Two Cities, One Blue Sage
The High Line is a repurposed elevated railroad trestle that runs for 20 blocks along the Hudson River as a stroll garden. Oudolf retained many of the plants that had grown up on the abandoned railroad bed (the goldenrod, the sumac) and added native sages, asters, and vibrunums. Oudolf, from Holland, has introduced American gardeners to the idea of using native vegetation--planted in large groups, with dried stems on perennials--as food and shelter for wildlife. These low-water gardens work as natural habitats, even in the city. Oudolf has authored many books, but my favorite is his early "Designing with Plants" for its specific plant recommendations, accurate photos, and playful translation from the Dutch.
-- Sue Fierston paints and teaches just outside of Washington, D.C. in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. As a painter, she works in acrylics and watercolor and is in the middle of a series called "100 Flowers." As a teaching artist, she works with teachers to bring art into their classrooms in grades 4-8. Her posts focus on her nature-themed art collaborations. For a look at her paintings or more about her teaching, check out her website at suzannefierston.com.