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Archives for October 21, 2015

Who wouldn’t want to take a chopper from downtown Pittsburgh to the airport? – Pittsburgh Post

Pittsburgh didn’t need an international airport to have ideas on conquering the skies or entertain sky-high ambitions.

The Steel City dwellers loved to fly and it showed. In March of 1929, ex-navy pilot James G. Condon and Theodore Taney with financial backing from department store owner Oliver M. Kaufmann organized Pittsburgh Airways Inc.

Perceived as a wild ambition at the time, the new company started a passenger service on November 1, 1929 between Pittsburgh’s Bettis Field and New York, with a stop in Philadelphia. It was the first passenger line spanning the Alleghenies.

By today’s standards there was nothing impressive about it: The airline’s two six-seat monoplanes carried only 30 passengers in the first two months of operation and flew only 3,500 miles. In 1930, by popular demand, the company started daily service to New York.

Even Pittsburgh women were into planes and skies and aviation. Imagine that. How could anyone imagine them having such non-ladylike proclivities?

“Every day sees the women more air-minded,” a reporter for the Post-Gazette wrote in 1929. “Not only do they flock to the fields when flying weather is good but they attend aviation exhibits and listen with interest to pilots’ talk of aviation.” That Amelia Earhart… What was she thinking?

Social commentary aside, these were exciting times for aviation in Pittsburgh but Pittsburgh Airways was doomed. The company tried to obtain a contract on the mid-continent line, tried to win an airmail contract and failed. After a year of operation the company dissolved.

Thirty-two years later, a company with the same name made the news in Pittsburgh — it was a different company, with an equally novel concept. Pittsburgh Airways proposed a heliport on the Monongahela River.

Why? Because Pittsburgh Airways believed that there was demand for quick commute from Downtown Pittsburgh to Greater Pittsburgh Airport and County Airport and that “the helicopter fares would be competitive with taxi fare.” Back then taxi fare ran from $3.50 to 4.

To make regular helicopter service from the Golden Triangle to major airports possible, Pittsburgh Airways asked City Council to approve the leasing of some 160 feet of the Monongahela Wharf.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette described the plans thusly: “Some 40 flights are planned for each week day, with flights running every 20 minutes during peak periods. Flying time from the Downtown heliport to Greater Pittsburgh Airport would be eight minutes. It would be five minutes to County Airport.”

Pittsburgh City Council gave its blessing for a new heliport on the river, which was installed on a floating structure (as pictured above) on the north bank of the Mon at the foot of Wood Street. The structure had a built-in snow-melting service. It even had a professional gardener named Mrs. Ann Vough landscaping the heliport.

Landscape designer for heliport

Pittsburgh’s heliport, the first in the country, started its regular service on July 30, 1962. But the project was not meant to live. A launch party with fanfare and ads at the Post-Gazette didn’t help the heliport. Very few customers. High operating cost. The inability of Pittsburgh Airways Inc. to attract additional investments to promote the heliport resulted in shareholders’ vote in November of 1963 to merge, liquidate or sell the corporation. “We have no money to continue our operation” was the verdict.

“We tried hard to bring a new form of transportation here, but there was no acceptance,” president of the board of directors David E. Mackey said at the time.

So much for shooting for the stars.

A take-away lesson: If you are thinking of starting a Pittsburgh company with sky-related ideas, do not name it “Pittsburgh Airways.”

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Washington: Does IT get IT?

With help from David Pittman (@David_Pittman) and Arthur Allen (@arthurallen202)

WASHINGTON – DOES IT GET IT?: That’s the question asked by our own David Pittman, after hearing a variety of mostly negative opinions from hospital CIOs and the like. A lot of people in health IT – even those who formerly worked for the government, like David Muntz – feel that the appendages of the federal government don’t quite seem to grasp the anthills they overturn while doing the regulatory landscaping.

Story Continued Below

Marc Probst, a six-year member of the Health IT Policy Committee and CIO of Intermountain Healthcare, says stage 3 is “destined to fail” and “I don’t think it’s going to do anything other than waste people’s time and energy.”

The government is “more slow to react than tone deaf,” said Pam McNutt, the CIO of Methodist Health System in Dallas.

And so on. Government officials like Mike McCoy (and just-departed officials like Jodi Daniel) give a valiant effort to defend government actions, but naturally acknowledge there are some flaws. Subscribers can read the defenses (and even more slams) here:

ROCK HEALTH GOES TO D.C.: Speaking of dialogue between innovators and entrepreneurs, early-stage investor Rock Health and some of its portfolio companies – including firms like Omada Health – came to meet some folks and press the flesh. That included some private entities, like MedStar, but also members of the public sector, like HHS’s Susannah Fox, and staff from CMS and Sen. Mark Warner’s office.

(No prizes if you guessed “interoperability” was mentioned once or twice.)

eHealth tweets of the day: Ben Bajarin @BenBajarin Interesting research from Morgan Stanley. Today 16% CIOs surveyed offer subsidies on a wearable. 24% plan to introduce in next year.

This is key in thinking about upside for Apple Watch, and even Fitbit. Corp helps offset cost for health benefits.

TODAY IS WEDNESDAY, AND ISN’T IT GREAT?: Your correspondent, being an inveterate cold-hater, is downright giddy at the weather’s defiance of seasonal temperature trends. (It’s possible to travel outside without a jacket…sometimes!) Commiserate with him about how cold weather is the worst at Contact us on social media @David_Pittman, @arthurallen202, @DariusTahir, @POLITICOPro, @Morning_eHealth.

DATA LIBERATION STILL ON AGENDA: The notion that more data should be more liquid is still popular with policymakers, yesterday’s trip to US News’s Hospital of Tomorrow conference revealed.

— Rep. Kevin Brady – the chair of Ways and Means’s Health subcommittee – embraced freeing up more data. He said of quality reporting programs: “My sense is the government, we demand tons of data [and] information, and then provide little insight to providers – the one or two years later when they see that information. So I think we can do a better job there.”

But Brady isn’t quite sure exactly what to do, saying, “We’re aggressively looking for ideas.”

— Meanwhile, CMS acting administrator Andy Slavitt continued to thunder against malign data blockers: “[W]e can’t make progress if we still have problems moving data from point A to point B … Data blocking will not be tolerated.” (Interestingly, Slavitt’s anger was directed at vendors, though CMS and ONC have, at times, noted that providers are sometimes blockers of data.)

— Slavitt also emphasized that the quality-reporting measures that vex doctors so are being simplified; he said the agency is in the process of aligning its reporting measures with insurers, to make sure different payers are asking the pipers to play the same tune.

SENATE TAKES UP CISA: The Senate is expected to debate and work on the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, a bill supported by HIMSS, CHIME, HITRUST and the Federation of American Hospitals, into next week after teeing it up for consideration Tuesday. The bill would create a “neighborhood watch program” for cyber threats, as sponsor Richard Burr put it, providing safe harbors and other incentives to share information with others in your industry. While the bill has bipartisan support, Sen. Ron Wyden has been vocal about privacy issues, noting there’s no way to filter out unrelated, personal information from what’s shared. The manager’s package the Senate Homeland Security Committee worked out has 10 amendments, including Wyden’s measure to require the government to notify people whose personal information was improperly shared. Supporters of CISA say the change could be good for health care since the HITECH-mandated changes to HIPAA have a similar provision for the industry that doesn’t apply to other fields. This would level the playing field, in a way.

Another amendment, from Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray, would assess the cybersecurity of HHS and establish a task force to improve security in health care.

ICD-10: ALL IS WELL!!!!!: Everything is still going well post-apocalypse, the Coalition for ICD-10 assures us in a blog post. It quotes insurers, providers, and so on, making positive noises about how the switchover is going great, agita are minimal, and there aren’t flesh-eating zombies wandering the hallways of your correspondent’s apartment building.

FDA ISSUES REGULATORY SCIENCE PRIORITIES: The FDA issued the device center’s regulatory science priorities for 2016 yesterday. For those of you who don’t drop science (regulatory) on the regular, regulatory science refers to, uh, science that can inform the agency’s regulation and oversight of medical devices (and drugs). (Actually, that’s pretty straightforward.)

Anyway, the agency has software and computers on the brain: it discusses developing more data to track how devices are doing in the field. One good example of that approach was explored in an Oct. 15 blog post by officials from Geisinger Health System, who examined how the controversial Essure device was performing in its patients. The officials used the post to advocate the UDI system, which gives a distinct identifier to each device; it’s something ONC and FDA have been pushing. So your correspondent found it a bit curious that UDI didn’t have a specific shout-out in the priorities; an FDA spokeswoman assures us, however, that it was on the agency’s mind.

The agency also discusses use of more computer modeling to catch risky ideas before they become things, among other cool tech ideas.

But perhaps they’ll only remain cool tech ideas. Epstein Becker Green lawyer Bradley Thompson, who specializes in digital health issues, is a bit skeptical of the rollout. “I wish I could say that I’ve seen these agency research initiatives pay dividends in terms of increasing the speed of FDA review, but I haven’t,” he writes us. Thompson would instead prefer more effort to get guidances out the door.


The Parallel Paths of Healthcare Innovation –

3 physicians face charges, HIPAA violation for using EHR to ‘steal patients’ –

There’s a New Way to Find the Perfect Doctor For You –

OUT TODAY: PAYING FOR IT – THE AGENDA TAKES A DIVE INTO THE PERPLEXING WORLD OF AMERICAN BUDGETING: Congress blew straight through its September budget deadline, passed another temporary funding patch, and is headed toward a fresh round of budget chicken as we approach the debt ceiling yet again. This month’s issue of The Agenda examines our broken budget process, looks at some expert ideas for how to fix it, and explores new revenue ideas — as well as spotlighting DC’s favorite sources of imaginary money. Check out the issue:

Tips, comments, suggestions? Send them along via email to our team: Arthur Allen (, @ArthurAllen202), David Pittman (, @ David_Pittman) and Darius Tahir (, @DariusTahir).

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Boulders from closed Eastern Oregon quarry picked for Portland Japanese Garden …

What’s happening behind those barricades stopping people from accessing the Portland Japanese Garden in Washington Park?

Granite boulders the size of cars are being brought in to make a castle wall and construction cranes are pulling up old maples to move them safely out of the way of the $33.5-million expansion that will change land leading to the entrance of the 52-year-old venue, but not the garden itself.

The Portland Japanese Garden is closed until March, when it will reopen while construction continues through April 2017. The grand opening is projected for Spring 2017.

Plans include adding 3.4 acres to the 9.1-acre property, moving the entry gate to Southwest Kingston Avenue adjacent to the existing parking lot across from the Portland Rose Garden, and constructing a series of buildings, called a Cultural Village, outside the main garden where there once were maintenance buildings and a paved, turnaround driveway.

A 22-foot-tall, Japanese-style castle wall built of Oregon granite will partially enclose the village. A courtyard will be used as a gathering spot and for activities, performances and demonstrations.

There was a deep search to find the hard stones for the 140-foot-long, heavy castle wall, according to garden spokeswoman Claire Foster.

“Oregon is rich in basalt, a type of lava-derived rock which can have an irregular grain and is considered too fragile for larger projects like the Castle Wall, as it might crumble under the wall’s weight,” she says.

The rare source for granite in Oregon is outside Baker City, so garden curator Sadafumi Uchiyama visited a privately managed quarry that has been closed for a century. It was reopened for this special project.

“Several trips to this quarry yielded 1,000 tons of what’s known as Baker City Blue granite, which was named for its fine grain and a slight blue tint,” says Foster.

Rough-hewn blocks of granite were selected by Uchiyama and Suminori Awata, a 15th-generation master stone mason from Japan.

Awata and master masons Matt Driscoll of O’Driscoll Stone and Kyle Schlagenhauf of Green Man Builders will employ the centuries-old ano-zumi technique to construct the curving wall. Instead of mortar, smaller ballast stones will be carefully fitted to join larger foundation stones.

In addition to the wall, the expansion will relocate the gift shop to the village, and add administration offices, a maintenance facility for the gardening staff, art gallery, library and cafe, the first food and beverage service available at the garden.

The plan also includes creating a moss hillside garden, a bonsai terrace and a chabana (natural) garden around the new buildings. A water garden will be added near the new entrance, and trees and other landscaping will line the existing path up the hill to the new village.

Project funds will also be used to develop the education-based International Institute for Japanese Garden Arts and Culture, which will offer classes, lectures, demonstrations and workshops.

When the garden was built in 1963, it had 30,000 visitors. Last year, about 300,000 people came to the garden. Attendance this year reached 350,000, according to a news release.

For his first public commission in the United States, architect Kengo Kuma of Japan designed the new buildings and spaces to continue the ideas of original garden designer Takuma Tono.

Garden curator Uchiyama designed the new gardens and landscaping that will surround the new buildings.

— Janet Eastman

Missing the Portland Japanese Garden’s fall foliage. Here are some road trip ideas to other Japanese gardens.

Send us your photos taken in previous falls and winters at the garden.

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Plant trading groups trade seeds, cuttings and advice

Long-time gardeners and beginners gather monthly at various Inland Empire locations to promote garden “recycling” instead of throwing away garden extras. (Courtesy photo)

Gardeners once relied on the harvesting and sharing of seeds to plant for enjoyment but also for sustenance. Today, instead of talking over fences or putting out curbside baskets, many Southern California avid gardeners gather to socialize and reclaim a little bit of that tradition.

One of the newest groups is the Plant Traders Inland Empire California Garden Trading Community, the brainchild of Robert “Barty” Robarge of Lake Elsinore. It’s a long name for a group with a simple goal — promote gardening and share harvests. What began as a Facebook post eight months ago has turned into a monthly meeting of gardeners. Membership just topped the 2,000 mark, and meetings for the rest of 2015 and most of 2016 are already booked.

“We get together in different cities throughout the Inland Empire and trade or share our extra plants. Not just plants, but everything from seeds, plants and cuttings to even farm fresh eggs,” Robarge said. “We get a lot of beginners who then get to learn from the people who grew the plant. This is a step back to the old days of harvest exchanges.”

Small raffles are conducted to cover some group costs, but the only things exchanged are smiles, advice and garden extras. “We aren’t after making money, just not wanting to have to pull money out of pocket to maintain our community,” he said.

Families are welcome, and so are people without plants.

“We just ask that they bring bottled water or bake something just so they have something to share. They never leave without a pile of new plants. Many in our community are simply sharing the extra trimmings from their yards versus throwing them away,” he said.

Jaime Martinez was one of the first gardeners to show an interest not only in the group but the concept of sharing. The avid Riverside gardener, who once grew about 200 chile plants to sell to people at his work, now trades some of them.

“Well, I traded a lot of my chili plants for other succulent-type plants, some propagated pomegranate trees, and met a lot of people that had great plants, ideas and great personalities. We all have questions and we all have answers, so it’s kind of a network group that helps each other out. We’ve become quite close with some of the members,” said Martinez about himself and girlfriend Adrie Morales.

No group required

Many gardeners routinely share their bounties without the benefit of a group. Barbara Cogswell of Santa Clarita swaps seeds and plants mostly with people she knows as a gesture of friendship.

“Sharing seeds and plants helps to preserve old nonhybrid seeds, lest tomatoes become more and more storable and less and less edible, as an instance,” Cogswell said. “I was once given a few seeds saved for several generations of a Potter Valley friend’s family. They have been lost somewhere in several moves, but that was such a nice idea.”

Elisabeth Wolf, too, does whatever she can to promote native plants.

“I have two best girlfriends who live within a couple of blocks of me. We all love our gardens and all grew up in and around nature. Over the past few years, each has had major landscapers to put in large gardens and complex landscaping. Fancy stuff. I had noticed, however, that neither had milkweed. Among the most important plants we should all be growing was nowhere on their properties,” said the Pacific Palisades woman.

So she gave both gifts of clippings, explaining the connection in the life cycle of Monarch butterflies. “Each time they see Monarchs, they call me, or send me a picture, or zing me a text. And, most importantly, they now give gifts of native milkweed. We are becoming a small Monarch rescue team,” she said.

Mary Montes of West Hills routinely harvests California poppy seeds in the spring and gives them away in the fall. She also has saved numerous California native tree mallow (Lavatera assurgentiflora) saplings from her yard and is willing to share. But the tree’s growth rate can be scary — about 8 feet tall and 8 wide in about two years. She still has seven left. “Know anyone who wants a California tree mallow?”

How to participate

Who: Plant Traders Inland Empire California Garden Trading Community

What: Members and newcomers meet, talk gardening and trade/share seeds/plants

When: Meets monthly. Saturday, Oct. 24, at Canny Knack’s Kaos Farm in Ontario with trading, a potluck and fun children’s activities starting at 12:30 p.m. Future meetings are set for Nov. 8 at Menifee Harmony Ranch, 26760 Corson Ave., Menifee at 2 p.m.; Dec. 6 at 7012 Garden Rose St., Fontana, at 2 p.m.; Dec. 13 at Louie’s Nursery, 27985 Wickerd Road, Menifee, from 1 to 3 p.m.; and Jan. 9 at the Jurupa Mountain Discovery Center, 7621 Granite Hill Drive, Riverside, at 1 p.m.

Admission: Free

Information:; Planttradersie

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Water quality crucial during fall yard waste clean-up

With the changing season comes beautiful fall colors and, along with that, piles of leaves and other yard waste to clean up. The city of Menomonie wants to remind residents what they can do at this time of year to help keep our lake, river and streams clean by properly managing yard waste.

The most effective action homeowners can take is to make sure fallen leaves stay out of the street and don’t wash down the storm drain system.

“People commonly assume that stormwater is treated before being discharged to local waterways like the Red Cedar River. The truth is that many of our older stormwater inlets connect directly to the waterways,” said Randy Eide, Menomonie’s director of public works. “Decaying leaves in our waterways release nitrogen and phosphorus, which can cause nuisance algae growth. The decomposing leaves also rob streams and lakes of oxygen needed to support life.”

One way to make sure leaves don’t pollute area waterways is to compost  leaves into valuable mulch for gardens. Mulch improves soil health and plant productivity. Another option is to spread leaves in garden beds or under shrubs. Rake whole leaves over flower or vegetable beds as a soil nutrient supplement to help reduce weeds.

If your property has too many leaves for use in your garden or landscaping, they can be hauled to the mulch pile at the Solid Waste Site on the west side of the city just off of County Highway P. Or place leaves in a compostable bag and let the city crews pick it up. This year’s leaf pick-up days are on Oct. 26 and Nov. 2. The city’s Solid Waste Site is open on Tuesday and Thursday until 6 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon.

About Rain to Rivers

Communities in western Wisconsin are working together through Rain to Rivers of Western Wisconsin with a goal to educate citizens about stormwater pollution and run-off control. Member municipalities of Rain to Rivers are the cities of Chippewa Falls, River Falls, Eau Claire, Menomonie, Rice Lake and Altoona; the village of Lake Hallie; the towns of Eagle Point, Lafayette, Seymour, Union and Washington; and Eau Claire and Chippewa Counties. Partners in the effort include the UW-Extension Chippewa River Basin Educator, and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

The Rain to Rivers campaign is part of a larger statewide effort to reduce the amount of pollution that is carried to lakes, streams, creeks, rivers and wetlands by stormwater runoff generated in urban areas. Stormwater runoff is rain or snowmelt that runs into local waterways instead of being absorbed into the soil.

As the amount of paved areas increase, stormwater runoff increases. Stormwater runoff carries oil, grease, pet waste, garbage, leaves, sediment and heavy metals, which pollute local waterways.

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Tim Christie, who left corporate life for landscape work, dies at 70

Edward “Tim” Christie left the corporate world at age 45 to become a landscape designer, which allowed him to merge his professional life with his passion for gardening and the outdoors.

The career shift enabled him to do what many of his friends and colleagues believed to be his most important work: supporting his community in Lake Forest. Over the years Christie was on the Historic Preservation Commission, Building Review Board, Zoning Board of Appeals and Plan Commission.

“He was on just about every board and commission that we have,” Lake Forest Mayor Don Schoenheider said. “That itself is a pretty big testament to the commitment he had to the community.

“He was the consummate volunteer,” Schoenheider said. “He was always willing to give of his time and talent and of himself for our community.”

Christie, 70, died of complications with Parkinson’s disease Sept. 27 at ManorCare Health Services Rehabilitation Center in Libertyville, said his brother, John.

Christie was born March 17, 1945, to Jack and Pauline Christie. He grew up in Lake Forest and graduated from Lake Forest High School in 1963.

“He grew up like all the kids did in that time,” his brother said. “We lived in a neighborhood that had just a few houses and a lot of woods around it. It was in that environment that Tim got interested in plants and trees and gardens.”

Christie graduated from Denison University in 1967 and took a job as a communications consultant with Hewitt Associates, now part of Aon Corp., his brother said.

“His strong suit at Hewitt was his ability to convert very technical descriptions of (pension and other employee benefit plans) into words that you and I could understand as beneficiaries of these plans,” John Christie said.

In 1990, Christie left his corporate job to start a landscape and architecture company, The Private Garden.

“He had been working for Hewitt Associates and grew disenchanted with that environment,” said Bruce Birney, a friend of Christie’s since childhood. “He decided he was going to make a career out of what had been a hobby for him.”

As a landscape architect, Christie worked for clients all along the North Shore, first under his own banner, and eventually for other landscapers including Rocco Fiore Sons and Wright Landscaping Inc. He also worked for several years in the late 1990s and early 2000s as an architectural/landscape consultant and property manager for Conway Farms and Middlefork Farms, two large real estate developments in Lake Forest.

Also in the early 2000s, Christie began volunteering at Lambs Farm, a community in Libertyville for adults with developmental disabilities.

Over nearly 15 years, Christie’s pro bono contributions to Lambs Farm included the landscaping of nine group homes, the design of a memorial fountain garden, and the design and establishment of a tribute garden.

“He would find things that we needed to do and then find people to donate,” said Dianne Yaconetti, president and CEO of Lambs Farm. “He would donate his landscape design services, which is often as much as the implementation of the plan.”

Christie preferred native plants and a natural, rather than manicured, style, though he had a particular talent for putting his clients’ needs and idiosyncrasies ahead of his own design sensibilities.

“You would find other landscape designers of his stature that would be annoyed if they couldn’t do something as fancy as they wanted to do because it wouldn’t work here,” Yaconetti said. “He went out of his way to make sure that whatever he did was respectful of our residents.”

Christie leaves no other immediate survivors.

A memorial service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Nov. 23 at First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest.

Dole is a freelance reporter.

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Gardening Tips: Not quite over yet!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015   by: Susan Richards

Although we have had our first small snowfall already, this gardening season is not quite over yet!

As I sit down to write this article, the sun is shining and that white stuff is quickly melting.

However, that is a wake-up call that final fall chore should be tackled as fall days are numbered.

I have had the first freezing temperatures at my house so I will be heading out later this morning to finally pull the annuals out of my containers.

Most of them looked great for the Thanksgiving weekend.

Once the pots are emptied, I will store the ones that won’t take winter weather and get organized for Christmas pots in the ones that are fine outdoors year round.

This is also a good time to re-organize the garden shed too! All products that shouldn’t freeze should be stored indoors.

Leftover potting soil and granular fertilizers can be closed up tightly so moisture doesn’t get in.

Doing these tasks now will ensure that when spring arrives, you are all set to go.

While you are working on the final fall tasks, be sure to keep a notebook handy.

Jot down a list of items you will need so you are organized for your first trip to the garden centre next year.

While things are fresh in your mind, make note of the duds and studs from this season.

I loved the new Cuphea from Proven winners called Vermillionaire.

It was full of tubular shaped orange flowers that hummingbirds absolutely loved!

I used this annual as a filler in my full sun and part sun containers.

It was happy in both spots.

I also really love the Leycesteria ‘Jealousy’ (also called Himalayan Honeysuckle).

It has beautiful golden to chartreuse foliage with a very fine margin of maroon around the newest leaves.

It does flower late in the season but is best used for the beautiful foliage.

This is the second year I have tried Leycesteria so I decided to plant it in all light conditions.

It was o.k. as a background plant in my shade pot but absolutely stellar in the part shade pots and in the garden too.

It tended to need a little more moisture than I could give it in the full sun containers.

It will definitely be a staple in all my part shade areas from now on as I love the brightness that its chartreuse leaves add to the mix.

As an added bonus, the slugs didn’t touch it!

One dud I did have this year was White Summerwing begonia, but its problem with powdery mildew was more due to weather conditions than a poor plant.

By the time I planted last year all that was left was white and they did great in my containers.

This season I planted white, orange and red begonias.

Only the white ones had to be pulled early as they were the first to get mildew.

I know some of you were extremely frustrated with the rampant powdery mildew this season.

The combination of cool nights in July and then hot humid weather later in summer made for a perfect storm for mildew spore growth.

It is a very hard disease to control and best prevented if possible.

You can start spraying susceptible plants with fungicide well ahead of the time powdery mildew typically starts.

Disease is easier to prevent than cure.

Other than notes on plant performance, now is also the perfect time to take measurements, photos and detailed notes for garden planning.

Use all the information you gather to get well organized for next season.

Those long winter nights can be put to good use looking up information on materials for construction and plants that will perfectly suit your area.

There is so much information available at your fingertips from the internet, in catalogues, books, garden magazines and from the library.

Happy planning and we will see you next spring!

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Landscape designers to give presentation at Greenwich garden center



Turns out, there’s a philosophy behind having a beautifully landscaped backyard.

The ecology of site, human ecology and the ecology of architecture are the three systems described by Edmund Hollander and Mayanne Connelly as key to a successful landscaping project.

Hollander and Connelly will give a presentation on their philosophy 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Garden Education Center of Greenwich.

Hollander and Connelly are partners in New York-based Edmund Hollander Design and authors of the new book “The Good Garden: The Landscape Architecture of Edmund Hollander Design.”

Their presentation will be followed by lunch and book signings. Tickets cost $35 for center members and $45 for non-members. Visit or call 203-869-9242.; @SilviaElenaFF

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