I have read so much about New York City’s re-invented, re-planted goods railway line – that to be walking along it was like a dream. I could hardly believe I was there last week.
The High Line is a long and winding park – a place for walking and a place for reflection and contemplation – away from the urban madness of the city streets below. It runs for 1.45 miles from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues.
The once rusting and derelict structure has been saved and re-energised by citizen action group Friends of the High Line – who saw its potential as a public space.
As an old railway track it is long and narrow. Renowned designer Piet Oudolf has placed delicious groups of perennial-rich grassland plants along the outer edges, many growing amongst and between rusty-red lines of steel – a nod to the High Line’s industrial past.
Even in November there is plenty of grassy plant-life to see.
Clever feathered paving makes it look like the grasses are slowly coming out and taking over the concrete!
Close-up or at a distance – the grasses are the stars of the show.
See how nature is visiting the city! Bill boards and man-made horizontal and vertical lines of the buildings add contrast and definition to make the picture complete.
It’s not all ornamental grasses that are on show. There is one stretch of more ‘normal’ lawn grass – a shot of vibrant green to add to the tableau. Open for picnic-ers on certain days of the week.
Piet Oudolf’s planting shows evolutionary progression – where the open meadows move into areas where shrubs and small trees are taking shape, then onto more wooded walkways.
There are many types of grass growing along the High Line – including mosquito grass, frost grass, red switch grass, purple moor grass and Japanese forest grass, Korean feather reed grass and common quaking grass. I love the heads of this wonderful bunch of grass!
The end of the line at the northern tip – the High Line opens out at, what looks like, a subway terminus. Fantastic views out to the Hudson River.
And back at home – a photo from a book I have on the High Line – with a seed head (top right) picked from the actual High Line!