Wednesday, Jan 26th

Last updateTue, 25 Jan 2022 1pm

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Given this holiday infused season and the potential for squabbles over Thanksgiving turkey, Hanukah latkes or Christmas ham, as well as the advent of the awkward office holiday party (is Michael Scott your boss?), it is an ideal time to introduce a new etiquette column. We invite you to e-mail etiquette questions to, and we will post suggested solutions to your disquieting queries regarding proper (or improper) decorum.

Dear Ms. ePost: My husband and I are both very allergic to dogs. Whenever there is a family gathering at the grandparents’ house, my sister-in-law and brother-in-law bring their dog, in spite of the fact that we have told them numerous times – between sneezes with our itchy eyes watering - that we are allergic. What constitutes correct ‘petiquette’ in this case?
Gone to the Dogs (at Grandma’s house)

Dear Gone to the Dogs: If you haven’t done so already, you could try asking sis- and bro-in-law directly to please leave the dog at home. If they refuse, you have a choice: stay home, or arm yourselves with antihistamines and mountains of tissue. Kibble for thought: perhaps the in-laws value the dog’s company more than that of you and your husband.
Yours truly,
Ms. ePost


Crane’s Pond in Edgemont is covered in an iridescent green slick. The algae has formed a solid film on the water and ducks are having difficulty finding a place to swim. Since the pond is not fed by a spring, the water is stagnant unless it is refreshed by a rainfall.  According to one resident, “this is the worst it has ever been in my 24 years here. Normally we will see weed growth within the pond. But it has never been like this. But then again, we have had a long hot and dry summer.”

What can be done? Mike Nestler the Superintendant of the Parks Department is exploring the possibility of asking the Greenville Fire District to force the algae out of the pond by spraying it with hoses. This was done several years ago when there was a similar algae problem, although by all accounts this year is worse than ever. However, hosing down the pond with water from the hydrants would affect the water pressure, so Nestler needs permission from the Department of Public Works.

In the meantime, go check out the neon pond on Edgemont Road.

The Garden Conservancy will hold their Open Days Program and host tours of three Westchester gardens on Sunday July 25. Participants can explore private gardens in Bedford Hills, Cortlandt Manor, and New Rochelle, as well as the public gardens at the Native Plant Center in Valhalla. No reservations are required and the event will be held rain or shine. To find complete descriptions of the three gardens and driving directions, visit

Visitors may begin at the garden of Phillis Warden, 531 Bedford Center Road, Bedford Hills, 10 am to 4 pm; where directions to the additional gardens will be provided.

The cost is $5 per garden and children under 12 can attend for free.

For more information visit or call The Garden Conservancy toll-free weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, 1-888-842-2442.

Coleus is a versatile foliage plant that is always at your service, With no special requirements other than water and a little pinching as the season progresses, it thrives in partial shade. What's not to love?

Coleus is an exuberant houseplant, a summertime dazzler and a fabulous filler plant suitable for any and all applications. It looks especially wonderful in pots. Place several varieties together or plant them in a low, wide mouth planter with ferns. Try them in a shady plant bed alongside perennial Ladies Mantle or beneath larger plants such as the weeping blue atlas cedar.

Coleus sports a wide range of leaf types, colors, and color patterns. Some of my favorites are purple Coleus 'Kiwi Fern' and a pink coleus called Pink Chaos. This 18 inch high plant has long weeping leaves of iridescent pink, mint green and cream. It can tolerate some sun although a location with morning sun and afternoon shade is best. Here it is, planted it in a flowerbed along with double impatiens, angelonia, euphorbia 'Diamond Frost” and it also looks great in pots with grasses and flowers. There are so many types of coleus that you can plant a vibrant coleus garden in a rainbow of colors in a shady corner of your garden. See more photos of coleus varieties at HMAplants.

This post is taken from Landscaper Jan Johnsen’s garden blog, Serenity in the Garden, which is devoted to creating harmony, simplicity and peace in the landscape.


Jan Johnsen
Johnsen Landscapes and Pools
PO Box 1011
Mt Kisco, NY 10549
914 - 666-4190

Landscape architect Carolyn Summers has been designing outdoor spaces locally with native plants for years, including her own gorgeous garden in Hastings-on-Hudson. She is an adjunct professor at Westchester Community College and the author of Designing Gardens with Flora of the American East. Her book is a complete guide to the use of eastern native plants in the garden and how to design landscapes with native trees, shrubs and ground covers.

Ms. Summers will give a free talk at the Scarsdale Library on the evening of June 9th when she will present present a slide show on indigenous plants as an integral part of a healthy landscape. She will offer a selection of striking design alternatives using native plants in place of more commonly used exotics in a variety of traditional styles. Her book, Designing Gardens with Flora of the American East will be available for purchase.

Free Admission
Wednesday June 9
7:30 p.m.
Scarsdale Public Library Scott Room

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