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Gardening Articles, Tips and How-tos - Dave's Garden

Welcome to our library of articles, where you can search and browse over 2,000 articles written by our own team of garden writers. Interested in becoming a Dave's Garden writer? Submit an article to apply.

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Perennial Flowers Herbs and Herbalism Vines Spring Gardening
Annual Flowers Cactus and Succulents Invasives and Weeds Summer Gardening
Ornamental Trees and Shrubs Fruits and Berries Wildlife Fall Gardening
Tropical Plants Houseplants Gardening Tips Winter Gardening

Sunday, August 30, 2009

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Cut, pot, repeat: Saving annuals for next year's garden
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Gaze upon those lovely beds of annuals, for which you shelled out the big bucks this spring. Imagine shelling out a few less bucks NEXT spring. It may be possible with the right plants and a minimum of effort and skill.

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Read more articles about:  annual flowers gardening tips frugal gardening propagating plants cuttings

Saturday, August 29, 2009

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You Supply The Caption - Gardening Fun :)
By Dea O'Hopp (Dea)

"You Supply The Caption" photo is a fun opportunity for Readers. A gardening related photo will be presented, and you, the Readers, will provide humorous captions. The wit available on Dave's Garden is some of the best around, so please join in the fun! This feature is not a "for compensation" article - just a way of saying Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoy...now let's hear some funny stuff!

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Read more articles about:  caterpillars YSTC garden humor

Friday, August 28, 2009

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Jane Austen's World of English Gardens
By Lois Tilton (LTilton)

A look at the gardens of the English countryside in the Regency period, through the novels of Jane Austen.

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Read more articles about:  Jane Austen English gardens

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

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Soil (Don't call it Dirt)
By Paul Rodman (paulgrow)

Soil: what is it and how can I improve it? Read on to find out.

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Read more articles about:  soil and composting fungi mycorrhizal fungi worms
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Garden Vignettes: Plants that Look Good Together
By Larry Rettig (LarryR)

Over the past decade, mail order nurseries have begun to offer advice on plant groupings that look particularly good together. They may offer a grouping as a single package for purchase or they may state in their plant descriptions that Plant A would look good paired with Plant B or with Plants B, C, and D. I have found this advice to be very helpful, even when I chose not to purchase the plants from the vendor who recommends a particular grouping. In later years, I began to experiment with my own combinations and would like to share some of them with you.

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Read more articles about:  companion planting garden design and landscaping foliage plants perennial flowers how-to

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

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Home Grown Teas
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

If a productive garden is just as important to you as a beautiful garden, why not add tea herbs to your inventory? Chamomile, spearmint, and lemon balm are some easy plants to start your tea garden with, while more advanced tea enthusiasts can try their hand at Camellia sinensis and Yerba Mate.

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Read more articles about:  herbs Camellias herbal teas mints

Monday, August 24, 2009

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Hardy Hedges for Northern Gardeners
By Lee Anne Stark (threegardeners)

Everybody loves the look of a well trimmed hedge. Living in the north it can be a challenge to find suitable, hardy, hedge plants. Here are a few that will survive our harsh winters.

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Read more articles about:  ornamental trees and shrubs hedges hardiness zones
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Preserving Green, Wax, or Snap Beans: Canning versus Freezing
By Angela Carson (Bookerc1)

If you find yourself with an abundance of fresh beans, whether green or wax, you may be comparing the pros and cons of canning or freezing them. Let me help you clarify some of the issues involved!

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Read more articles about:  beans canning and preserving foods

Sunday, August 23, 2009

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Ferns of Reunion Island
By Jean-Jacques Segalen (jjacques)

Ferns are an important part of the plant kingdom and some of the oldest species; they are often called fossil plants for this reason. They are enjoyed by enthusiasts but often overlooked by gardeners, even though they can be an enjoyable addition to any garden. Some species are strongly present on Reunion Island and we will meet a few of them here.

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Read more articles about:  ferns Reunion island cryptogams

Saturday, August 22, 2009

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You Supply The Caption - Gardening Fun :)
By Dea O'Hopp (Dea)

"You Supply The Caption" photo is a fun opportunity for Readers. A gardening related photo will be presented, and you, the Readers, will provide humorous captions. The wit available on Dave's Garden is some of the best around, so please join in the fun! This feature is not a "for compensation" article - just a way of saying Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoy...now let's hear some funny stuff!

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Friday, August 21, 2009

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Introduction to Staging Succulents and Cacti
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

The following article is a basic step-by-step introduction to staging succulent plants, either for show, sale or personal enjoyment.

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Read more articles about:  cactus and succulents Cacti flower shows container gardening bonsai

Thursday, August 20, 2009

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Althaea, an Old-Fashioned Shrub
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

The hibiscus-like flowers of Althaea figure prominently in my childhood memories of pretty flowers. Granny grew two kinds at the foot of her back doorsteps. Thomas Jefferson admired them, as well, and collected as many different kinds as he could find to grow at Monticello. These old-fashioned flowering shrubs are no less popular today than they were then.

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Read more articles about:  ornamental trees and shrubs Althea Hibiscus invasives and weeds

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

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In Such A Pickle! Pickle History and How to Make Pickles
By Melody Rose (melody)

"On a hot day in Virginia, I know nothing more comforting than a fine spiced pickle, brought up trout-like, from the sparkling depths of the aromatic jar below the stairs of Aunt Sally's cellar."...Thomas Jefferson

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening canning and preserving foods cooking cucumbers vinegar pickles

Monday, August 17, 2009

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Gardener / Masochist
By Victor Carrano (victorgardener)

After gardening for a few years, I slowly realized that we gardeners are really just masochists who happen to have a creative urge and appreciation of nature’s beauty. If we were not gardening, we would surely be engaged in some other suffering- inducing behavior. What else can possibly explain what we do?

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Read more articles about:  garden humor mail order gardening

Saturday, August 15, 2009

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Morning glories on Reunion island
By Jean-Jacques Segalen (jjacques)

Morning glories are some of the favourite plants of many gardeners, they grow fast, flower prodigally on a long period of time, are not too fussy regarding soil, often come back from seeds and are also a good material for hybridisation. I will concentrate here on species found on Reunion island.

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Read more articles about:  vines Ipomoea Merremia Argyreia Reunion island
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You Supply The Caption - Gardening Fun :)
By Dea O'Hopp (Dea)

"You Supply The Caption" photo is a fun opportunity for Readers. A gardening related photo will be presented, and you, the Readers, will provide humorous captions. The wit available on Dave's Garden is some of the best around, so please join in the fun! This feature is not a "for compensation" article - just a way of saying Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoy...now let's hear some funny stuff!

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Read more articles about:  mealworms Tenebrio molitor bluebirds

Thursday, August 13, 2009

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Community Succulent Pots: Some Ideas
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

Many succulents seem designed for pot life. These plants get lost in the garden, or they are too delicate or tender to make it outdoors... or they just seem happiest in a small, controlled environment where they can show off. Many succulents complement each other and look better in groups, rather than by themselves. If limited space is a problem, one solution is community pots. Here are some ideas and suggestions for creating community pots of succulents.

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Read more articles about:  cactus and succulents container gardening

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

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Persimmons and Mimosas
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

Persimmons and mimosas can provide a very sticky nasty ground cover when they grow side by side. They also provide a slippery slide and blossoms for a little girl's hair when she has a vivid imagination.

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Read more articles about:  ornamental trees and shrubs invasives and weeds fruits and berries mimosas Albizia persimmons Diospyros

Monday, August 10, 2009

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Growing Staghorns: Platycerium Ferns
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

This article acts as introduction to these exotic and incredibly ornamental tropical ferns, commonly known as Staghorn Ferns. Some suggestions on cultivation and the various species will be discussed.

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Read more articles about:  ferns tropicals

Sunday, August 9, 2009

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What Style of Gardener Are You?
By Lori Geistlinger (McGlory)

Much has been written about style including fashion style, communication style, writing style, and even romance style. One may take a quiz in any number of popular periodicals to determine if a person’s fashion style is dramatic, classic, romantic, or just plain “ick.” Of course there are styles of gardens including formal or cottage, but what of gardeners themselves? What style of gardener are you? Not to be outdone by scholarly scientific researchers, we suggest the following quiz will be helpful. Following the quiz is a brief description of each style of gardener.

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Read more articles about:  garden humor
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Le Cirque de Mafate
By Jean-Jacques Segalen (jjacques)

Reunion Island hosts several natural settings known as ‘cirque’ by geological specialists, 'Caldeira' being a close synonym. Three large rounded depressions were caused by former volcanoes which collapsed ages ago. Today we will hop into le cirque de Mafate for a healthy way of discovering the inner parts of our remote island.

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Read more articles about:  Reunion island hiking

Saturday, August 8, 2009

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Earthworm Enemies
By Tamara Galbraith (TexasTam)

Of all the creatures in your garden, earthworms are probably the most important. They are the digesters of organic material and the makers of fluffy, healthy soil. Much as we love them, however, they do have their enemies...in the form of predators. So how can we better protect our valuable little wiggly friends?

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Read more articles about:  organic gardening soil and composting worms vinegar
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Have a Party in your Garden with Balloon Flowers!
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Most gardeners are familiar with bellflowers from the genus Campanula. Perhaps not all of you are familiar with their close relative, the Chinese bellflower aka balloon flower, of the genus Playtycodon. If you want a tough, long-lived, carefree, hardy perennial with large blue flowers in late summer, then look no further.

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers Campanula
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You Supply The Caption - Gardening Fun :)
By Dea O'Hopp (Dea)

"You Supply The Caption" photo is a fun opportunity for Readers. A gardening related photo will be presented, and you, the Readers, will provide humorous captions. The wit available on Dave's Garden is some of the best around, so please join in the fun! This feature is not a "for compensation" article - just a way of saying Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoy...now let's hear some funny stuff!

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Read more articles about:  Ducks Garden Humor ystc

Friday, August 7, 2009

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Dairy Farmer's Journal: Grazing
By Kathleen M. Tenpas (Kathleen)

While grazing has been the standard way to feed cows for centuries, in the late 1950s and early ‘60s a new kind of conventional farming was instituted in the confinement barn. All the cows’ feed is brought to them, a more controlled diet is supposed to make milk production more abundant and increase desirable components (butterfat, proteins and other solids). There are arguments both for and against this particular kind of dairying, and I will make no judgment here, but we went in a different direction.

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Read more articles about:  farm life cows farming techniques

Thursday, August 6, 2009

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Pocket Beds for Fussy Plants
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Fussy Plants: plants that hate “wet feet,” plants that don’t always overwinter in your zone, plants that grow too slowly to compete with their garden neighbors. Before you give up on a fussy plant, try growing it in its own little pocket bed!

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Read more articles about:  raised bed gardens rock gardens herbs alpines perennial flowers

Monday, August 3, 2009

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Introduction to Zamias, the Tropical Cycads
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

Zamia is one of the larger genera of Cycads, yet one of the least understood. This is partly due to their tropical and inaccessible origins as well as their tropical cultivational needs. But as a group this is one of the most ornamental of the cycads and certainly worthy of cultivation should one live in the right climate for them.

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Read more articles about:  palms and cycads tropicals Zamias
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Reiman Gardens: A Shared Treasure
By Angela Carson (Bookerc1)

Did you know that the magazine lying on your bedside table might have, in a small way, contributed to a phenomenal public garden in Ames, Iowa? You just may find that you have played a minor part in supporting a garden that epitomizes the philosophy of sharing.

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Read more articles about:  public gardens roses butterflies gardening with kids

Sunday, August 2, 2009

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There's Joy to be found in Public Gardens
By Shari Scott (Islandshari)

Have you ever visited a Public Garden? How about something that sounds a little more formal like a Botanical Garden? Or maybe you are lucky enough to be near a Community Garden? It seems that no matter where we humans find ourselves, from seashores to deserts to mountains, we always need to get in touch with nature, and public gardens are just about everywhere. Even here on my tiny little island, we have a Public Garden.

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Read more articles about:  public gardens community gardens island life
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A day at the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens and Butterfly Conservatory
By Jan Recchio (grampapa)

First let me say that a day is not nearly enough. I could wander through these gardens for a week and still come back for more. Maintained by the Niagara School of Horticulture in Ontario, Canada, there is an enormous variety of plant life here. If that is not enough, the Butterfly Conservatory is the icing on the cake.

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Read more articles about:  public parks botanical gardens butterflies

Saturday, August 1, 2009

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You Supply The Caption - Gardening Fun :)
By Dea O'Hopp (Dea)

"You Supply The Caption" photo is a fun opportunity for Readers. A gardening related photo will be presented, and you, the Readers, will provide humorous captions. The wit available on Dave's Garden is some of the best around, so please join in the fun! This feature is not a "for compensation" article - just a way of saying Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoy...now let's hear some funny stuff!

Continue reading »

Friday, July 31, 2009

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Orcutt Ranch Horticultural Center
By Kelli Kallenborn (Kelli)

A person can make a lot of money in petroleum. Ask any Texan, Oklahoman, or Saudi. William Warren Orcutt made his money in California oil and owned several pieces of ranch land. One of his ranches is now a public park called Orcutt Ranch Horticultural Center.

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Read more articles about:  public gardens u-pick farms Citrus Quercus

Thursday, July 30, 2009

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Mailbox In The Garden - A Handy Hideaway
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Send me some seeds- I have a mailbox right in my garden! No, the seeds won't really be delivered to my garden mailbox. This isn't about designing beautiful plantings around your official mailbox. It's about re-using a discarded, landfill-bound mailbox as a handy place to keep a few essentials high and dry out in your garden.

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Read more articles about:  garden tools gardening tips recycling

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

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Pushki
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

I spent ten glorious days in June wandering around the mountains of Seward, Alaska, living with friends and studying the flora and fauna of the land. I barely slept during the time of the Midnight Sun, but with eyes wide open, I made the acquaintance of new plants, and said hello to some I remember from my childhood.

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Read more articles about:  North American native plants herbs

Monday, July 27, 2009

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The Weeping Fig, Ficus benjamina- indoor and out
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

Probably the most commonly grown tree indoors throughout the world is the Weeping Fig, Ficus benjamina. Surprisingly, despite its amazing popularity and ubiquitous presence, it is not what I consider an 'easy' indoor plant (then again most plants for me are not easy indoors). But if some general recommendations are followed, and one goes through a bit of trial and error, this species can make an excellent house or patio plant. Outdoors it is one of the easiest trees to keep looking perfect ... as long as it's planted in the correct climate. The following article will serve as an introduction to this versatile tree, as well as a guide on how to grow it and care for it, both indoors and out.

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Read more articles about:  ornamental trees and shrubs houseplants Ficus figs tropicals
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Revitalizing older blueberry bushes
By Kathleen M. Tenpas (Kathleen)

This farm had a lot of treasures when we bought it, among them a large hedge of blueberry bushes out behind the machinery shed. Unfortunately, while they were tall and full of very healthy leaves, they had stopped producing blueberries.

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Read more articles about:  blueberries fruits and berries pruning July blueberry series
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The Vacation Watering Quandary
By Toni Leland (tonileland)

A vacation getaway is wonderful, but not if you come home to crispy fried patio pots and wilted houseplants.

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Read more articles about:  container gardening watering plants conservation gardening tips

Sunday, July 26, 2009

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Easy bird netting frame for your blueberries
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

I love my backyard birds, but not enough to give them every single blueberry my bushes produce. I've engineered a cheap, easy, quick frame to hold bird netting so I can get the berries. I'm so excited about my design that I just have to share it with you!

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Read more articles about:  blueberries bird netting fruits and berries birds frugal gardening July blueberry series

Thursday, July 23, 2009

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Is it a Huckleberry or a Blueberry?
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Every summer during my childhood, my family and I picked what I always believed were huckleberries. They were the main ingredient in many tasty dumplings, cobblers, pies, pancakes, and jellies. I have since learned, however, that what we thought were huckleberries were actually blueberries. We were not the only ones confused about their identity.

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Read more articles about:  fruits and berries huckleberries blueberries Vaccinium Gaylussacia North American native plants
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Lespedeza: A Lollapalooza in the Garden
By Larry Rettig (LarryR)

I first became acquainted with Lespedeza as a ninth grader, doing research for a project on soil erosion.

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers garden design and landscaping fall gardening endangered plants North American native plants legumes Lespedeza salvias

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