Before we jetted off to begin our life in NYC, we spent a few peaceful days in Somerset, where we visited the amazing Hauser & Wirth gallery just outside Bruton. The stunning meadow-like gardens at Hauser & Wirth were designed by the planting design genius that is Piet Oudolf. We were reading up on him in the shop there, when we learned that he is also the man behind New York's Highline. Another one of those magical coincidences that makes life seem like a jigsaw puzzle where the pieces are gradually slotting into place.
It was yet another roasting day when we climbed up the stairway to this 1.5 mile long public park which floats in the sky from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District all the way up to West 34th Street in Hell's Kitchen.
This walkway used to be the New York Central Railroad. Having been abandoned for years, planners and designers set about converting it into a public park which is now packed all year round as people stretch their legs along the length of it, admiring the art, the views, the plants, the car-free space and the slightly fresher air.
The planting feels organic and wild: Oudolf was inspired by the self-seeded garden that had grown in the railway tracks in its years between use as railway track and use as a human walkway.
This natural, liberating approach means that the plants will flower and fade with the seasons as they would have had they grown there naturally. In fact many of them have grown there naturally, and are self-seeded and self-seeding exactly as they were before work began to transform this space.
I can't wait to watch the transition into
Autumn Fall and then the growth and colour that will come with Spring...
In the Summer the whole path is decorated with vibrant greenery, which stands out against the bright blue skies, while the sun glimmers and glitters on the New York skyscrapers.
You can hop on or off at any point to nip to a gallery, café, shop, restaurant or bar: there will be plenty you can see from this elevated view point that will tempt you down. But you'll soon be drawn back up again to take in the views for a while longer.
The Highline: runs from Gansevoort St & Washington St to W 34th St & 11th Ave. For a map of access points look here.