I can’t get enough of the High Line. I’ve visited three times in the last two years, but now that I’m stuck for a while on the other side of the planet, I can’t understand why I didn’t go back several times on each visit to New York. Michael Hatton – a Shepparton-based designer – told me that he went every morning and every night for the three weeks he was in town. Why didn’t I do that?
Yesterday I had the unexpected chance to hear a talk – in my own home-town, and free of charge – by Robert Hammond, Executive Director of the Friends of the High Line, and one of the two men responsible for instigating the project (you can read my earlier post about it here)
By some outrageous and undeserved privilege I made my first visit to Chanticleer, just outside of Philadelphia, in our spring – their autumn – last year.
I think that I’d vaguely and prejudicially shoved Chanticleer into a ‘big, boring, institutional garden’ category for several years after first becoming aware of it, then had somehow been given the impression that this was not a garden to dismiss – that there were some really lovely and magical things going on.
The very first day of my gardening apprenticeship at Ripponlea, Melbourne, I was riding on top of a heap of rubbish on a trailer, and a work experience student was pointing out a few of the features of the garden. I swear, to this day, that she pointed to a huge long fence covered in a wiry climber, saying “And that’s the horse and beckia hedge”.
Christopher Lloyd, speaking to the Canberra Press Club in 1992 about the landscaping around the recently opened Parliament House stated that “the Landscape Architect clearly knew four plants,” then assumed a tone of mock admiration to add “and managed to use all four in his design.”