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Archives for November 23, 2016

Los Altos woman turns family business into landscaping powerhouse

John Gachina spent decades in landscaping and nearly 30 years building Gachina Landscape Management from the roots up before passing away from cancer at the end of 2015.

The company he started with two employees out of his Cupertino home had expanded to more than 300 since he founded the company in 1988. The Gachinas moved to Los Altos – near Santa Rita School – in the mid-1990s. His wife, H. Jaclyn Ishimaru-Gachina, took over soon after his passing.

“I wanted to maintain the legacy my husband wanted and pass it on to my two sons,” Ishimaru-Gachina said from the company’s Menlo Park office. “I had supported him and I knew generally about the industry; I had a working knowledge of it and the company.”

This year, the San Francisco Business Times named Gachina one of its top 20 women-owned companies and top 10 minority-owned companies in the Bay Area. Ishimaru-Gachina, president and CEO of Gachina, oversees 370 employees as well as a management team comprised of men and women from the Bay Area, New Jersey, El Salvador and Italy. Last week, Gachina won two Grand National Awards from the National Association of Landscape Professionals.

Ishimaru-Gachina made sure that the managers for the two projects – a private estate in Los Altos Hills and the Rosewood Sand Hill hotel – received their due.

“I flew them out to Louisville for the awards,” she said. “Winning awards and growing the business only happens because I have a phenomenal team.”

Building a business on service

When Ishimaru-Gachina took over in early 2016, the first thing she did was seek buy-in from her employees. Rumors of a buyout surrounded Gachina, so she went to each of the four branches to ensure that everyone knew she was not going anywhere.

“I jumped in with both feet,” she recalled. “I can’t ask you to step up if I don’t step up.”

Her goal was to keep the company moving and retain institutional knowledge.

“If I had a mass exodus, there’s no way this could have happened,” she said. “I had buyers left and right. The easiest thing would have been to sell. ”

Ishimaru-Gachina said other landscaping companies were supportive rather than trying to poach her staff.

“I have had tremendous support from John’s peers,” she said. “Even though we are competitors, I have a good relationship with them.”

Ishimaru-Gachina inherited a business in transition. Her husband used organic compounds and beneficial pests to manage landscapes in an environmentally responsible way. For the last few years of John’s life, the company worked with area businesses to install food gardens and beehives on private land. At the JobTrain employment agency in Menlo Park, students at the culinary school use vegetables grown on-site.

“Some of those students had never been exposed to that,” Ishimaru-Gachina said.

21st-century landscapes

Ishimaru-Gachina calls climate change “the new reality” and works with clients and her management team to build landscapes that will last. Cristina Prevarin, plant healthcare manager and one of the five women on Gachina’s 10-person management team, went into detail.

“We want to make sure plants thrive,” Prevarin said. “When plants suffer a drought, they get weaker.”

One of the ways to help plant life during a drought is to increase biodiversity: less turf and more flowers.

“We are introducing wildflowers, bee habitats and butterflies,” Prevarin said. “Pollinators help us – we don’t use pesticides with wildlife.”

Chad Sutton, Gachina’s water resource manager, discussed the company’s project at Stanford University’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

“We helped take out over 25,000 square feet of turf,” said Sutton, noting that they removed the grass and replaced it with drought-resistant shrubs and wildflower mixes.

According to company officials, that switch saved 15 million gallons of potable water from 2013 to 2015 on the 426-acre site. Approximately 12 million gallons, or 80 percent, came from irrigation savings alone.

“It was a really huge success,” Sutton said. “We really were the pioneers, and one of the first to take advantage of (Gov. Jerry Brown’s) rebate program.”

The city of Menlo Park paid $40,000 in rebates to SLAC for a lawn replacement program at its office park.

Promoting business and health

Ishimaru-Gachina’s long-term plan is to turn the company over to her sons when they are ready. Both of them are in their 20s: the older is an account manager at Gachina and the younger a horticulture student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Her employees will be ready for the turnover as well. Ishimaru-Gachina noted that landscaping is a male-dominated business, and 94 percent of her 370 employees are men. After seeing her husband die of prostate cancer, she instituted a new health plan that offers a free wellness checkup and puts all employees who take the checkup into a raffle.

And that is not the only perk of working at Gachina. A honey processing room at Gachina’s Menlo Park office smells like what could only be Winnie the Pooh’s wildest fantasy. In it, honeycombs from Gachina’s on-site beehives are harvested. Employees put the honey into small bottles, distributed to the company’s employees and their families.

“I do believe that if you have trust, it makes the whole company better,” Ishimaru-Gachina said.

For more information, visit

Update: The name of the award-granting institution was corrected to the National Association of Landscape Professionals.

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Alpharetta awards $329K landscape contract

Ruppert Landscape, the successful bidder, will be responsible for mowing, pruning, mulching, leaf and litter removal, weed and pest control, roadside brush mowing, stormwater pond maintenance and other tasks.

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Local landscape firm lifts industry award

A Lisburn based Cameron Landscapes has notched up a unique achievement to win the most coveted award in the industry for a seventh time with a stunning scheme in County Fermanagh.

The firm was presented with the Bog Oak Trophy, the overall award, at the all-Ireland awards ceremony run by the Association of Landscape Contractors in Ireland (ALCI) at Titanic Belfast.

Geoff Cameron picks up the award.

Geoff Cameron picks up the award.

The site comprising of two private gardens blending into its surrounding landscape was designed by Geoff Cameron and described by judge Reg Maxwell as “outstanding”.

The family run business was founded more than 40 years ago and is one of the most successful companies in the design and construction of private gardens.

Now run by Lisburn man Geoff Cameron, it is also at the forefront of the commercial landscaping sector in Northern Ireland with current works underway in the Comber Community Greenway project and the Tropical Ravine restoration project at Botanic Gardens, Belfast.

Geoff said: “We entered two schemes this year, one in the commercial category designed by Gillespies of Glasgow, the Main Contractor was Felix O’Hare Co. Ltd; this won ‘Best Commercial Project’. The other scheme in the private garden category was the eventual winner.

“It’s not every day I get to design and build a garden in such a beautiful part of the world”, set on an elevated site looking across lower Lough Erne. It was a three acre site with massive changes in levels but I knew there was a lot of potential here to produce something special.

“The Garden Centre is key, we are lucky to work with all the best Nursery growers all over Great Britain, Ireland and Europe, constantly buying plants and trees for our commercial and private schemes always looking for special plants to bring home and display in the Garden Centre tempting our customers.

“These plants are essential for focal points and important areas of the garden, having such a wide range of fantastic plants in stock is a definite advantage to my success.”

Despite the success, Geoff can’t take a break as he’s currently undertaking schemes in the Connswater Greenway project, the Tropical Ravine Restoration at Botanic Gardens and the recently opened CS Lewis Square in Belfast.

Geoff added: “Behind all these great schemes is a super team of people both in the landscaping division and in the garden centre.”

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Tips For Winter Gardening – Inside And Out – From Our Local Experts

1 month ago

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Tips for a stunning Thanksgiving table – Journal Gazette and Times

OK, I know, I know. You are probably rolling your eyes right now, saying, “If I had time to do that, I wouldn’t be in a panic!” But the truth is, it just takes seconds to do place cards for your guests, and it pays big dividends. That special step of putting someone’s name above their seat makes them feel treasured, a valued part of the gathering. One year, I grabbed little boxes of chocolates at the grocery store, wrapped them up in brown craft paper and tied on a gift tag bearing each guest’s name. These little brown paper packages tied up with strings did double duty as cute name card holders and fun take-home gifts. You can use just about anything to hold name cards, from fall gourds to pine cones.

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Fast Forward: Prouty Garden hearing, wildfires in the South, Thanksgiving tips

The Fast Forward e-mail newsletter has the news that you need to launch your day. Sign up here.

Good morning … here’s some news and information as you rev up for the day.

What’s it like outside? Clear and cold. Temps in the low 40s; wind chill in the low 20s. A narrow band of snow will move across Massachusetts Thanksgiving morning, so be careful driving. Could get an inch in Worcester, but just a dusting in Boston, and nothing on the Cape, because there’s no bad weather in paradise.


But this will help you warm up: It’s National Espresso Day. Get a deal at Dunkin’. (Note to marketing: Can we sell this spot?)

While you were sleeping: India and Pakistan are mixing it up over the disputed Kashmir region. India shelled several Pakistani villages overnight, saying it was in retaliation for the mutilation of the body of one of their soldiers.

Hey, sport: The Celtics head to Brooklyn where they hope to reprise their season-opening victory over the Nets and win three in a row for the first time this season (7:30 p.m., CSNHD and 98.5 FM). The Bruins led 2-1 in the second period last night against the Blues, but ultimately lost, 4-2. Defenseman Zdeno Chara left the game in that period and didn’t return.

Another Trump video: The president-elect is supposed to release a Thanksgiving message today. The latest surprise is that he supposedly has offered the position of HUD secretary to Ben Carson — according to Ben Carson — because neurosurgeons are well-known to be housing experts. I wonder why Trump would so readily embrace Mitt Romney and so readily reject Kelly Ayotte. Late word is that he has selected South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to be UN ambassador.

Campaigning for public office isn’t the only time you have to eat a lot of food, whether it’s at rubber chicken dinners or county fairs: Winning those elections and being an officeholder also brings its fair share of meals. Today, for example, Governor Charlie Baker has two Thanksgiving dinners — one at Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries in Roxbury at 11:30, followed by a second with mental health patients, workers, and volunteers at Florian Hall in Dorchester at 12:30. Watch the Turkey Ten, guv.


The Friends of Prouty Garden — the tranquil green space at Children’s Hospital beloved as a welcome respite by sick kids and their families — will be back in Suffolk Superior Court at 11 a.m. to try to stop the hospital from destroying the garden as part of its $1 billion expansion. The garden supporters, who lost an injunction request in May, are arguing this time that the hospital didn’t submit required information about alternatives, cost and market impact, and whether the expansion is necessary to serve Massachusetts patients.

Something I didn’t know: Wildfires are raging across 10,000 acres in seven states in the southern Appalachians, including northern Georgia, eastern Tennessee, and the western Carolinas. Much like the wildfires we’re accustomed to in the West, these blazes are being stoked by a severe drought, but may have been sparked by arson. Whole towns have been evacuated, and in Chattanooga alone, more than 200 people have ended up at the hospital with breathing trouble. Scientists say to get used to it: Climate change means that droughts in the region are more frequent and last longer.

Another organization has tried the Mannequin Challenge: Mass. General’s Youth Scholars, who struck a pose at an after-school yoga practice at the Benson-Henry Institute. Check out their work here. Even the Medal of Freedom winners did the challenge at the White House.

Speaking of challenges, you jumped at the chance to describe #HolidayDinnerInThreeWords. Here are your ideas:

Bruce Black: One more plate!

Burlington Mall Frank: TrumpFreeZone

Ronald White: I’m freaking stuffed!

Andrea Frank: #MoreWinePlease

Sharon Gamache: EatSilentRetreat

Michael Brady: Stuffed with WHAT???

Joe McCarthy: Pass the wine

Margaret Hunt: Tofurkey this year!

Lauren Thomas: Ideally: 1. Don’t go home

Much better to:

2. Eat with friends

And if you can’t …

3. Vow of Silence

Gary Sanborn: Zip thy lip

John Rossi: More turkey please!

Francis J. Arsenault: Make it vegetarian

Andrew Martino: Turkey named Trump

Sharona Nelson: #TrumpFreeZone

Peter Howe: Nobody say, “Trump.”

jackolester: Dark Meat Matters!

Jordan Doucette: More wine please

Finally, here’s some Thanksgiving-related news, tips, and hilarity that I hope will make your holiday a bit more interesting.

Leave for your destination early.

Here’s how to wriggle out of a contentious political discussion.

If arguments break out anyway, hire a mobile moderator.

Watch a Thanksgiving marathon on TV.

Or consider the hardships faced by the original Pilgrims, and remember how good we have it. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.

Everyone enjoys Thanksgiving.

Fast Forward is taking a long weekend, so no newsletter Friday. Have a fantastic Thanksgiving, and if you’re traveling, be safe. Thanks for reading. If you’re so inclined, please follow me on Twitter: I’m @BostonTeresa. See you Monday.

Fast Forward this to your friends or tell them to stop sponging off you and sign up for their own copy.

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HOME & GARDEN: Tips for eating healthy over the holiday season

By Candi Merritt
USU Extension certified nutrition education assistant

The average American will consume about 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day when the pre-meal party, the actual dinner and dessert, then evening leftovers are all taken into account. That is enough to gain a pound or two, which can be remedied, but how many more days like this will there be?

Actually, there is the potential for quite a few as the holidays approach: Thanksgiving weekend, family holiday parties, work holiday parties, neighborhood/church holiday parties, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Christmas week, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. In addition to extra meals and calories is the fact that activity levels generally taper off during the holidays. The combination of overeating and not much exercise has the potential to provide weight gain that is often not lost, and year after year, a few more pounds continue to be added to the tally.

It is possible to get through the holidays, however, without gaining weight and being mad at yourself in January. Consider these 10 tips for healthy holiday eating.

1) Eat what you love and leave what you like. You don’t have to eat everything that is put in front of you. Make careful choices and stick with the foods you enjoy most. Don’t select foods that aren’t your favorite just because they are there.

2) Go to gatherings to gather, not to eat. Focus on enjoying those you are with, not the food.

3) Fill your plate with 80 percent healthy foods, and save the other 20 percent for dessert or treats.

4) Skip the punch and eat the cake. You’ll likely enjoy eating your calories more than drinking them.

5) Don’t save up for later. It doesn’t make sense to starve all day because you have a party that night. You will likely end up consuming more because you are so hungry. Eat light, but don’t skip meals.

6) And especially, don’t skip breakfast. It is the most important meal since it fuels your body as you start the day.

7) Pack the snacks. Keep healthy snack choices available when you’re on the run so you don’t overeat at mealtimes.

8) Follow the three-bite rule. People seem to most enjoy the first and last bites of what they eat, so put a bite in between and call it good after three.

9) Don’t skimp on sleep. Being tired and cranky won’t be good for anyone during the holidays.

10) Drink water. Staying hydrated during the hustle and bustle will help you feel your best and will also help you not feel so hungry when you get to the table.

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Diana Balmori, visionary landscape designer, dies at 84

Diana Balmori, a visionary landscape designer who saw her theories of ecologically driven urban design widely adopted in her field, died Nov. 14 in New York City. She was 84.

The cause was lung cancer, said her son Rafael Pelli.

As an academic and author, Ms. Balmori spent much of her career railing against the idea that ­landscape architecture served simply to beautify buildings, ­saying instead that it was the primary ­discipline for addressing the woes of urban development in the 21st century.

Challenges such as climate change, rising sea levels and extreme weather required landscape architects fundamentally to rethink design approaches, she argued. “It wasn’t just about putting nature in the city; the city had to work like nature does,” said her colleague Noemie Lafaurie-Debany.

Ms. Balmori established a New York-based firm — Balmori Associates — that put her theories into practice in high-profile projects around the world. The most famous was the creation of a new federal city in South Korea in Sejong City, 75 miles south of Seoul. Here, Ms. Balmori and her colleagues designed a community of buildings linked by a 2.5-mile-long Sky Park of rooftop gardens and paths.

Diana Balmori worked with Robert Smithson on the Floating Island that traveled around Manhattan. (Balmori Associates)

Other projects include a 15-mile linear park that traverses, in part, New Haven, Conn.; Beale Street Landing Park, several platforms next to the Mississippi River in Memphis; and a green neighborhood that has transformed the old industrial port of Bilbao, Spain.

Ms. Balmori previously worked in the New Haven office of her husband, the architect César Pelli, and continued projects with the firm. She collaborated more recently with her son Rafael Pelli, also an architect with Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, on the Solaire condominium complex in Battery Park City in Manhattan and Sao Paulo Corporate Towers in Brazil.

In her work, Ms. Balmori stressed that by starting with the landscape rather than the architecture, a city was better equipped to deal not just with ecological challenges but also societal ones. Her concept for the greening of Washington’s 11th Street Bridge over the Anacostia River, for example, was conceived to mitigate neighborhood gentrification, Lafaurie-Debany said. (Her bid was not chosen.)

For younger landscape ­architects and urban planners, Ms. Balmori was a pioneer of ecological design and thinking. Another unrealized project of Ms. Balmori’s was for a large floating island in St. Louis that would have given the city precious river real estate while handling changing river levels.

“I’ve been in the office for 18 years, and I remember at school we were looking at things Diana was already doing,” said Javier Gonzáles-Campaña, who now heads Balmori Associates with Lafaurie-Debany.

They attribute much of Ms. Balmori’s creative originality to her upbringing by artistic parents.

Diana Balmori was born in ­Gijon, Spain, on June 4, 1932. Her mother, Dorothy Ling, was a ­musician from England, and her father, Clemente Hernando Balmori, was a Spanish linguist. The family left for England during the Spanish Civil War and later resettled in Argentina, where the Balmori patriarch taught at the National University of Tucuman. It was there, as a student, that Ms. Balmori met her future husband. With ­Pelli, she emigrated to the United States in 1952.

An overview of land and architecture mixing at an extensive Balmori project in Bilbao, Spain. (Bilbao Ria 2000 /Balmori Associates)

Ms. Balmori earned a doctorate in urban history at the University of California at Los Angeles in 1973 before she and her husband settled on the East Coast. One of her heroes was the pioneering landscape architect Beatrix Farrand, the principal designer of the garden at the Dumbarton Oaks property in Washington. In one of several books written or co-written by Ms. Balmori, she examined the campus designs of Farrand at Yale, Princeton and other universities.

Ms. Balmori was a senior fellow at Dumbarton Oaks and, though not a registered landscape architect, a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects. She also taught at the Yale School of Architecture and the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

With two colleagues, she co-wrote a book in 1993 railing against what she called America’s “ecologically insane” fixation with lawns. The book, “Redesigning the American Lawn,” was at least 10 years too early to gain notice, she said. She once told an interviewer that “if I had to criticize myself, it’s that I’ve been doing it before the time was right.”

Besides her husband, survivors include two sons, Rafael Pelli and Denis Pelli, both of New York City, and two grandchildren.

Ms. Balmori was also an artist who frequently sketched the skyline around her SoHo office.

One of her favorite collaborations was the creation in 2005 of a floating garden designed in part by the land artist Robert Smithson, which was towed around Manhattan. Another, smaller version was conveyed on the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn last year.

“She saw landscapes as a ­profound formal art,” Rafael Pelli said. “She saw this dimension of change that’s really unique to that form of art.”

Part of the change is the growth and seasonal cycles of plants, he said, but her work also sought to change how we viewed nature and the built environment. “She was so interested in issues of sustainability and how we think of nature, that there is this other aspect of change,” he said.

Read more Washington Post obituaries

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Experiment or Trial and Error—A way to think about gardening

You don’t need to be a scientist to experiment in your garden. We learn by experimenting as well as by trial and error.

While an experiment suggests a designed controlled approach, trial and error implies an unmanaged process.

At university research centers and experiment stations horticulturalists carry out carefully designed field trials. For example, researchers plant selected seeds and cultivars to compare their growth, yield, heat tolerance, cold hardiness and such. Weather, soil, pests, diseases and plant stock are other areas scientists may focus on in their trials. They record observations and results.

They find that certain plants may do well in a site one year and not the next, or even some years and not others. The results of trials can be skewed by a hurricane, drought, ice storm or other unexpected weather extreme or event.

All this sounds like the variety of forces that affect our home gardens, doesn’t it?

As scientists work to develop the best plants and information that will ultimately aid home gardeners we can find answers to questions with our own trial and error gardening that is specific to our backyard patches of earth.

Basic gardening principles underlie gardening success—the right plant in the right place, for example. Full sun, 6 – 8 hours per day, is available morning through midday or midday through late afternoon. The sun’s intensity changes with the time of day. Some otherwise sun loving plants fade under high heat combined with intense sun. It’s an easy test to find the best exposure for a plant to thrive. Using two like cultivars grow one in morning-midday sun and the other in midday-afternoon sun (same soil, water and fertilizer) to determine a difference.

To establish a garden we must learn what plants will do well in the new environment. Part of the process is trial and error, even for experienced gardeners. Sometimes overused plants turn out to be the most reliable—that’s likely why they are commonplace. When you try a lesser known plant it is often worthwhile to grow it for a season (in the ground or in a pot) before you commit to it. Trials like this save money over time and ultimately help grow a flourishing garden.

Design rules tell us to plant like ornamental annuals and perennials in a drift or groups of three, five, seven, nine or eleven of kind. It doesn’t much matter when you’re buying inexpensive annuals. However, when buying expensive perennials you might want to test just one or three plants of a selected variety to monitor during their their first growing season. Beware committing too quickly to a number of expensive perennials. A trial season or year takes some patience, but it can be worth the wait, especially if the plant does not perform as hoped.

Based on hang tag information if a new cultivar that should grow well in a specific spot fails to thrive, move it to a different location that you judge suitable. If it does badly or dies so be it. You won’t waste your money on that plant again.

Charts detailing companion plant combinations in vegetable gardens are readily available. Generations of home gardeners’ trials and errors and observations are the basis for the plant parings. Plants do react to one another chemically, physically and biologically. Science has done research that affirms a number of relationships, both beneficial and detrimental. However, many other pairings are still without scientific basis. Satisfy your curiosity about combinations by dividing your crop and growing one part with and one without a designated companion plant. You can do this directly in a garden or in pots.

To make the most of garden trials make a few notes. Did we experience a drought, hurricane, excessive heat and humidity or another weather extreme? How did the plants handle the stress? Compare results from year to year.

Back yard trials don’t need to be rigorous like a scientific experiment to provide an interesting learning experience. You’ll likely find that your gardening endeavors will pique your curiosity and lead you to design new trials.

Reach Debbie Menchek, a Clemson Master Gardener, at

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Longtime New Haven resident, landscape architect Diane Balmori dies; wife of Cesar Pelli

NEW HAVEN Diana Balmori, an internationally recognized landscape architect, is remembered by friends and colleagues for her inspiring designs and teamwork.

She died Nov. 14 in Manhattan. She was 84.

Balmori may have had a global presence, but she was well known locally.

The landscape architect was among those who saw the possibilities of creating a linear trail along the abandoned Farmington Canal rail line.

Joy Ford, a former deputy director at the New Haven City Plan Department, said Balmori was responsible for bringing together various groups that saw it to fruition.

One of the most popular recreational attractions in the area, the trail will soon be connected to the terminus of the original canal in New Haven Harbor where there will be a new boathouse for educational and water activities .

Balmori created landscaping along the section of the trail from Trumbull to Prospect streets at the Yale Engineering building, a limestone covered structure that was designed by her husband, Cesar Pelli.

Balmori devoted her career to integrating landscape and the built environment.

Born in Spain and raised in Argentina, Balmori came to the United States in 1952 with Pelli, who went on to become a world-renowned architect and former dean of the Yale School of Architecture.

Trained as an architect in Argentina, she earned a degree in urban history at UCLA in 1973, according to the New York Times.

She started a department of landscape architecture at her husband’s firm in 1980 and founded her own company, Balmori Associates in 1990.

The comments about Balmori recognized her creativity, but also her warmth and ability to develop deep friendships while leaving behind examples of her work around the world.

She developed a master plan for Bilboa, Spain, creating a park system at the port. She provided landscaping for Sejong City in South Korea, and last year Balmori put a “floating landscape in the Gowanus Canal,” the Times reported.

“Not only was she a dear friend, but we have had the daily pleasure of living with one of the beautiful gardens she designed,” said Jane Levin, wife of former Yale President Richard C. Levin.

Laura Clarke, executive director of Sight Projects in New Haven, remembered her as someone who did the hard work of organizing the teams necessary to bring a project from conception to reality.

She said one of her ideas, inspired by Europe, was a light rail system in downtown New Haven organized around the old trolley lines.

“She would get so excited about her work,” Clarke said.

Carole Brodus lived next door to Balmori and Pelli for close to 20 years.

“Diana was one of a kind: a creative genesis who made everything better and more interesting, whether landscape, art or relationships. She has a wonderful sense of humor and always made one feel that they were the one who had something to offer; yet it was always she who did,” Brodus said.

Mary Beth Bowerman said she was hired as Balmori’s personal trainer in 1986 and over the years on their walks through New Haven they became great friends.

“She appreciated me for my healthy influence and I admired her for so graciously welcoming, supporting and encouraging me,” said Bowerman, who became Balmori’s personal assistant.

Paul Butkus, a landscape architect, said he first worked with Belmori in the spring of 1994 in what was supposed to be a short commitment for her presentation on the Gwynns Falls Trail in Baltimore, Md.

“What was intended as only a couple of weeks of work turned into 10 years and only ended when Diana moved the office to New York,” wrote Butkus in an email.

“Diana had a remarkable ability to see the potential (sometimes hidden) in those she hired. She surrounded herself with many extremely talented people and with Diana’s keen critical skills the office was able to create very unique and successful projects,” Butkus wrote.

On a personal level, Butkus said Balmori’s sense of style always took precedence over practicalities, which included inappropriate but impressive footwear on the muddy site of Reagan National Airport, which she had been hired to landscape.

Butkus said Balmori was continually reinventing herself as a designer, author, educator, artist and critic.

She developed a master plan for Bilboa, Spain, creating a park system at its port, according to the Balmori Associates website. Balmori provided landscaping for Sejong City, a new government center in South Korea, and last year put a prototype “floating landscape” in the Gowanus Canal.

There will be a memorial service for Balmori at Battell Chapel, 400 College St., at 3 p.m. Nov. 27 with a reception to follow at The Graduate Club across the street..

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