Perhaps the Future Holds a Friends of the Gloucester Harbor Walk Gardens
Last night I had the joy of hearing Johnny Linville, Manager of Horticulture for the Friends of the High Line, at Bolyston Hall in Boston, presented by COG Design. The dynamic Mr. Linville spoke to a full house of designers, landscape architects, and students eager to hear his presentation and he did not disappoint. With slides and a great sense of humor, Linville shared their successes, and some few failures, reminding us that the ‘park in the sky’ is a living experiment.
The High Line is an elevated freight rail line transformed into a public park on Manhattan’s West Side. It is owned by the City of New York and maintained by Friends of the High Line. This event is timely for Gloucester as Chris Muskopf, the lead architect of the Gloucester Harbor Walk, and I have been speaking about the possibility of developing a Friends of Gloucester Harbor Walk. Friends of the High Line is a non-profit conservancy working with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to ensure the High Line is maintained as an exceptional public space for all visitors to enjoy. I am hoping that perhaps we can create interest in developing a Friends of Gloucester Harbor Walk to help with the educational component of the butterfly garden and to help with maintenance.
From the High Line website: The High Line is a public park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. It is owned by the City of New York, and maintained and operated by Friends of the High Line. Founded in 1999 by community residents, Friends of the High Line fought for the High Line’s preservation and transformation at a time when the historic structure was under the threat of demolition. It is now the non-profit conservancy working with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to make sure the High Line is maintained as an extraordinary public space for all visitors to enjoy. In addition to overseeing maintenance, operations, and public programming for the park, Friends of the High Line works to raise the essential private funds to support more than 90 percent of the park’s annual operating budget, and to advocate for the preservation and transformation of the High Line at the Rail Yards, the third and final section of the historic structure, which runs between West 30th and West 34th Streets.
Special thanks to Lucia Droby, COGDesigns Executive Director for organizing the event and for assistance with my ticket!
Yesterday was the grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony of the Gloucester Harbor Walk. I designed the pollinator gardens that you see along the walk. While there photographing, deadheading, and weeding in preparation of the big event, not only did I see myriad species of butterflies and bees, a flock of goldfinches flew into the scene and were dining on the seed heads of the Echinacea. Needless to say, I didn’t do much dead heading of the coneflowers!
Helenium autumnale ~ a bee and butterfly attracting magnet
A few ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos of the area know as I4-C2. The before photos were taken only a few short months ago, in May of this year. The after photos were shot in August. Click photos to view larger images.
The magnificent Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), also called Tulip Poplar or Yellow Poplar, is named and noted for its tulip-shaped flowers. Tulip Trees are native to the eastern United States and are relatively fast growing, without the problem of weak wood strength and the short life span typical of fast growing trees.
Tulip Tree foliage of the newly planted Tulip Trees at St. Peter’s Square, Gloucester
The foliage of the Tulip Tree has a distinct four lobed shape, with a beautiful fluttering habit when caught in the wind. Come fall, the tree is ablaze in brilliant clear yellow. Rich in nectar, Tulip Trees are a major honey plant of the east. In our region the tree typically flowers in June. The nectar also invites songbirds Cardinal and Gold Finch, as well as Ruby-throated Hummingbird.
Liriodendron tulipifera is one of only two species in the genus Liriodendron in the Magnolia Family.
Fun fact from wiki: Native Americans so habitually made their dugout canoes of its trunk that the early settlers west of the Appalachian Mountains called it Canoewood.
Monday the Tulip Trees were planted at St. Peter’s Square and Tuesday was devoted to Whale Watch and General Store planting areas. Today we are tackling Gus Foote Park. You may notice a few bare spots; not all plants have been delivered. We’ll be adding more to the gardens as they arrive.
Jay Ramsey and his crew from Farm Creek Landscpaping are doing a top-notch job—professional and so enthusiastic. We are all so excited to see the installation of the city’s Harbor Walk gardens underway. I’ll be bringing you information on some of the native beauties we have planted and their value to the landscape and to wildlife. People often ask me why they have so few bees in their garden and I respond, “What have you planted for the bees and for all the pollinators?” When you plant for the pollinators, they will come!