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!).
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.
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!
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.