Rick Darke

Rick Darke is a highly regarded author, photographer, and consultant whose work focuses on the conservation, design and management of living landscapes. His work is grounded in an observational ethic that blends art, ecology, and cultural geography.

Rick Darke shooting across a field of Queen Anne's Lace in the Western Rail Yards, November 2011. Photo: Annik LaFarge, author of On the High Line
Rick Darke shooting across a field of Queen Anne’s Lace in the Western Rail Yards, November 2011

Darke’s longstanding studies of cultural landscapes and regional ecologies led him in 2004 to join designer Paul van Meter and co-team member Tim Mountz in the submission of a preliminary design entry for the High Line. The entry, one of over 700 submitted by participants from 36 countries, was a Jury Selection. Seven years later High Line co-founder Robert Hammond and Vice President of Horticulture Melissa Fischer invited Darke to make a presentation on the High Line exploring the potential role of wildness at the Rail Yards, the future of which was then still uncertain. The complete September 2011 talk, “The High Line’s Wild Gardens: Past, Present and Future” can be streamed from the High Line’s YouTube channel.

Darke’s most recent book is Gardens of the High Line: Elevating the Nature of Modern Landscapes, written with Piet Oudolf. He is also the author of The Wild Garden, The Living Landscape, and The Encyclopedia of Grasses, among other books. For more information about Rick, visit his website.