The Gardener's Eye
Michael,Seeing these photos reminds me I heard a stunning presentation by James Corner last week. There was a free conference on "Simulating Nature" at the UPenn Design School, and he gave the keynote presentation. Among many other things, he talked about the design of the High Line paving system, and how the use has so quickly far exceeded the original projections, making it necessary to install those "string barriers" (he called them wickets, I recall) that I find so aesthetically distracting.
James,I think the string barriers or something similar are the nature of the beast in public spaces. I am surprised the design didn't predict visitors crossing the line into the garden. In Peterborough, we had a similar problem and used the same style wrought iron hoop fencing used in New York City to solve the problem. I am not a fan of the lawn for the same reason: too many people for too small of a space. I also felt it didn't go with the naturalistic intention. At any rate, it is always a thrill to walk the High Line!
I enjoy seeing grasses allowed to lay down until spring, not turned into stumps after Halloween like out here. That with the art is so relaxing and sere, just what's needed in that metropolis...
They were in the process of cutting the grasses. They were a out half way through. I am sure Oudolf is committed to keeping the grasses as long into the winter season as possible. They were getting a bit ratty looking. This a great example of how it is acceptable for th plantings to be a bit ratty because the maintenance of the path and its design make it clear that letting grasses stay is intentional. For me, strong design elements are paramount to a naturalistic design and the High Line is a superb example of this juxtaposition of wild plantings and strong design. Sissinghurst, for example, does the same thing but very differently.