21 July 2015

High Line Impressions

While on a trip to New York City, a visit to the High Line was high on my list. This is the old elevated railroad that was preserved and turned into a park. Overgrown with weeds and plants, it was 'rehabilitated' into a walking landscape; transformed from a rusting eyesore to an urban park and walkway with views. Watering systems, soil, stairs, elevators, and of course vegetation were installed on the old structure. I imagine the steel structure had to be beefed up in some spots, too.

It is a phenomenal success story. I have a link to the High Line blog (on the right sidebar.) I read that it is inspiring similar park projects in other cities, too, like Chicago, London, and here in Washington, DC.

The plantings contain a lot of native species like echinacea, monarda, grasses and sedges.

Liatris near the edge. I believe there is a continuous light in the railing along each edge, but I was not there in the evening to verify.

There were areas where the old rails were preserved to remind us of its past purpose and use.

The paving blocks were notched at their ends to allow small slivers of planting bed to penetrate the paving edge -- blurring the edge between paving and plants. This created an appearance of the vegetation slowing creeping into the paved areas, like it does on an old paved road (or railroad.) The granite paving matches the color of the crushed stone of a railroad bed.

Benches were designed to appear as if they are a continuation of the paving -- almost like the paving was lifted up. Unfortunately, this also creates a tripping hazard.

There are movable lounge chairs. In keeping with the railroad theme, they are on wheels and roll on the rails.

This is not just a wet sidewalk. Delighting the senses, this water feature is a pool of water where one cannot drown. It is only about 1/8" deep (3 mm) and can be walked on in order to sit at the benches. (Sorry, the slight rain doesn't help the photo.) A perfect place to splash barefoot.

Artwork also delights the senses. A sculpture of graffiti is placed along the perimeter, spray-painting on the imaginary wall at the edge.

The walk also contained some shady areas where it proceeds under a grove of trees.

Success has allowed the High Line to be extended twice. This urban park is helping to spur redevelopment along the western side of Manhattan's old meat packing district. New residential condos, hotels, shops, offices, and new Whitney Museum are springing up and bringing more people (and tourists) and 'upscale' to one of the remaining industrial areas of Manhattan. I have mixed feelings about this change.

15 July 2015

July Bloom Day

It has been a month since the last post. No excuses are offered but another rush out the door after work today to snap a few photos hopefully makes up.

Echinacea is very thick and the goldfinches are probably drooling waiting for the seeds to be ready.

One flower finally opened on this particular zinnia, 'Oriole'. I was expecting more of an orange hue.

Pollinator-magnet liatris is nearing the end of its bloom. Funny, as it blooms from top down each stem.

Rudbeckia 'Irish Eyes' reseeded after blooming early this year. This result grew up and bloomed already - without green eyes.

This Rudbeckia hirti plant developed some brown markings.

It's not a ditch lily, but a double-ditch lily. And, it grows in semi-shade and is thriving.

My newest daylily 'Cherokee Star' seems to bloom one blossom at a time. Its location does not allow a good angle for photos.

Monarda 'Violet Queen' looks a little sparse. It probably needs more sun than it gets now.

Echinops is in varying stages of bloom. Bumblebees love it.

I love this marigold 'Tiger Eyes', and it reseeded itself true to form. Dark green, thick, lush foliage and no problems.

Cleome seeds found their way 60-feet (18 m) down the hill into a shady spot all by themselves, and grew. I let them. Anything that makes that journey deserves to live.

For the first time, a few little sky blue Platycodons germinated from last year's seeds. I guess some like the extra shot of winter.

Only five cosmos plants came up this year after the severe winter - the least number ever - but they still look full. Zucchini makes a nearby foliage plant in my front yard.

For other garden bloggers' bloom day photos, check out our host at blog May Dreams Gardens.