After gardening in Alphabet City yesterday, I trekked west across town on the L and walked to the High Line, not seen since June, when the Eremurus were in bloom. Vince took a picture of the stunning Rudbeckia here, in the Chelsea Grasslands section, two weeks ago, and yesterday I caught it on the perfect cusp before its downward turn.
The most surprising plant, or plants, were what turned out to be prairie dock, Silphium terebinthinaceum (quelle mouthful), the tall slender stems above, at least 10', and the previously statuesque Silphium laciniatum [see comments for ID, thanks Paul Westervelt], below, which were in the process of flopping all over the place.
More of the prairie dock, below. See the big leaves...
The switch grass in the foreground below is Panicum virgatum "Shenandoah", one of my all-time favourites, and apparently one of Piet Oudolf's, too.
Speaking of which, there is a new book, if my fairy godmother is listening...Piet Oudolfs' Landscape in Landscapes, also featuring his design schemes, which are comforting to an old school paint-on-paper person, like me (I now call them 'vintage' designs). I saw it at GRDN the other day. Gorgeous.
The late season leaves of Amsonia are very pretty in their own right. They bloom, blue, in late spring, but this is almost better.
Broadleaf ironweed is the purple - Vernonia glauca.
The rusty mound is sneezeweed, Helenium "Ruby Tuesday", the white, wild quinine Parthenium integrifolium, the switch grass to the right.
More prairie dock.
The High Line is not exactly a well kept secret. And while I sat and waited for Vince to leave work nearby, I watched a variety of visitors yesterday do some trampling and squashing. A German couple sat down in a raised planter (it was shaded, unlike the nearby and empty bench) and squashed the grasses with their bottoms and backpacks. A bored Italian boy repeatedly scuffed some calamintha while his parents watched. But, considering the volume of traffic, things are in very good shape.
An exciting place.
Here's the full list of August blooms.
What I am looking forward to, though, is the High Line under snow.