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Maryland Natives – In New York City!

Yes!  New York City’s High Line is a stunning showplace for many of the very same natives that thrive in Chesapeake gardens.  The High Line calls itself a four season park and is it ever.  On a chilly November morning, a stroll down the 1.4 mile pathway was stunning. Seed heads, pods, berries, grasses, and architectural branches of deciduous shrubs and trees made for vista after vista of the “winter interest” scenes that turn a garden into a year round delight.

Beginning with the lowest layer of natives, gorgeous ground covers include evergreen pachysandra (Pachysandra procumbens) and deciduous Canadian wild ginger (Asarum canadense).

Bright purple astesr, (Symphyotrichum oblongifolium ‘Raydon’s Favorite) is still blooming among drying flowers and shrubs.

Many perennials are planted en masse but there are also smaller planting groups of contrasting foliage like asters with mountain mint (Pycnanthemum muticum) and  grasses below that really would lend themselves to smaller Chesapeake garden settings. The contrasting textures and colors are memorable and replicable.

Winterberries (Ilex verticillata) are laden with berries, just waiting for the birds.

The profiles of architectural trees like sumac and birches are punctuation lints along the walkway.

Amsonia add a range of colors throughout the perennial plantings.  The true Maryland native Amsonia is (Amsonia tabernaemontana).  The amsonia below are Amsonia hubrichtii which are native to the more central part of the U.S.

Native witch hazel (Hamamelis Virginiania) has the most delicate yellow papery blooms.  Our native witch hazel is the first witch hazel to bloom as winter approaches. Those with hazels that bloom in later in winter are typically the Asian or Asian – American hybrids.

With Hazel blloms close HL

New York City is in gardening zone 7a, like much of the heart of the Chesapeake watershed so that’s one reason so many of our Chesapeake natives are thriving along the High Line.  It’s really amazing to see nature flourishing in such an urban setting which is one of the reasons experts advise that even if you are gardening on a balcony, you can do your part for nature.

New York City nature:

For more information:

To browse the incredible plant list of the High Line, go here.  Many of these plants are native to the Chesapeake watershed.

And last, gorgeous Fall photos from the High Line organization.


We want you to be as excited about planting Chesapeake natives as we are. “Plant This or That” gives you a native alternative to popular plants. Other posts highlight really fabulous fauna native to the Chesapeake.

Nuts for Natives, avid gardener, Baltimore City admirer, Chesapeake Bay Watershed restoration enthusiast, and public service fan.

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