|Grove of grey birch (Betula populifolia) growing among the tracks|
|Evergreens add winter interest|
For those not familiar with the High Line, I thought I'd share an abbreviated history. The construction of the High Line was part of a major city infrastructure project during the 1930's called the West Side Improvement Project. By elevating existing freight lines above street level, dangerous trains would no longer threaten pedestrians or cause traffic.
The first trains started rolling on the High Line in 1934 and the last train was in 1980. With threats of demolition, Friends of the High Line, a community-based group, worked with the city to save the structure and establish it as a public park. The elevated park runs from Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street.
The design of the park was a collaboration between many architects and landscape firms. One of my favorite designers, Piet Oudolf, did the planting schemes. The park's design merges old structures with modern ones connected by abundant plantings.
|Pennsylvania sedge (Carex pensylvanica) creates a green background for winterberry (Ilex verticillata)|
|Witch hazel (Hamamelis x intermedia 'Jelena')|
Revitalizing the winterscape, witch hazels and viburnums were in bloom, adding splashes of yellow, orange and pink. These fragrant shrubs were pleasantly perfuming the city air. I also spotted several drifts of gold crocuses that were popping up among the grey gravel.
I enjoyed my winter walk and will be back again for the spring show. However, I realized that I never posted photos from my summer tour. Come back tomorrow and I will share some. You'll be amazed how beautiful this park can be during the summer season.
|Viburnum x bodnantense 'Dawn'|
|A grass-filled pathway crosses under|
The Standard Hotel