The High Line

Hello! How’s your August going so far? I’m slowly emerging from the fog of jet lag and the upheaval of spending a long time away from home. We got back on Sunday lunchtime after many hours of travelling and missing a night’s sleep, and all promptly went to bed. Jet lag is a weird thing and it’s taking a while to settle into regular hours. To be honest, I’m still not fully back into the swing of things; thank goodness it’s the school holidays and we can continue with free-form days for a few more weeks. While I find my feet and reflect on what has been an amazing trip, a trip of a lifetime for me, I thought I’d show you some photos of one of the highlights (there were many; I won’t subject you to them all!).

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I first read about The High Line on Jason’s blog gardeninacity a year or so ago and knew I had to make it part of our itinerary while we were in New York. The High Line is a public park – a garden ecosystem that runs along a disused, elevated railway line on Manhattan’s west side through the Meatpacking District and West Chelsea. And, as it’s a public park, it’s free to walk along it, and when practically everything else in NY city costs a blinking fortune for a family of five this is a big bonus.

It’s a gorgeous river of mixed planting – grasses, perennials, shrubs and small trees – through the cityscape and a welcome slice of nature. Piet Oudolf was involved in its creation and his influence is evident in the beautiful, relaxed planting. The plants are largely native, inspired by those that had self-seeded between the old tracks, drought-tolerant and low-maintenance.

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My children (who claim they were ‘forced to visit gardens all the time’ when they were small and are disinclined to step foot in any these days without protesting loudly) liked it, especially the art dotted along the way, but they were rather overcome by the heat. It was incredibly hot while we were in New York – mid-to-high-90s and very humid – which did sap our energy somewhat. They skulked from shaded bench to shaded bench while David and I tried to take it all in. We loved it. I was struck by the juxtaposition of lush planting and buzzing, bee-laden flowers with the heavy construction work going on all around. It just goes to show that planting practically anywhere will attract wildlife. If I lived in the city (and, gosh, if I was 20 years younger I’d be sorely tempted), it’s somewhere I’d hang out every lunchtime!

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Back home and back to earth, the garden is definitely starting to feel slightly autumnal. Crispy leaves from next door’s enormous copper beech are sprinkled on the back lawn, many flowers have gone over and gone to seed, the tomatoes are ripening and the autumn raspberries are doing their thing. My mother-in-law very generously came to dog/cat/house/garden-sit while we were away and she deadheaded, picked, watered, cleared, and even made sterling inroads in the ‘work-in-progress’ area. A huge thank you to her for looking after everything while we were away.

We’d hurriedly planted an area with grasses, cosmos, nicotiana, sunflowers, tithonia, sweet peas, amaranthus, scabious and Ammi visnaga – a few weeks before we went away and I’m delighted with how it’s come together. Plenty of pickings for a Monday vase 🙂

More again soon. Have a super-duper weekend.

 

 

 

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21 thoughts on “The High Line

  1. What an amazing trip. I remember Jason writing about the High Line, I would love to see it, what great photos. What a treasure your MiL is. How lovely yo come home to your garden looking so good.

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  2. Oh those roof gardens, amazing! I’d love to spend a good while there, exploring. Thanks for sharing, I’ll keep this at the back of my mind for when I go to New York (in about 100 years or thereabouts). I’d quite like to borrow your mother in law for a month or so, she sounds like a gem. Looking forward to seeing more about your trip. Enjoy your weekend x

    P.S. August is going well here, schools back, exam results behind us (all good), autumn not far.

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  3. The High Line is optimistically on my bucket list. I enjoy each fresh view from a blog visit.
    (Remembering London’s Victoria, whose teenage daughter said – it’s grass, mum. Get over it)

    When we were in Frankfurt we visited a roof garden that reminded me of the High Line. Photos and blog post to follow … when I catch up with myself.

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  4. I had only just heard about these garden recently, so it is lovely to read your blog with such gorgeous photos. An amazing place in a run down part of New York. How good to have your mother in law house sit. It makes such a difference. Your garden is still looking good. B x

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  5. Fantastic photos, and how lovely to see so much green in the city. It sounds like you had a really amazing trip, I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Your garden at home is looking beautiful as well. All that hard work has really paid off. CJ xx

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  6. Great pictures of the High Line. Makes me feel like I have to get back to NYC. Glad your kids enjoyed it. I know what you mean about heat and humidity sapping one’s energy for vacation. We had to struggle with the same thing in Japan.

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  7. I was last in New York in 2010 but sadly completely oblivious to the fact the first phase had already opened! Grr!
    However, my daughter will be in NY in just three days’ time (travelling after her Camp America adventures) and she’s promised to go on my behalf as she knows how much I’d like to see it.
    Thanks so much for sharing – and welcome home!

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  8. Oh this looks amazing! Lovely photos Sam. And we’re lucky enough to be going on our first ever trip to NY shortly. The High Line was already on our list, but if you’ve got any other good top tips, do say! We’d love to hear them.

    Don’t know if you know it, but there’s a similar place in Paris (La Promenade Plantee), which was the first of its kind and delightful if you get the chance to go there.

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  9. The High Lane looks an amazing garden especially as everything is flourishing so high up. My children could share the same experience as yours having to visit so many gardens when they were young! My son’s girl friend loves botanical gardens and he had to visit two during his recent holiday! Your quickly planted garden looks impressive. Sarah x

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  10. You have whetted my appetite for an upcoming trip to New York to be reunited with the family. I’d love to walk the High Line but wonder if anything will still be growing in late October. I’m very fond of Piet Oudolf’s garden at Scampston and know he uses grasses to good effect so perhaps they will still be going strong.

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  11. I think I first heard about the High Line in a crime novel, but ever since I’ve wanted to visit. Something else to add to the list! It looks amazing and your photos are great. It’s always wonderful to find something green and living in the middle of a very built up city.

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