Sticky,  sweltering, summer New York. The only place to cool down is… err… nowhere really, except perhaps the A/C of the H&M store. But, that doesn’t stop a plant geek, and I climbed up onto the High Line early on Saturday to see what botanical marvels were waiting for me!


ONE. Aesculus parviflora. This Bottlebrush Buckeye is like a well-behaved Horse Chestnut Tree, and a heck of a lot more elegant too. You’ll recognised the detailed, almost orchid-esque florets, and the formation of them is super cool, like a bent feather-duster! Hardy in the UK, it makes a handsome, manageable shrub.

Aesculus parviflora- Buckeye

Aesculus parviflora- The Bottlebrush Buckeye

TWO. Ruellia simplex. These little gems have always enthralled me, I look at them as being some sort of wild petunia type thing! The flowers are such a gorgeous lilac-blue, and are super silky! Not one for our chilly UK gardens, but could work as a summer container plant, look at it as the middle-class petunia perhaps!

Ruellia simplex- Wild Petunia

Ruellia simplex- Wild Petunia

THREE. Echinacea purpurea. Not particularly distinctive or unusual, but bloody good value! Cone Flowers planted en masse are orgasmic, as their buxom blooms attracts bees and butterflies to their sweet honey juices! If you didn’t think plants could be pornographic, then welcome!

Echinacea purpurea

Echinacea purpurea

FOUR. Silphium laciniatum. Well, this one got me Googling! At first sight, it resembles that shy-flowering classic Helianthus maximiliani, but a few minutes of 3G draining told me this is Silphium laciniatum. God damn it was sexy, and looked the part with skyscrapers in the background too! Commonly called the Compass Flower, as the tips of the leaves ALWAYS face North!

Silphium laciniatum- The Compass Flower

Silphium laciniatum- The Compass Flower

FIVE. Pycnanthemum muticum. This was one of plants that resembles a professional party mingler, as it popped up between an array of other plants, flaunting it’s silver wares! An intriguing little plant, which again I needed to Google! Also known as Mountain Mint, and with a fragrance to rival Old Spice (you can decide whether that’s a good thing or not!) Will enjoy a hot summer, but a classy addition to the border.

Pycnanthemum meticum

Pycnanthemum meticum- Mountain Mint

Why don’t you visit the High Line, it’s free to enter, although the flight is £400-500!

OR, take my FREE tour below!


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