Friday, September 25, 2009

Highline late September. On our way to the NYTV Festival*, Vince and I dropped in at the Highline to see what was happening, plant-wise. The answer is: Grasses.

The grasses are in their prime, if not at their peak. Maybe peak is winter, with snow on them, frozen, sculptural in the brittle winter light.

For now, they are in flower, and frothy with light seed.

The sparrows were so sweet. Just sparrows, but happy little birds, sitting on the bending stalks and swaying as the breeze blew them up and down as they stuffed their little beaks with seed.

Expanses of gossamer-light panicum (switch grass) seed heads. These would be lit optimally at sunrise and sunset. It is dark earlier now - it seemed to happen so fast, so visiting after 6pm would be perfect.

Below, herds of heuchera in bloom, at the foot of the Standard Hotel.

Calamintha and prairie dropseed.

An unidentified clematis.

And Lespedeza thunbergii. Very non-native, although there are native lespedezas (virginica and capitata), but this one is the stunner. I also saw Hakonechloa (Japanese ribbon grass) which suprised me, growing beneath birches with chasmanthium (oatgrass).

So the Highline is not rabidly indigenous.

I would still like accessible plant lists.

* The NYTV Festival continues tonight. Show up for a free ticket at The New World Stages, West 50th between 8th and 9th Avenues. And free booze! Out of real glasses. One despises plastic. We went last night to support NYCMusicShow and had a lot of fun.

And came away with Ideas.


  1. I love that you're showing me a green side of NY that I never get to see (or notice) when I visit. I feel like it's a different city entirely!

  2. I like the collective noun for heuchera!
    Perhaps, as an American tax payer, you could write a letter asking for a laminated plant list at the entrance?


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