Taking a walk along the Hudson River in lower Manhattan on a beautiful New York summer day can’t be beat!
The expansive beauty with miles of path system is an extraordinary and delightful buffer from the city’s urban concrete jungle. It’s amazing in all seasons. In this post I’m going to be focusing on the Hudson River Park’s Chelsea section.
But before I do, I want to give you a quick overview of the Hudson River Park, and it’s path system between and along the Hudson river and West Side Drive. ( See map). If you’re not familiar with these areas, this post will hopefully get you interested in visiting next time you’re in Manhattan. 🙂
Okay, so the Hudson River Park runs along the West Side Drive: (West Side Drive, btw, runs from the southern tip of Manhattan to West 72nd Street along the Hudson River.) Besides the thoughtful and abundant green space, there is also a bikeway path and plenty of activities. Take a look here if you’re interested in information on activities and things to do, and, if you’re a runner –check this out!
Hudson River Park – Chelsea’s Section and How to be Successful, Planting in Mass
Wouldn’t you agree that you bring your expertise and interests with you where ever you go? For me… for you… that interest could be gardens and plants. But for someone not so interested, your husband your best friend, this is where mass planting works — its a zing.
How? Because mass planting isn’t about the fine points of individual plants; it’s about exploiting certain plant characteristics; things like color (in flowers/leaves), texture and shape. It’s what repetitively makes that awesome composition.
In the case of the Hudson River Park example, and the photos that we’re looking at, late spring and summer is clearly peak season for this part of the planting composition. (Photos taken, June 13 2017.)
What are these prized characteristics you can’t ignore?
Zillions of deep pink rose blossoms… Wow, color. Wow bright color!
Linearity is a useful break from the shape of most broad leaved perennials
The quote above is a good idea to keep in mind with your own mass planting design. In the following photo you’ll see the contrasting texture of blue flowering Nepeta (catmint)
next to the fine upright straw-colored flowers of massed grass plants.
So it’s not about the parts, it’s about the sum of the parts. Planting in mass means repetition. How many dozens or hundreds of the same plant(s) you buy to achieve your planting design depends upon the scale you’re working with. In the photos above we looked at flower color (pink roses, blue Nepeta). We also looked at contrast and breaking up a broad leafed perennial with the linear effects of a grass with upright rigid flowers that grow well above.
Now let’s look further.
Creating a unified and harmonious arrangement
By creating a unified and harmonious arrangement, as you can see here, my friend Vicki is enjoying the lovely garden canvas, including what a nice juxtaposition and contrast to the buildings behind.
In the photo’s foreground, yellow Coreopsis is used followed by pink Centranthus, deep pink roses, shrubs and trees amidst the backdrop of Chelsea’s architecture and high rise buildings.
Successfully done, mass planting can be very artistic and carry great appeal. As a viewer, the impact can be very memorable. I think that this section of the Hudson River Park pulled us in, definitely the repetition of color through flowers. Being on a large scale the planting beds screamed “hey look at me,” the mass made them more visible and vibrant – and particularly important – the viewing of this garden from the path wasn’t gone in the blink of an eye. That’s an especially good plan when you have a path with a lot of activity like this one. It’s a great way to make a garden.
What do you think?