of gardens and the High Line


I was in the garden most of the afternoon. No, not the wonderful wild tundra of the High Line represented above, in a picture taken Saturday afternoon, but the 12' x 16' roof which lies outside our apartment.

New Yorkers have many gardens, and almost all of them are communal property. Chelsea however has no real public park, so Barry and I consider ourselves fortunate indeed. We have both the luxuriant garden court of our building, and the far smaller, and far less light-gifted, accidental Eden immediately outside our own walls.

I would describe the exposure outside our second-floor, north and east-facing windows as very deep shade. That's the environment many of us remember from our childhood as the one which accounted for the cement-hard, packed ground lying under the largest shade tree in the neighborhood. Even the ferns and the Lilies-of-the-Valley couldn't make it there.

I've been defeated repeatedly in my attempts at bringing a woodland environment to the perimeters of our urban shelter, but, partly thanks to a little past experience with limited resources, the undaunted Linda Yang and the Chelsea Garden Center, I haven't given up yet.

Pictures will follow, as soon as the latest plantings establish themselves. I'm convinced that's going to happen, or I wouldn't already feel exhilarated by this afternoon's work in "the garden."


The High Line? Looking at these pictures, it's hard not to ask that it be kept exactly as it is. New Yorkers should all be able to run through a meadow, even if much of the horizon is composed of second-story windows.

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Published on June 13, 2004 11:19 PM.

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