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Archives for April 23, 2013

Bethlehem talks Delaware Avenue overhaul

— Bethlehem officials are looking to make investments in the Delaware Avenue corridor to improve the street and attract a steady stream of customers to Bethlehem businesses from the City of Albany.

Supervisor John Clarkson held a third community meeting on Monday, April 15, at the Elsmere Fire Station for Elsmere and Delmar residents, and the streetscape upgrades were discussed. Officials focused on improvements they’d like to see come to fruition in the near future that were outlined in the Delaware Avenue Hamlet Enhancement Study.

“I’m very committed to providing for this investment,” said Clarkson to a group of about 30 people. “Interest rates are low, Delaware Avenue is the town’s main street and I think it makes very good sense to invest at this time.”

Suggestions made in the plan include upgrades to sidewalks and the addition of bicycle lanes, as well as decorative lighting and better landscaping along the road.

Town Director of Economic Development and Planning Mike Morelli said the town may soon be using some of the aesthetic suggestions in the study as guidelines for private proper ty owners. Officials would work with business owners to start slowly implementing the plan through code changes. Some ideas include requiring business signs to be more relative to their trade or instituting “hamlet” signs that overhang buildings. Officials would also like to see parking in the rear of buildings, entrances placed towards the front of buildings so they are more visible from the street and wider setbacks from the street to allow for outdoor cafes or courtyards.

The study also calls for the beautification of the railroad overpass to act as a gateway to the town. A partnership with the school district was suggested to have a mural painted by art students on one side of the overpass, with trees and a garden are placed on the other.

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16th Great Gardening Weekend – The Montréal Space for Life invites you to …

MONTREAL, April 23, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ – To the delight of all lovers of
gardening and horticulture, the Space for Life presents the 16th
edition of the Great Gardening Weekend, held at the Montréal Botanical
Garden from May 24 to 26, 2013. Come stock up on ideas to create your perfect garden, drawing on the expert advice of young landscaping
professionals and the Botanical Garden’s own horticulturists. Enjoy the
festive, musical atmosphere while meeting producers of new, rare or
unusual plants as well as three artists whose paintings are inspired by

The Great Gardening Weekend: A beautifully arranged program
Imagine having the opportunity to meet over a hundred gardening and
landscaping specialists in the same day; speak to experts with
specialist knowledge of roses, bonsais and daylilies; buy magnificent
annuals and perennials while talking to their producers; discover
useful and original garden accessories—and don’t leave without at least
one of the 12,000 plants produced by the Botanical Garden’s

The Great Gardening Weekend also features talks and demonstrations by
well-known personalities in the gardening world. And new this year, the
Friends of the Montréal Botanical Garden booth will offer tips for
growing and pruning vines in Québec.

The event will furthermore explore various themes, such as the beauty of
creating gardens that attract birds or butterflies, the joy of cooking
with seasonal vegetables and the art of gathering edible
mushrooms—fascinating topics sure to have you reaching for your
gardening tools!

And to top it all off…
The Great Gardening Weekend will culminate in the announcement of the
Winners of Horticultural Merit and the recipient of the Henry Teuscher

For more information (schedules, demonstrations, talks, tickets), visit

Like previous years, the Botanical Garden and Insectarium will not be participating in Museums Day, which coincides with the Great Gardening Weekend.


SOURCE: Espace pour la vie

For further information:

Karine Jalbert, Communications Coordinator
Telephone: 514 872-1453

François Ouellet, Marketing Representative
Telephone: 514 872-3232

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Got a green thumb? Great gardening fiction – She Knows

Winter Garden

Winter Garden
By Kristin Hannah

Meredith and Nina Whitson rarely agreed on anything except that their mother, Anya, was stern, distant and unfathomable. Drawn together when their father dies, the sisters encourage their mother to fulfill his last wish, which is to tell them the story of a Russian girl and the prince who saved her. That simple request uncovers long-held family secrets, taking the women into the dark past to show them the way to a happier, brighter future. Winter Garden is a beautifully rendered story that revitalizes a familiar theme thanks to Kristin Hannah’s skillful mix of contemporary fiction with Anya’s Russian fairy tales of hardship and survival. Readers are transported from the security of the family apple orchard and Anya’s winter garden to the horrors of war-torn Leningrad and the bitter cold of Alaska. As the older woman spins her story, the sisters learn the truth of their mother’s experiences, opening the doors to love and understanding.

The Poison Diaries

The Poison Diaries
By Maryrose Wood

Not all gardens are places of beauty, and Jessamine Luxton knows this firsthand. In 18th-century England, her healer and herbalist father, Thomas, must mix his own cures and tend his own plants, some of which can be dangerous if used by the uninitiated. When an orphan boy known as Weed enters their lives, something begins to stir in the gardens, and Jessamine finds herself at a crossroads. The Poison Diaries, the first installment of a trilogy by Maryrose Wood, is a compelling young adult tale of good and evil that combines Gothic elements with solid historical fiction. The reader is quickly drawn into the Luxtons’ world, wondering if Weed is friend or foe, if Thomas is sane or crazy and if Jessamine is naive or wise. Wood reveals clues slowly, expertly building the tension and mystery. Be prepared to be swept away by this exciting story that appeals to teens and adults alike.

Garden Spells

Garden Spells
By Sarah Addison Allen

The Waverleys’ garden is well-known to the folks of Bascom, North Carolina. The edible flowers, sweet herbs and sturdy apple tree and the family that tends them seem to have special powers. For example, Evenelle has a knack for giving the perfect gift, the apples are known to be prophetic and food from the garden can change people’s fate. Although generations of Waverleys have fed and helped their neighbors, Claire thought she was the end of the line until her sister moves back home with a 5-year-old daughter in tow. As the women mend past hurts and strengthen new bonds, their shared legacy brings rekindled hope for the garden’s future and opens their hearts to the possibility of love. From the Waverley sisters’ journey to reconciliation to the antics of the wily apple tree at the heart of the garden, Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells is a magical reading choice for a warm spring day.

More reading

What’s cooking? Best in food writing
April Fool’s Day: A cozy mystery roundup
Hot YA reads for the spring

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Valpo Parks Horticulturists Discuss Gardens, Landscapes on Earth Day

2013-Earth-DayValpo Parks horticulturists attended the 2013 Earth Day Expo held at the Porter County Expo on Saturday, April 20. Native landscaping and xeriscaping/xerogardening were some of the topics they discussed with visitors at the expo.

They also displayed live examples of some native plants. Xeriscaping or xerogardening refers to landscaping and gardening in ways that reduce or eliminate the need for supplemental water from irrigation.

For more horticulture information, visit and click on About Parks, Horticulture.

Photo: Lead Horticulturist Ben Ringling of the Valpo Parks Department talks to a patron of the 2013 Earth Day Expo that took place at the Porter County Expo Center on Saturday, April 20.


  • Valpo Parks Celebrating Friends and Legends on May 9th
  • Valparaiso to Celebrate Arbor Day with Fruit Tree Plantings
  • Valpo Parks Department Park Briefs for the Week of 4-15-13
  • Valpo Parks Department Park Briefs for the Week of 3-25-13
  • Save the Date to Celebrate Friends and Legends

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Sold: Walls of windows in a ‘work of art’

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Water conserving landscapes – The Cross Timbers Gazette

In the summer months, our landscapes drink up a lot of our good, clean water. People bristle when this fact gets mentioned. “Please don’t make me turn my beautiful lawn into gravel,” they are thinking. 

Many people even tell me, “I don’t like cactus and I’m not going to do zeroscape.”   I’m a horticulturist, so that means I like plants, not gravel. And the term is actually xeriscape, not zeroscape, but the point has been well taken. We misunderstand what drought tolerant and water conserving landscapes are and we don’t want them besides.

We are getting away from the confusing and scary term xeriscape and moving into terms such as “smartscape” “water smart” and Earth-Kind. These are all approaches to gardening and landscaping, practices that focus on healthy and beautiful lawns and flower beds.

Did you know that the recommendation for a water conserving landscape is actually 1/3 lawn area, 1/3 hardscape and 1/3 perennials and shrub beds?

Hardscape refers to non-living areas such as sidewalks, decks, patios and yes, fields of gravel if that’s your thing.

Other best management practices include adding a 3-6 inch layer of mulch to all your shrubs, trees and flowering plants.

Mulch helps insulate the soil, reduces erosion, reduces competition from weeds and slows water loss from soils. If you use an organic material such as wood chips, they break down over time, improving your soil. It’s like a slow release fertilizer!

Plant selection is also important. Picking plants that enjoy our hot summers and can survive on minimal supplemental irrigation is important. Indulging in a few high maintenance favorites is allowed, but don’t water your entire landscape just to give those few plants enough water.

Group or zone plants according to water requirement and set your irrigation timer accordingly. You might be surprised at the quantity of beautiful, lush and “non-cactus looking” plants that are drought-tolerant, to see some of our recommendations check out the links on

Other great resources for plant selection are and

To hear more about some of my favorite plants for our area, join me on May 7 at 6:30 pm, at the City of Lewisville Water-Saving Landscape Class. I’ll be speaking on plant choices and Earth-Kind landscaping principles. To register for this free class contact
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or call 972-219-3504, this is open to non-residents as well.

If you need even more convincing, come see plants in action at the Denton County Master Gardener Spring Tour on May 11.  You will see beautiful home gardens and get great ideas on what you can incorporate in your own landscape.

This event is the Master Gardener annual fundraiser; tickets are $10 before the tour and $12 on tour day. For more information call 940-349-2892, email
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or buy tickets online at Please call ahead if you have mobility concerns because not all gardens may be accessible.

Janet Laminack, Denton County Extension Agent –Horticulture/Texas AM AgriLife Extension, 940-349-2883,
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Combat Lower Back and Joint Pain with Pain-Free Gardening Tips, Physical …

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LAKE FOREST, Ill., April 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — With April’s National Garden Month underway, your planting plans may be ready, but your body is likely unprepared for the bending, kneeling, and lifting that go along with it. Savvy gardeners have a secret weapon – Omron’s electroTHERAPY Pain Relief unit, which keeps your green thumb from tiring by eliminating gardening aches and pains with proven physical therapy technology.

(Photo: )

Omron’s over-the-counter electroTHERAPY Pain Relief unit can relieve lower back pain, as well as muscle and joint pain that are all too familiar for gardeners and non-gardeners alike. Lower back pain is the number one reported pain symptom in the country. This 100 percent drug-free, non-prescription therapy is a smart option for tending to aches and pains inflamed by gardening.

“As an avid gardener with two knee replacements, I’m always in search of alternative tactics to combat joint pain,” said Melinda Myers , a professional horticulturist with an eye for innovative solutions. “Electrotherapy treatment lets me garden without needing to stop due to the joint pain that often comes with kneeling, reaching, and lifting.”

Smart Gardening
Myers doesn’t rely solely on electrotherapy to keep her gardening pain free. To reduce lower back and joint pain, she suggests following these simple pain-free gardening tips:

  • Vertical Gardening – Garden up! Grow plants on a blank wall, fence, or post.  Height makes gardening easier and creates visual interest.
  • Choose Your Tools Wisely – Look for ergonomic grips, long-handled tools, and ratcheted tools to keep your posture upright, give you more power and make the grip easier.
  • Leverage Heavy Loads – Split up large loads into smaller increments.  Use everyday items like a wagon or winter sled to help you move supplies around the garden with ease. 
  • Take Breaks – Work five minute breaks in your gardening schedule to lower your likelihood of injury. Try easy back stretches from the waist and do not garden for longer than 20-30 minutes straight. Stay attentive to weather temperatures and flexibility as well – do additional stretches or warm-ups if you feel stiff or cold. 
  • Keep Tools Sharp Get your local store to file trowels, shears, and even shovels. Dulled tools mean more strain – make sure your tools are well-kept to cut down on unnecessary added effort.

After Gardening
If you follow all of these tips and still wind up with back pain or you already have joint or low back pain we recommend a few tips to alleviate acute pain: 

  • Heat and/or ice treatments
  • Exercise, stretching techniques
  • Over-the-counter therapies such as Omron’s drug-free electroTHERAPY Pain Relief unit. Begin managing pain in about 15 minutes.
  • Always consult your healthcare provider (physical therapist, chiropractor, or physician) about your pain and therapy, especially if after four weeks your acute pain has not lessened.

Electrotherapy Treatment
Omron’s electroTHERAPY Pain Relief unit is the first product of its kind to be available nationally at major retail chains.  It is an over-the-counter product which uses Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) technology to deliver gentle, massage-like pulses for on-the-spot pain relief.   An effective drug-free pain relief method, electrotherapy is commonly used by physical therapists to treat muscle and joint pain.

“Electrotherapy has proven effective in physical therapy for more than 30 years,” said Dr. Jeffrey Mannheimer , a physical therapist on the forefront of electrotherapy research. “The effect of such therapy is immediate, repeatable, and drug-free, making it an alternative choice for chronic and acute pain relief.” 

The Omron electroTHERAPY unit is sold across major drug retailers such as CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid and other retailers in the pain products area as well as online retailers such as,, and

The Great Garden Makeover Sweepstakes
Omron is focused on helping people reach their lifestyle goals, which is why they have partnered with gardening expert and author Melinda Myers to host Omron’s Great Garden Makeover Sweepstakes. Visit before June 22 and enter the sweepstakes for a chance to win $5,000 towards your dream garden, plus a one-hour free garden consultation with Melinda.  Additional prize packs will be given away weekly which include Omron’s electroTHERAPY Pain Relief unit, replacement pads and Melinda’s Garden Moments DVD. 

For additional tips on gardening and managing lower back and joint pain, visit

About Omron Healthcare, Inc.
Omron Healthcare, Inc., is a leading manufacturer and distributor of personal wellness products. Omron’s market-leading products include home blood pressure monitors, fitness solutions, such as pedometers and heart rate monitors, and electrotherapy devices. In our connected and digital world, consumers want to accurately monitor and track certain aspects of their day-to-day health on- and offline. Omron products provide accurate health information that support positive lifestyle changes and can be shared with friends, family and health professionals. For more information, visit

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SOURCE Omron Healthcare, Inc.


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Pest management tips for the garden

Now is a good time to start thinking about pest control for your home vegetable garden.

You can control pest problems, and perhaps prevent future difficulties, in your garden by doing some advance planning and following a few simple Integrated Pest Management practices. IPM promotes minimal pesticide use and emphasizes use of all available pest control methods including cultural, mechanical and biological practices to prevent pest problems.

Examples of the IPM approach include using plants with natural disease tolerance or resistance, using mulch to control weeds or row covers to prevent insect damage and using naturally occurring organisms such as lady beetles or praying mantis.

Sanitation is another good IPM practice. Keep your garden well-groomed during active growth. Once you spot diseased plant material, remove it immediately to keep diseases from spreading. Also, promptly remove vegetable plants when they cease to be productive. Although you should clear out unproductive vegetable plants from the garden area, you can add this plant material to a compost pile.

Before you buy seeds, plants or fertilizer, start your garden off right by answering these questions.

Have you taken a soil sample to determine if soil fertility and acidity/alkalinity will meet plants’ nutrient requirements?

Soil test results will let you know how much fertilizer is required to provide plants with needed nutrients, while preventing excessive use that contributes to groundwater, stream and lake pollution. Plants that are stressed or weak from insufficient nutrients or a pH that’s too low or too high are more susceptible to disease and can’t readily tolerate insect damage. To give your plants a healthy start, soil test and apply the fertilizer and other amendments according to the recommendations.

Do you plant your garden crops in the same spot year after year?

Crop rotation can help prevent insect and disease build-ups. For example, potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes and peppers are subject to the same insect and disease problems. Therefore, none of these crops should be planted in the same location more than every three consecutive years. After three years, switch to a different crop like beans or corn. If you have limited garden space, plant some vegetable plants in containers such as large pots or half whisky barrels as a form of crop rotation.

Make a diagram of your garden each year to avoid planting the same or closely related crops in exactly the same spot too frequently.

How do you select a vegetable plant variety?

Whether you are planting corn or tomatoes, check to see that the variety you are planting has some disease resistance or tolerance. For example, select tomato varieties labeled “VFN,” as they’re resistant to Verticillium Wilt, Fusarium and root-knot nematodes. Whereas, a tomato variety leveled “V” is only resistant to Verticillium Wilt.

Do you buy the cheapest transplants?

When it comes to transplants, the best buys are the healthy ones. A healthy transplant was seeded at the right time, grown at the proper temperature and received adequate light and moisture. It will have a compact growth structure with very small distances between leaves. The leaves will be dark green, large and upright with no tendency to droop. Stems will be pencil thick and rigid.

Avoid transplants that are beginning to produce flowers or fruit. It might seem that buying a plant with blooms or fruit will give you a head start in the garden. However, plants trying to produce fruit or flowers are slow to develop the good root systems needed to support later fruit production. Never buy plants that have insects present or are showing disease symptoms.

Do you plan to use mulch in your garden?

Mulch helps prevent weeds that will decrease your garden’s production by competing with the vegetable plants for water, nutrients and sunlight. In addition, some weeds harbor diseases and insects that attack vegetable plants. Mulch also helps conserve soil moisture.

Several types of commercial mulch are available, or you can use newspapers for the mulch. Start with five to eight layers, adding more layers as the newspapers decompose to prevent weed growth throughout the growing season. Be sure to use only newspapers printed with soy-based ink and avoid using the glossy inserts.

If you have other gardening questions contact the Harlan County Cooperative Extension Service at 573-4464..

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability or national origin.

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Garden Exhibitors Will Create “Zen-ful” Inspirations at the 2013 Newport …

Exhibitors Prepare an Asian Awakening at the 18th Annual Newport Flower Show


Newport, RI (April 23, 2013) – With the theme Jade: Eastern Obsessions, the 18th annual Newport Flower Show will take visitors on an exotic tour of Far Eastern traditions and beauty. From June 21 – 23, the expansive front lawn of Rosecliff will once again be filled with breathtaking garden displays, offering inspiration and insight for those looking to add color and charm to their own gardens. Six regional landscape companies will transform the historic grounds of Rosecliff into tranquil sanctuaries that reveal the Eastern cultures of India, Thailand, Japan, Korea, Cambodia and China.

Bartlett Tree Experts, Presenting Sponsor of the Newport Flower Show, will provide a selection of Asian trees that will be displayed in planters around the front lawn. Bartlett will also host a special garden pavilion on the front lawn featuring a Chinese moongate and topiary dragon leading guests toward the front door of Rosecliff and the floral, horticulture and photography divisions of the Show. Aardvard Antiques of Newport will provide monumental statuary for areas of the front lawn as well.

Six landscape designers will create individual Eastern-themed gardens throughout the front lawn, each including garden statuary reflecting their country’s theme loaned by Schneible Fine Arts of Shelbourne, VT.

Inspired Design of North Kingstown, RI will create an Indian-influenced garden. Principal Karen Barbera was the winner of the Chairmen’s Award for exceptional design and horticulture in a display garden as well as the Garden Club of America Award of Distinction in Education at the 2012 Newport Flower Show.

Crystal Brinson Horticulturist of Fairhaven, MA, a partnership of Crystal Brinson and Kenneth Jardin, will create a Cambodian garden, with an elephant statue to symbolize the spirit of the Cambodian people, while trees and shrubs within the garden signify the family unit. Crystal Brinson won an Environmental Vision Award at the 2013 Boston Flower Show, the URI Master Gardener Association Sustainable Garden Award at the 2012 Newport Flower Show, and the Mrs. Samuel M.V. Hamilton Award at the 2010 Newport Flower Show.

Magma Design Group, Inc. of Pawtucket, RI will create a garden that reflects the Thai aesthetic of simplicity through the use of stone and planting. It will include a water feature and other stone elements influenced by the Japanese stone cutting technique known as wari modoshi. Neil and Samantha Best founded Magma Design Group in 2005. Together, they have received the Boston Society of Landscape Architects Award at the 2012 Boston Flower Show, the Landscape Design Award from the New England Wildflower Society in 2011, and the Exhibitor’s Choice Award at the 2010 Rhode Island Flower Show, among others.

Miskovksy Landscaping, Inc. of Falmouth, MA, will create a Japanese-inspired garden. Paul Miskovsky’s most recent awards include the People’s Choice Award at the New England Spring Flower Show and the Allen C. Haskell Award for Horticultural Excellence at the 2010 Rhode Island Spring Flower Show.

Verde Garden Designs of Newport, RI will create a tranquil garden taking inspiration from classic Korean gardens while blending a contemporary style and aesthetic. Verde Garden Designs is a landscape design studio and garden shop created by Pam Rodgers.

YardWorks, Inc. of Warwick, RI will bring the beauty and grace of Far Eastern traditions to life through the serenity of a Chinese-inspired garden. In business since 1978, YardWorks is a retail garden center and full-service florist, led by Kevin Fox.

The Newport Flower Show will be open to the public from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, June 21, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, June 22 23. Advance sale and Preservation Society member admission tickets are $18 per person. Tickets sold at the door will be $25 on Friday, $23 on Saturday or Sunday.

Also available by advance purchase through June 7 only is a special “Bring a Friend” ticket for Sunday, June 23, providing 2 adult admissions for $29.

One-day Show tickets for children between the ages of 13 and 17 are $6, and all children 12 and under are admitted free.

Admission to the Opening Night Party is $145 for Preservation Society members and $170 for non-members, if purchased before June 7. After that date, cocktail party admission will be $160 for members and $190 for non-members.

The Luncheon and Lecture series will headline internationally renowned floral artist Hitomi Gilliam on Friday and landscape architect Harriet Henderson on Saturday. Tickets for each Luncheon and Lecture are $80 per person. Lecture-only tickets are available for $40.

Free lectures and demonstrations by noted plant experts, flower designers and gardeners will also be presented throughout the weekend. For more information and to purchase tickets for the Newport Flower Show, visit, or call (401) 847-1000.

Bartlett Tree Experts returns as Presenting Sponsor of the Newport Flower Show, which benefits The Preservation Society of Newport County. Additional sponsors include National Trust Insurance Services, Northern Trust, Brooks Brothers, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Southern New England, Atria Senior Living, United Airlines, BankNewport, Porsche of Warwick, Aardvark Antiques, East Coast Wholesale Flowers, and Design New England magazine.

With Newport’s largest private ballroom, Rosecliff was constructed in 1902 as a party pavilion for one of the leading society hostesses of the Gilded Age. This snow-white terra-cotta mansion, modeled after the Grand Trianon at Versailles, was created for Theresa Fair Oelrichs, heir to the Comstock silver lode in Nevada. It hosted many of the most fabulous entertainments of the period, including a fairy-tale dinner and a party featuring magician Harry Houdini.

All proceeds from the Newport Flower Show benefit the ongoing landscape restoration efforts of The Preservation Society of Newport County, a private non-profit organization accredited by the American Association of Museums and dedicated to preserving and interpreting the area’s historic architecture, landscapes and decorative arts. Its 11 historic properties—seven of them National Historic Landmarks—span more than 250 years of American architectural and social development.

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Raymond Blanc launches competition to design heritage kitchen garden

By Sarah Cosgrove
22 April 2013

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