Around the Island

The High Line as a garden: A discussion at the Library

Calling all gardeners, would-be gardeners and those of us who simply love looking at gardens.

On Sept. 11, Friday Night Dialogues at the Shelter Island Library will offer “The High Line: Lessons for Gardeners” at 7 p.m. via Zoom. The program will be presented by Roxanne Zimmer, a community horticultural specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension and will focus on the lessons learned from that garden’s use of native plants that Long Islanders can “transplant” to their own yards, beds and borders.

Opened in June, 2009, The High Line is an elevated linear park, greenway and rail trail located on the former New York Central elevated rail spur on Manhattan’s far West Side.

It runs from Gansevoort Street in the meat packing district, north to West 30th Street. Originally founded by area residents as a way to prevent the disused rail track from being demolished, it has since become a “must see” stop for visitors as well as a vibrant outdoor space that has been credited with sending real estate sales to record high levels in the surrounding neighborhoods. In pre-pandemic 2019, it was estimated that the park received 8 million visitors annually, easily making it one of the top 10 tourist attractions in the city.

Among the park’s many attractions are swathes of naturalized plantings, inspired by plants that once grew on the disused tracks. The 120-species plant palette, chosen by Dutch landscape architect Piet Oudolf, includes sturdy native plants such as clump-forming grasses, liatris and coneflowers, as well as stands of sumac and smokebush.

At the Gansevoort Street end, a grove of mixed species of birch provides shade by late afternoon, welcoming walkers, joggers, tourists and people who just want to enjoy the extraordinary, ever-changing landscape and unparalleled Hudson River views.

Please register for this program at least 15 minutes in advance of the 7 p.m. starting time by going to silibrary.org. After registering, you’ll receive a link to attend the event. If you have any questions on the program or how to access it, please contact Jocelyn Ozolins at [email protected]

Next up: On Friday, Sept. 25, also on Zoom, Joan Baum will present “Flappers, Feminists and Fascination with Fitzgerald: a Reconsideration of America’s New 1920’s Woman in the 2020’s.”