Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Return to the High Line

A few weeks ago when in New York we returned to visit the High line Park. Well actually this was my second visit but Philip's first. Last year he wasn't interested and went off to something boring like the Apple shop! (My opinion!) But he was fascinated by last year's pictures and my blog after the first visit, so wanted to see for himself this year. A convert! This visit was about six weeks later than last year's, so the planting was starting to look autumnal but every bit as interesting as last year. For those of you that don't know the background, do look up last year's blog. This curious linear park was just as good as last year and crowded with locals and tourists all enjoying the October sunshine. Amazing that this little green oasis should be so popular and no great distance from the rolling green acres of Central park.

So many places to sit and enjoy

Beautifully crafted landscape detail

Woodland walks - on a railway line in the sky!

I love the links to the site's railway heritage

Once again we were impressed by the quality of all the landscape features and the attention to detail throughout this beautiful landscape. Some things were new, like the huge metal sculpture covering a blank wall. Others things we noticed that I had missed last year, like the many different views from this elevation. It was also great to see that construction has been started on the third phase, taking one more section of this old derelict railway.

Clerodendron trichotomum

Excuse my ignorance - I've forgotten this - someone remind me! (Update - Tricyrtis formosana - thanks Chad)

Great detailing between soft and hard landscape

Cotoneaster of some sort

Empire State Building in the distance

New sculpture - mirrors and rusted metal - I like it!

A neighbouring balcony but nicely sympathetic

Anyone identify this Iris? (Update - possibly a form of Iris fulva - the Lousiana iris - normally spring flowering but sometimes gives the odd autumn bloom - again thanks Chad)

The High Line Park isn't quite unique as Paris has its own similar landscape, opened a number of years before the High Line. The Promenade Plantée (tree-lined walkway) is a 4.7 km (2.9 mi) elevated linear park built on top of an obsolete railway infrastructure in  Paris, France and completed in 1993. This one is built on the former right-of-way of the Vincennes railway line, which ceased operation in 1969. Part of the line was  completely abandoned and became the Promenade Plantée. This was the only elevated park in the world until the first phase of the High Line Park was completed in 2010.

By comparison on wonders whether the proposed plan for the Thames Garden Bridge is any more than a hair-brained scheme. The planned 367-meter bridge features two fluted pillars that support a split promenade between Temple Station and Southbank. Walkers will be able to enjoy 'a beautiful green environment made up of indigenous trees, shrubs and smaller plant species, stroll under the leaves and relax on benches next to the path'. The Garden Bridge Trust has been created to drive the project forward and organize fundraising in advance of a planning application in 2014 and construction in 2015. One wonders whether it will join that huge legacy of great projects that have never been built!


  1. Nice to see photos of the high line again, brings back memories.And we do hope the Thames Garden Bridge materialises!

  2. 'Excuse my ignorance - I've forgotten the name - someone remind me!'

    Tricyrtis formosana?


  3. 'Anyone identify this Iris?'

    As a suggestion without much confidence, could it be one of the taxonomic nightmare ‘Louisiana iris’; perhaps a form of Iris fulva? As with so many of the spring flowering ones you get the occasional autumn flower too.


  4. Chad - many thanks for these ID's - glad you are still reading - sorry not so much plant stuff recently!