While we were in New York recently we walked the High Line from end to end.  If you are unfamiliar with the High Line, it is a public park built on an historic disused elevated freight railway.  Saved from demolition by neighbourhood residents and the City of New York, the track was dismantled, restored and the component parts reused within planting designed by Piet Oudolf. 

We started up at 10th and West 34th street, where the planting evokes the self seeded wasteland this section was formerly, and took a leisurely stroll down to its end in Washington Street, where the park is more obviously landscaped.

Its otherworldly to be walking above the hot, busy, noisy street below in the pleasant shade of trees.  Here a grove of birch trees is on one side, whilst blocks of flats is the other side.

The most modern of architecture provides a striking back drop to soft prairie planting.  

The planting segues into diagonal strips of paving, re-purposed sleepers I presume, slowing your pace and encouraging a closer appreciation.

I found the soft shades of these Echinacea particularly appealing.

As you walk along the mood changes from sunny, open and modern with planting for dry conditions...

to shady, cool and enclosed.

Sometimes your eye is brought down to admire the detailed planting, ..

and sometimes your eye is taken outwards to the wider landscape of the city beyond.

In places the planting celebrates the architecture around it.  Zaha Hadid's futuristic apartments invite you to Love them.

And in other places you are encouraged to forget you are in a city at all...

and for a little while, you do.


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