propagates its plants.

Read more
Design of the Gardens

The High Line’s aesthetic reflects natural cycles of life and death, and evokes feelings of being in a wild space. According to Piet Oudolf, who designed our gardens, “My biggest inspiration is nature. I do not want to copy it, but to recreate the emotion.”  

These landscapes don’t just happen on their own. While many natural processes take place in the park, the gardens have also been carefully designed and continuously cared for. Shaping the landscape design requires a good eye and an understanding of how the plantings will evolve over time. Changes in the gardens are guided by a team of gardeners who have collaborated with Oudolf for years.

We create different moods and compositions throughout the seasons. Hundreds of plant species evoke the patterns of woodlands and grasslands. Birds and insects thread through and animate the plantings. The mood of each garden changes through the year, conveying the ever-changing wonder and mystery of wild places.

Garden Zones

Walk just a few blocks along the High Line and you’ll pass through several, incredibly different gardens.

Garden Zones

Donald Pels and Wendy Keys Gansevoort Woodland

The southern end of the park is shaded by gray birch and serviceberry trees.

Washington Grasslands & Woodland Edge

This section is full of grasses, perennials, and woody species that tolerate the shade of the surrounding buildings.

Diller – von Furstenberg Sundeck & Water Feature

Wetland gardens flourish near the water feature, a visitor favorite.

Sustainable Practices

We are committed to environmental sustainability in all of our gardening operations and maintenance, including Integrated Pest Management, composting on-site, and pollinator-friendly practices.

Learn more about sustainability

Spring Cutback

Many gardens cut back their plants in fall. At the High Line, we leave our displays of dried leaves, stalks, and seedheads standing through the winter, providing both beauty for visitors and habitat for birds and other animals. To make room for new spring growth, hundreds of volunteers join our gardeners every March to complete the massive task of cutting back our plants by hand, to be composted and returned to the soil.

Learn about volunteering

'' Seasonal change occurs in a near-infinite succession of small moments, and learning to see and understand these little happenings is a worthy lifetime pursuit.'

— Rick Darke and Piet Oudolf, Gardens of the High Line: Elevating the Nature of Modern Landscapes

Adopt a Plant

Be part of the deep care and effort that goes into keeping the High Line wild—and open for everyone. Adopt a High Line plant, and you’ll help keep our gardens thriving all year long.

Choose a plant

Support

TD Bank is the Presenting Green Sponsor of the High Line.

Horticulture on the High Line is supported by Greenacre Foundation.