Dave and I lived one block from an entrance to The High Line. This celebrated, mostly native garden transformed an abandoned, elevated freight rail line into a public park that’s become a model for environmental sustainability and urban renewal.
Living so close, we treated the High Line like it was our own backyard. On warm nights I’d rush home from work, pack dinner so that we could dine with a panoramic view of the sunset. We’d try to grab one of the wooden lounge chairs that you could slide along the old rail lines. If those were taken, there were many other unique places to sit.
My architect husband liked to point out how The High Line is designed so your gaze is directed near and far. The linear park invites you to walk. Around each corner is another vista or landscape to explore.
The High Line influenced many of the plants we chose for the WILD garden years before we moved to New Jersey. The native plant influence goes even farther back. Seeds —delivered by the wind or birds — took root on the elevated railway in the years while it was abandoned. In minimal soil and tough conditions, these pioneer plants survived, reseeded and grew into a wild landscape that influenced the High Line landscape designers.
Many of the plants and names that were new to us more than ten years ago are now growing in the Wild Garden.
Our garden is many times smaller than The High Line. But there are still reasons to explore, paths to get there, places to rest and new vistas along the way.
May the influencers continue their work, carried by the wind, birds, blog posts and anyone walking through the WILD-by-design garden.