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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

Thursday, April 2, 2009

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What is a Standard Flower Show?
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

The term, “Standard Flower Show” is the official title of a flower show conforming to standards established by National Garden Clubs, Inc. (NGC). The purposes of a Standard Flower Show as outlined by NGC are to educate club members and the viewing public, to stimulate interest in horticulture and floral design, to provide an outlet for creative expression, and to convey to the community the objectives of NGC.

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Read more articles about:  flower arranging flower shows
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Holland's Keukenhof Gardens: Sixty Years of Spectacular Spring Flowers
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

My husband had a conference in Amsterdam recently, and as soon as I discovered the Keukenhof would open its season that week I knew I had to make the trip with him. I'd admired the world's most spectacular display of spring flowering bulbs for years in magazines and gardening catalogs and was overjoyed at the thought of seeing the gardens in person.

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Read more articles about:  spring gardening bulbs tulips public gardens Keukenhof

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

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Fractals - Revolutionary Discovery Thwarted for 700 Years by Academic Schism
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

The monastic lifestyle leaves monks with an abundance of time on their hands. So it is no surprise that significant discoveries have been made over time by these cloistered fellows. But most of them pale in significance when compared to the achievement made by a little-known German monk of the 13th century. This man's astounding discovery predated that of Benoit Mandelbrot by over 700 years! Read on for the incredible facts . . .

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Read more articles about:  nature fractals garden humor April Fools\' Day
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New flowers hit the market this spring.
By April (Aunt_A)

Every year more plants are discovered and designed. This year is no exception. This is the spring season of opportunity; don't miss the great additions.

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Read more articles about:  spring gardening perennial flowers annual flowers garden humor April Fools\' Day

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

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The Landscaped Dog Enclosure
By Jocelyn Wyatt (crimsontsavo)

It's time to make a world of fun for your beloved dogs!

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Read more articles about:  gardening and our pets garden design and landscaping
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Mountain Mist: Basil Thyme
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

We called it Mountain Mist, and I take a deep breath even now when I visit my brother back in the mountains of southeast Kentucky. "Sniffin' peppermint", I think out loud, as I remember stuffing it into my pillow case.

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Read more articles about:  herbs Calamintha beetles Aunt Bett stories

Monday, March 30, 2009

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Building a Cold Frame to Jump Start your Spring Garden
By Angela Carson (Bookerc1)

Wouldn’t you love to extend your growing season, as you would with a greenhouse, but on a smaller, more affordable scale? If you answered “yes,” consider adding a cold frame to your repertoire of gardening tools!

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Read more articles about:  winter gardening gardening tips seed starting coldframes greenhouses
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Who Did That? Identifying Insect Damage
By Toni Leland (tonileland)

The worst feeling in the world is going out into the garden first thing in the morning, only to find that some ravenous critter has decimated a beloved plant or flower. We seldom see the culprits and that makes it difficult to determine what steps to take to solve the problem. But these munchers leave their signature behind, and once you know what you're looking at, you can take the required action.

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Read more articles about:  insects aphids beetles slugs pests

Sunday, March 29, 2009

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So that's NOT a Cactus??!
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

There are many plants that either look like cacti or are called cacti, but are NOT cacti. For those who don't know what I am talking about, this article is for you.

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Read more articles about:  cactus and succulents

Saturday, March 28, 2009

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March 28: Weed Appreciation Day. Have you hugged a weed today?
By April (Aunt_A)

Today is Weed Appreciation Day. Do you appreciate any weeds? Do you love or hate weed plants in your yard? What weeds have you eaten? What benefits do weeds hold today? How do you feel about the use of herbicides? Let's talk. Please tell me what you think after reading this article.

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Read more articles about:  invasives and weeds North American native plants lawn care
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Indian Pink: A Wildflower for Your Garden
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

I remember a day last June when Amiable Spouse and I were visiting brother Ronald, who had just purchased a fantastic piece of land just south of Jackson, Mississippi. The fellows were scouting the property, and we girls were reminiscing and cooking up some favorite family recipes. In the midst of it all, Ronald brought a wildflower that he found on the property for me to identify.

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Read more articles about:  North American native plants hummingbirds Spigelia

Friday, March 27, 2009

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White Willow: Learning useful things
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

I used a willow basket when I went to gather eggs. I sat in an old willow rocking chair on our front porch. And I was given a tiny sip of willowbark tea to drink when I had a fever. I learned to weave baskets by using young shoots of the white willow, and when I learned to draw, my teacher gave me drawing tools made of willow charcoal. I remember willow switches, too.

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Read more articles about:  ornamental trees and shrubs garden crafts herbs Salix willows

Thursday, March 26, 2009

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Garden Clubs -- Mighty Forces for Good
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Many people have preconceived notions about groups of people. For years, I imagined that garden clubs were nothing more than groups of prissy ladies who wore hats and gloves to their monthly tea parties. I had no idea that they were enterprising women who had serious agendas and who have made major contributions to the health and beauty of our planet. I learned the truth when I became one of them.

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Read more articles about:  conservation garden club and plant societies volunteering flower shows
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Choosing a Dehydrator: Make your own dried fruit, tomatoes, beef jerky, and more
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Thinking about getting a dehydrator for the bumper crop of tomatoes you hope to have this summer? But how much do you need to spend? Which dehydrator is right for you? And once you have it, what can you do with it?

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Read more articles about:  canning and preserving foods food dehydrators

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

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Plant Names from Myth: Daphne
By Lois Tilton (LTilton)

Several botanical names derive from Greek myth, from the stories of gods who changed a hapless mortal into a plant. But Daphne gave her name to two completely unrelated shrubs.

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Read more articles about:  botany folklore and legends laurel Laurus nobilis Daphne
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Seeds: Collecting, saving and sowing
By Adina Dosan (adinamiti)

I'm always collecting seeds, everywhere I go: in a park, on the street or in someone's garden. Some people may think I'm nuts to get into the flower beds in search of ripe seeds! Well, I'm not. I'm just addicted to plants and I can't help myself from taking a few seeds from a plant I like, so I can have one too!

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Read more articles about:  seed saving seed starting collecting seeds

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

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Sean McCann: A Rosarian
By Melva Wheeler (melvatoo)

When I learned that Sean McCann was going to be at the 2003 American Rose Society conference, I felt compelled to go. I had enjoyed his columns in the "American Rose Magazine" for years. A drive of more than 10 hours was a small price to pay to meet this gentleman.

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Read more articles about:  roses hybridizing Sean McCann miniature roses
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My Favourite House Plant Books
By Lee Anne Stark (threegardeners)

Have you ever come across one particular book that you could never part with? A book that has everything you could ever need in it, that answers every question you might have? Here are two of my favourites.

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Read more articles about:  houseplants March garden book series

Monday, March 23, 2009

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The Secret Garden . . . what did it REALLY look like?
By Carrie Lamont (carrielamont)

The Secret Garden - what did it really look like? If you've read the book, you remember the bricked-up secret garden which came to life when tended by Mary Lennox. If you haven't, perhaps I can convince you to pick up a copy somewhere and read it! Although it's a children's book, it has captivated the hearts of gardeners for generations. Here are some photographs of what the adult in me thinks the flowers in Mary's Secret Garden might have looked like.

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Read more articles about:  garden history English gardens gardening with kids March garden book series
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Understanding Grafted Ornamental Trees
By Toni Leland (tonileland)

Today's garden centers are filled with a fascinating and beautiful array of ornamental trees that have been manipulated to weep, or curl, or do other things that, in their natural state, they would not. In early spring, neighborhoods filled with weeping cherry and ornamental crab-apple trees provide a breathtaking display of spring beauty. Understanding the process of grafting and the problems it can produce are key to using these specimens in the landscape.

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Read more articles about:  ornamental trees and shrubs gardening tips cherry trees crabapples

Sunday, March 22, 2009

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Introduction to the Furcraeas, the giant Agave Look-alikes
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

Furcraeas are Agave relatives that look like large, trunking Agaves. This article is an introduction to this interesting and ornamental genus.

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Read more articles about:  cactus and succulents Furcraeas

Saturday, March 21, 2009

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Enjoy garden and nature books, but save some money for the plants
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

I'd love to own a room full of garden and nature books, but if I bought them all new, I'd have no money left to buy any plants.

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Read more articles about:  frugal gardening gardening tips March garden book series
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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:  garden humor insects
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Obamas to Plant White House Vegetable Garden!
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

Yesterday, Friday March 20, 2009 was an historic day for all gardeners, but particularly for the vegetable and fruit gardeners. For the first time since Eleanor Roosevelt planted a Victory Garden at the White House in 1943, there will once again be a vegetable garden at the White House. A number of 5th-grade students joined First Lady Michelle Obama on Friday, March 20, 2009 to break ground on an 1100 square foot garden on the South Lawn at the White House.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening gardening with kids garden history White House garden

Friday, March 20, 2009

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Arsenic and Old Ferns - Home Phytoremediation!
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

Pressure-treated wood seems the perfect solution for outdoor wood construction such as decks and sheds. However, until relatively recently, the pressure treating process involved arsenic, a poison that is able to leach out of the wood and into the soil around the wood structure. If you have old pressure-treated structures on your property, or have had them, you'll want to read this article . . .

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Read more articles about:  ferns arsenic phytoremediation rice

Thursday, March 19, 2009

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Frogs in Flower Arranging – What’s the Point?
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

At a recent craft show, I noticed a lot of pottery vendors selling “Ichi ban” vases and bowls with built in “frogs" for flower arranging. No, these frogs weren’t little green amphibians, they were sets of little metal spines to hold flower stems upright. If you love bringing in a few blooms, a frog could be your new best friend!

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Read more articles about:  flower arranging Ichi ban Ikeban Ichiban frogs
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Introduction to the Modern Library Gardening Series
By Benjamin Hill (BennysPlace)

Should there be more to a gardening book than the expected “how to” or quick reference? Absolutely! Our garden library should be as vast and varied as the garden itself.

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Read more articles about:  Modern Library Gardening series Gertrude Jekyll Karel Capek Frances Hodgson Burnett March garden book series

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

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Plant Select's new book: A resource for all gardeners
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

During March, the writer's group at Dave's is penning articles about their favorite gardening book series and authors. I don't really have a particular series or author that I sway toward, but I do have a favorite organization that everyone should know about. They recently came out with a new book chronicling 25 years of hard work in the gardening industry. Plant Select's new book is a must-read for anyone that is struggling to find plants or resources on tough plants. Moreover, every gardener should support organizations like Plant Select, which lead to better, stronger, and more resilient plants for our gardens.

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Read more articles about:  xeriscaping cool-climate gardening perennial flowers March garden book series
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Henry Mitchell
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Henry Mitchell is my favorite author of gardening books. His books stay on the table beside my favorite chair ready to pick up and read whenever I tire of working in the garden or writing about it. Every time I read a bit from his books, I am delighted. His opinionated gardening tales are not only informative and entertaining, but they capture the very essence of what gardening is all about.

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Read more articles about:  gardening tips March garden book series
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Magnesium: Essential for a plant’s health, and ours
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

Magnesium is at the core of the chlorophyll molecule, and an essential ingredient for healthy plants, and the animals (including humans) that eat those plants. All living organisms depend on magnesium in all types of cells, body tissues and organs for a variety of functions. Magnesium in human and animal bodies is important in regulating muscle and nerve functions, and half the magnesium in humans is found in our bones.

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Read more articles about:  soil and composting fertilizers magnesium

Sunday, March 15, 2009

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Brachychitons, the Australian Bottle Trees
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

This article will introduce the reader to some of the more popular and common species of Brachychiton in cultivation (primarily in Mediterranean climates throughout the world).

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Read more articles about:  Australian native plants bottle trees Brachychitons

Saturday, March 14, 2009

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Speedwells for the Border
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

The speedwells exhibit considerable variation in size and form, from low and creeping to tall and narrow. This article will introduce you to the taller types of speedwells; the species, cutlivars and hybrids that make ideal plants to use in the middle or back of the border.

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers Veronica
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The Cutting Edge - A Spray to Change Your Hardiness Zone?
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

One of the banes of gardeners worldwide is cold temperatures. We even have zone designations to tell us if our area is too cold for certain kinds of plants to grow in. But what if you could change your hardiness zone without moving and without a greenhouse? This revolutionary idea is actually a breakthrough on the verge of coming on the market - read on for a BIG surprise . . .

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Read more articles about:  weather and storms tropicals frost protection hardiness zones
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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 »

Read more articles about:  garden humor tropicals Ceiba speciosa silk-floss trees

Friday, March 13, 2009

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Celebrate National Nutrition Month!
By Diana Wind (wind)

Computers and cell phones often keep us distracted from fitness and glued to our couches. Celebrate National Nutrition Month ® by getting up and out in your garden for physical activity, and eating fresh fruits and vegetables from your healthy nutritional harvest. Included in this article is a nutrition word find puzzle.

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Read more articles about:  Gardening With Kids Nutrition Vegetable Gardening Word Search Or Crossword Puzzle

Thursday, March 12, 2009

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Labeling Methods for Seedlings and Garden Plants: What works, what doesn’t
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Garden labels help you keep track of seedlings under lights and in winter sowing containers. They’re also invaluable for helping you remember what you planted where when plants are dormant as well as for keeping track of special cultivars. But they are worthless if you can’t read them…

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Read more articles about:  gardening tips plant tags
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Gardening Mistakes as Teachers
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Gardeners are quick to write and tell about their garden successes. It may be that less experienced gardeners read our blathering and conclude that we never make mistakes. I want to reassure everyone that the road to a beautiful garden is paved with failures. Certainly we have some successes along the way, but mistakes are sprinkled in here and there. Together they are the building blocks from which a growing and constantly changing garden emerges.

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Read more articles about:  gardening tips garden mistakes

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

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Sun Clocks: Interesting TIME In Your Garden!
By Bev Walker (Sundownr)

This article will discuss the sun clocks you can set up with free information available on the Internet. The interactive analemmatic "human" sun clock is the focus for my needs, but others will be listed for you to create a sun clock to suit the amount of space in your yard.

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Read more articles about:  garden art gardening tips garden design and landscaping garden history gardening with kids garden tools
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This Ponderosa is Truly a Bonanza
By Larry Rettig (LarryR)

When the TV show, "Bonanza," with its Ponderosa Ranch, first aired in the 1960s, my 'Ponderosa' lemon tree was already a decade or so old. I normally don't give my plants pet names, but I was tempted to make an exception and christen it "Bonanza" in honor of my favorite show. Little did I know how apt that name was to be.

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Read more articles about:  tropicals insects container gardening cooking citrus lemons

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

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Wild Thyme
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

Some scents remain with us forever. Newly mowed grass, baking gingerbread, ground coffee, and my grandmother's lavender sachet, those were all special, but I have always favored the scent of lemony plants. Here's an idea for your scented garden.

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Read more articles about:  herbs North American native plants fragrant plants and flowers thyme Thymus

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