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Archives for October 13, 2015

Enjoying autumn beauty has health benefits

With blue skies, crisp breezes and the rustle of dried falling leaves it is hard to resist the appeal of an autumn spent outdoors in Ohio. By early October, the first glimpses of fall color were becoming more common around the state as Ohio’s trees began their colorful transformation. Each year the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) offers updates throughout October to help people maximize their chances for enjoying the fall color around the state.

“The weather is settling in nicely with bright, sunny days and cool evenings, which will provide the vibrant colors of fall in Ohio,” said Casey Burdick, ODNR fall color forester. “Honeylocusts are showing golden and yellow shades while maples, especially along the edges of woods and in urban areas, are showing some early blushes of red.”

People interested in finding the most eye-catching leaves throughout the fall color season should check, Ohio’s official guide to the changing colors.

As far as maximizing the beauty of autumn around homes and gardens for future years, Paul Snyder, program assistant at Secrest Arboretum in Wooster, has some great suggestions of trees and shrubs that really showcase autumn beauty.

  • Blackgum, or black tupelo, and specifically the types called Wildfire and Tupelo Tower. Both blaze red in autumn.
  • Hybrid witch hazel, whose fiery fall foliage is red, orange or yellow. “They’re great plants that everyone asks about, but very few garden centers sell them,” he said.
  • Fragrant abelia, a shrub whose leaves turn fiery, too — in shades of red, orange and yellow.
  • Carolina allspice, also a shrub, whose leaves glow golden-yellow.
  • Bald cypress, a deciduous conifer, whose needles — before they drop — turn copper.
  • Golden larch, another deciduous conifer, whose needles become, yes, golden.
  • Large fothergilla. “It’s my favorite shrub for fall color,” Snyder said. “The color lasts three weeks at least and is a mix of red, orange, yellow or purple.”

While autumn may be one of the best times of year to be outdoors, there is growing evidence quantifying something those involved in agriculture have long known — spending time outside is good for you all year round. To gain a better understanding of the therapeutic value of gardens and other outdoor areas, in mid-September Ohio State University’s Secrest Arboretum dedicated the Lemmon and Rice Health and Wellness Garden was designed to boost visitors’ sense of well-being and to provide opportunities for research into the impact gardens and nature have on human health.

Located on the campus of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, the 115-acre arboretum encompasses a variety of demonstration and research plantings that support the state’s horticulture industry and also provide spaces for community engagement and enjoyment.

“Secrest currently has many visitors who enjoy and use the arboretum as a part of their wellness program,” said Joe Cochran, Secrest’s interim director. “For example, one visitor recently told me that he had lost 36 pounds somewhere on the paths throughout the gardens — jokingly saying that if we found them, we did not need to return them. The new garden will provide even more opportunities to give visitors a sense of well-being.”

Secrest Arboretum partnered with Ohio State’s College of Nursing to come up with a concept for the garden, make decisions about its design elements, and to conduct future research projects.

“The Lemmon and Rice Health and Wellness Garden is one of the country’s few gardens designed around the concept of the pillars of wellness,” said Usha Menon, former professor and director of graduate nursing science programs in the College of Nursing. “We recommended following this concept because the pillars tie into how well a person feels overall.”

There are nine pillars of wellness: emotional, social, physical, spiritual, career, financial, creative, environmental and intellectual. The garden focuses on six of them: environmental, physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual and social.

“There is little research conducted specifically on wellness gardens,” Menon said. “Given the formative nature of this research, the Lemmon and Rice Health and Wellness Garden will offer several research opportunities, including the influence on quality of life of community residents with or without a chronic illness, the influence on urban adolescents who may not have access to such a space regularly, and around specific components of the pillars of wellness — which has not been researched, either.”

The garden was constructed thanks to donations from Bill Lemmon, president and owner of development company Lemmon Lemmon Inc., and Kevin Rice, vice president of Rice’s Nursery and Landscaping — both located in the Canton, Ohio, area. Rice also designed the garden.

“I’m an Ohio State graduate. My grandfather and father came from Wooster. This is something I wanted to do for the university,” Lemmon said about the garden. “I believe plants are very important in people’s health, and I hope this garden will be beneficial for people of all ages in the community as well as for research.”

While the field of wellness garden research is still in its infancy, several studies have shown the benefits of gardening, gardens and other outdoor spaces on health. For example:

  • Gardening three to five times a week has been found to be a good strategy to combat obesity and lower stress.
  • Patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain taking part in horticultural therapy programs experience an improved ability to cope with chronic pain.
  • Children with attention deficit disorder who play in grassy, outdoor spaces have less severe symptoms than those who play in windowless, indoor settings.
  • Patients with clinical depression who participated in routine therapeutic gardening activities experienced a reduction of severity of depression and increased attentional capacity —benefits that lasted up to three months after the program ended.
  • Dementia patients who have access to gardens are less likely to display aggression or suffer injuries, and they display improved sleep patterns, balanced hormones and decreased agitation.

For Cochran, Secrest Arboretum is the perfect place to conduct new and innovative research into the benefits of garden and green spaces and further collaborations between Ohio State campuses and colleges, communities and other partners.

“I feel that this garden and the entire arboretum go hand in hand with The Ohio State University’s discovery theme of Health and Wellness,” Cochran said. “We are committed to helping people learn, explore, wonder and connect with the natural world and, in doing so, we hope that their lives become less stressful and that their overall wellness improves.”

For those looking for some great fall getaway ideas outside of the farm fields visit ODNR and TourismOhio are offering a Best of #OhioFall15 Photo Contest. Post your Ohio Fall Foliage photos to Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #ohiofall15 by Nov. 30, and follow @OhioDNR and @ohiogram and like the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Discover Ohio on Facebook.




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American Patriots take measures to care for their own – messenger

We’re always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what’s going on!

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File submitted illustration

Mall rendering

“This rendering of the outside of the new entertainment complex that will include a 16-screen AMC Theatres complex, a Barnes Noble bookstore and seven restaurants, was recently done by Omniplan, the project’s architectural firm,” the caption said.

Favorite stories

“Eden Prairie Center: a 2001 mall odyssey,” by Kathy Nelson, appeared in the July 27, 2000, issue of the Eden Prairie News.

Do you have a favorite story from a past issue of the Eden Prairie News? We’ll be running full stories this year as part of our “Turn Back the Page” feature, in honor of our 40th anniversary. Email with ideas.

Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2015 8:00 am

Turn back the page: In 2000, Eden Prairie Center got ready for a ‘2001 mall odyssey’

By Kathy Nelson

The theme of last Thursday’s Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce luncheon was “What’s new at Eden Prairie Center?”

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      Tuesday, October 13, 2015 8:00 am.

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      Turn Back The Page,

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      Recycling saves water

      To discover one of the many ways that recycling saves water, one simply needs to look outside to the yard. Our gardens do their own recycling by turning fallen leaves and petals into mulch, and we help by recycling our clean green yard clippings curbside, or at the landfill.

      Yard trimmings are recycled locally into ready-to-use compost, mulch, wood chips and other sustainable landscaping products available for purchase from Vision Recycling, located at the Sun Street Transfer Station in Salinas, and the Johnson Canyon Landfill in Gonzales. Using compost when planting and mulch to finish landscapes are important steps in creating healthy and sustainable landscapes. Improved and made more permeable with mulch and compost, the soil becomes a water bank reserve to help sustain plants during times of winter drought and reduce the need to irrigate in the spring and summer.

      If you’re looking for more ways to save water in the yard without sacrificing curb appeal, the Monterey Bay Friendly Landscaping program is here to help and reward residents and businesses that transform their once-thirsty landscapes into beautiful and sustainable gardens that conserve water and send less waste to the landfill.

      Residents and businesses can certify their Monterey Bay Friendly Landscapes by implementing ecological design and maintenance standards that maximize water and energy conservation. The standards require maintaining a layer of mulch to improve soil health and conserve water, using compost at planting time, limiting turf areas, planting low-water use plants and practicing weather-based irrigation scheduling. The program offers links to rebates, referrals to trained professionals, and resources for residents interested in converting a brown lawn into a thriving garden, installing a rainwater harvesting system, and reusing gray water for irrigation.

      Monterey Bay Friendly Landscapes also manage storm water to avoid sending valuable rainwater down the storm drain. Green design features include harvesting rainwater in cisterns for non-potable uses such as irrigation and toilet flushing, directing roof downspouts to rain gardens and dry creek beds, and replacing impervious (hard) surfaces that create runoff with permeable pavements and landscaping.

      Even if you aren’t concerned about being certified and recognized for your efforts in creating a Monterey Bay Friendly Landscape, you may still benefit from using their standards as a guide to help you save water, money, and time in maintaining a more attractive and healthy landscape. Sustainable landscapes stay beautiful year-round when they are designed to thrive in local conditions, blooming with color to attract birds, butterflies and bees, with very little maintenance.

      Check out the Monterey Bay Friendly Landscaping Certification program, find a Certified Green Gardener trained in sustainable landscape design and maintenance, and look for upcoming workshops at For more information about products offered by Vision Recycling, visit To learn how to recycle yard and kitchen scraps into compost at home, register for a compost workshop at

      Mandy Brooks is the Recycling Coordinator for Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority. Contact her at

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      Petal pushers: Plant tulips now

      It’s been hashed over for centuries in bars, in bedrooms and boardrooms and even in gardens: Does size matter?

      It does for tulip bulbs, agree experts on the spring flower, which has the power to lift spirits with its promise of warm weather and sunshine.

      “The bigger the better,” announces Jim Cuifolo of Haddon Township, whose landscaping firm’s tulip-planting service  is so popular he runs his Facebook page as Jimmy Tulip.

      His company, the Haddonfield Tulip Co., does landscaping and lawn and garden work all year, but the tulip displays that he’s created in South Jersey are traffic-stoppers.

      Last year “Jimmy Tulip” planted 30,000 in the Haddonfield ZIP code alone.

      “Not only the bigger but the more the better,” echoes Venelin Dimitrov, the product manager for flowers and perennials at Burpee Seeds’ testing center and demonstration farm in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

      “If you go to a (big-box) store and find what you think is a good deal on tulips, check the size. Don’t waste your time or money with the small ones,” said Dimitrov, a native of Bulgaria who studied in the United States as a horticulture intern on the West Coast and in Maryland before being hired by Burpee.

      For a tulip to stand to attention in your spring garden, stick with bulbs that are about 12 centimeters in diameter. That’s the size of a plum, Dimitrov said.

      Like all vendors, Burpee imports its spring bulbs (tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crocus, hellebores and alliums) from Holland. It sells them online to a client base that Dimitrov describes as “hobby gardeners.”

      The biggest and, therefore,  best bulbs are ordered online or by mail from a number of companies. Wholesale prices generally begin with an order of 100 bulbs, or about $50 worth, in an order. Most home and garden stores generally get the second-rate selection.

      Cuifolo drove to Connecticut in the first week of October to pick up a truckload from his favorite supplier, Colorblends. He bought 30,000 tulip bulbs, “plus a few thousand daffodils,” he said during a recent break from his landscaping assignments.

      Daffodil bulbs cost almost twice as much as tulips, but they’ll thrive better if naturalized, or allowed to die down to the ground after flowering and left in place, in the soil for years to come. They do need to be dug up and divided every five years of so, said Dimitrov.

      The best time to plant spring bulbs, say Dimitrov and Cuifolo, is now, as weather cools and before the ground freezes. The first frost isn’t a deterrent,  the experts say. Daffodils can be planted almost any time, but tulips will grow best if planted between Halloween and Thanksgiving.

      “I’ve planted tulips on Christmas,” said Dimitrov, “but I knew they wouldn’t get a long stem.”

      “Planting tulips is something you can do too early, but you want the roots to start to establish before hard frost. Really, later is better, just so you can still work the soil,” said Diane Blazek, executive director of the National Garden Bureau, based in the Chicago area.

      “It’s pretty easy. You just have to think about it and do it at the right time of the year. You get such a payoff,” said Blazek, who said she plants bulbs with the help of an auger attached to an electric drill.

      She also admits she’s done fighting the gardener’s fight with squirrels. “They beat me down. Now I plant daffodils,” she said.

      Tulips have three foes: heat, water, and garden invaders such as deer and squirrels and other rodents that live in the woods.

      Nothing endangers daffodils, which along with hyacinths or hellebores (known as Lenten rose) are a good choice for planting as a “deer fence” to protect tulips and other tender spring plants. If tulips are planted far enough inside a perimeter of daffodils, they won’t be on the deer menu, suggests Dimitrov.

      Squirrels will dig up bulbs that are shallower than their paws are long, said Cuifolo.

      The suggested depth of tulip bulbs is about 8 inches from the base of the bulb.

      If tulips are planted during a dry spell, they should be watered after the soil is tamped down. Then walk away.

      They need cold weather and thrive on snowfall, so don’t uncover them when the weather starts to warm in early spring. Don’t clear away the yard debris that may clump around them either. It acts like mulch.

      Once tulips or any other spring flowers that begin with a bulb are flowered, it’s essential to let the foliage die down. That can take about six weeks and is unsightly in a garden that is very visible to passers-by.

      Blazek gets around the unkempt look of dying vegetation by planting spring bulbs amid hostas and ferns, which would be starting to poke up at about the time the leaves are collapsing.

      Cuifolo doesn’t plant bulbs to return the next year. As part of his landscaping plan, he digs them up and adds them to compost and then reuses the flower bed for summer annuals.

      “Some people think it’s a waste of money, but they spend the same amount on flats of summer flowers. And the power of tulips in the spring is glorious. They don’t just bloom. They glow,” said Cuifolo. “They sing to us.”

      He prefers built-up beds of tightly spaced orange tulips. “The yellows and the pastels don’t have the same impact, and the reds fade. They’ll shrivel over one hot day,” he said.

      Dimitrov praises the early blooming flowers from spring bulbs as the wake-up to pollinators like bees.

      “There is nothing native in this area that blooms so early,” he said.

      He compares tulip bulbs to onions. “It it gets too much water, it rots and it smells bad,” he said.

      For more information

      Tulip Lasagna

      Venelin Dimitrov’s ice-blue eyes sparkle when he drives through a wooded area adjacent to a kitchen garden and demonstration field at Burpee Seeds’ farm in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

      Suddenly Dimitrov, who is product manager for flowers, tubers and perennials for the company, is talking about food. A flower lasagna, he calls it. It’s an alternative, or addition, for homeowners who don’t have space for a garden of spring blooms.

      The recipe is a simple one, easy for anyone with the foresight to plant a small selection of bulbs now and give it little attention all winter. Dimitov demonstrates with a deep terracotta pot, one he can barely get his arms around. It will be so heavy when ready, it needs to be kept on a wheeled plant stand or dolly because it will have to be moved, but only two or three times.

      Toss some good soil in the bottom of the pot. Put three or four allium bulbs at the bottom, then add more dirt. Follow with layers, each separated by dirt, of bulbs selected on their blooming time. He suggests nine daffodils, six late-blooming tulips, six hyacinths, 20 crocus, 20 snowdrops. Top it off with more good soil and water.

      Put it in an unheated garage, but one that will not be colder than 30 degrees. It’s OK if the dirt freezes, but don’t let ice form on the top.

      On a warmish day in late winter, pull it outside and water. Return it to the dark and cold of the garage.

      On March 1, take the pot outside, place it in the desired spot,  and wait for the bloom to wake up your springtime.

      “It doesn’t need sun over the winter,” says Dimitrov. “The bulbs don’t get sun when they’re buried in your yard. They need cold. The cold is their alarm clock.” 

      — Renee Winkler

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      Latest In national

      Now is the time to cut back your Banksias.

      Banksia cuts

      IF you grow Banksias or any of the proteaceous plants that flower on terminal spikes, now that they have mostly finished flowering, is the time to give them a cut back. Don’t be tempted to put the trimmers through the whole bush, but take each flowering terminal shoot and trace it back about 20cm below the last spent flower to make a cut. That induces more laterals and more flowers next year. Any nutrient added should be with an N-P-K of about 18-0-12 or at the worst no more than 1.2% phosphates!

      Now is the perfect time to sow dwarf French beans.Source:Supplied

      French beans to sow

      IT is the ideal time to sow some dwarf French beans now that last frost day (for Adelaide) has passed. On heavy clay loam soils, mound up the soil to 15cm with complete garden fertiliser (N-P-K of 8-2-4) added first, and plant seed at 3cm depth into the side of each mound. That is where soil salinity residues will always be lowest, as salt is drawn up to the highest point like kero up a wick. Of course there are climbing types too, but the dwarf types are just as productive; only mulch after they are up 20cm tall.

      Slug the slugs

      EVEN with a few warm days slugs and snails stay active at night well into summer so remain vigilant if you aim to raise veggies from seed. You can circumvent the use of baits just by placing some broken terracotta pots around the garden, which act as slug and snail inns; then dispatch them at your leisure.

      Head to Renmark to see some stunning roses this week.Source:Supplied

      Renmark Rose Festival

      FOR 10 days, from October 16-25, the roses of the Riverland are on show, at Ruston’s Rose Garden in Renmark where 11ha are planted with roses and hardy ornamentals. There is also a program of open gardens right across the Riverland region. Full details and program at

      Feral seed reduction

      THERE are a host of ornamental plants we grow in our gardens, that, if not contained, can certainly become feral and invasive plants in your garden and in bushlands. With the weedy bulbs, such as Freesias, Sparaxias, Babiana, Agapanthus and Crocosmia in particular, I just cut the flower stems off to reduce seed spread. With Gazanias and Arctotis there are modern sterile cultivars to use, but in old beachside gardens reducing the spread is probably the best option – and dispose of all trimmings responsibly through your council kerbside green- recycling bin.

      Crepe myrtle can be cared for with Eco-Oil or Pest Oil.Source:Supplied

      Crepe myrtle care

      IN old gardens that have crepe myrtles that were planted more than 20 years ago, the Lagerstroemias will usually be prone to powdery mildew as the weather warms up and humidity rises near lawns. The remedy is to spray monthly with Eco-Oil or Pest Oil in mild weather of a mix of 10 parts of water to one part of milk and spray that onto the foliage. Spread 100g of complete garden fertiliser for every 2m of height or spread of the tree too, which ensures robust flowering in February to April. Most modern crepe myrtle cultivars have been bred to resist powdery mildew, but check the label!

      Zucchini sowing

      ZUCCHINIS yield some of the best crops per sq m, no matter what attention (or lack of it) they get. They need a full sun aspect and form a 20cm high mound in a circle, 1m wide then spot sow 2-3 seeds at four spots around the sides of the circle 2cm deep. Slugs and snails are about their only predators. Water the centre of the mound weekly and top dress the centre with 30g of complete garden fertiliser every six weeks and mulch with straw.

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      Sad as it is, it’s time to tear down the garden

      This week Katrina Diebel, owner of Vale’s Greenhouse, offers tips on how to start tearing down your garden. It’s been a spectacular fall and many plants are still growing and blooming and it might break your heart to pull them up and toss them out. So don’t.

      The overall rule for tearing down gardens is that a messy garden is a much healthier garden then one that is trimmed down and cleaned up in the fall. However, if your time in the spring is limited, then go ahead and give it a good clean.

      Where do you start? Well there are three places, anything that needs to be taken out, anything you need to divide, or if you want to clear a place to plant something new.

      If you are just taking something down that is done, reach down into the stems, and do a nice cut. Leave everything 3 to 4 centimetres high, so the snow collects in and around it, creating a buffer zone.

      There is also still time to make some spectacular fall containers. Check out the information here.

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      Your garden in October: Sean Murray’s latest tips for North East gardeners

      Ivy is a great versatile all-rounder to use in your planting schemes. It provides year-long interest and plays an important role in supporting bio-diversity.

      Scientists have discovered that around 89% of the nectar collected by honey bees in autumn comes from the flowers of ivy. Used to build up stores for winter this may prevent further decline in the bee population.

      Someone recently asked ‘What’s your favourite plant?’ and I found that difficult to answer. That would be like having to name your favourite child!

      However, if I were to hold the national collection of a genus it could well be ivy, of which there are 15 to 20 species and a huge number of cultivars.

      Ivy often gets a bad press or reputation and is seen as an invasive, property-damaging thug. In truth, from my experience, if planted against a well-mortared surface it can form a protective shield from the elements. I would recommend frequent pruning as “little and often” can keep it in check. I have ivy Sunday once a month as a reminder and remove any unwanted growth.

      Ivy grows in most soils and situations, it’s tough and adaptable. Growing up to 30 metres, some species can live for over 400 years. Most flower from summer to late autumn, small green umbels give way to purple/black fruits eagerly eaten by birds, however, poisonous to humans.

      Some of my favourite include Hedera Colchica Sulphur Heart which has large mid-green leaves marbled with acid yellow centres. Hedera Colchica Dentata Varigarta is a show-stopper. Cream, yellow and pale green leaves, an absolute splash of sunshine and quite a tonic to view on a gold-grey North East winter’s day. Both have the RHS Award of Merit.

      Hedera Sulphur Heart is one of Sean Murray’s favourites

      Hedera Glacier and Gold child are smaller-leaved cultivars, both worth consideration in your planting schemes.

      Not all ivies are climbers. Hedera Colchica ‘Fall Favourite’ is a shrub like in form, has great structure and forms a handsome compact plant useful as a specimen or focal point when used in a design.

      Hate to raise it but, with the forthcoming festive season just around the corner ivy is almost indispensable when it comes to decking the halls, or in my case draping it liberally over the mantle for a thrifty Christmas decoration.

      Ivy is an understated, star performer and ecological wonder, so give it a closer look. If nothing else, think about the bees, who wouldn’t like to lunch at the Ivy.

      Sean Murray runs a garden design company based in Ashington, Northumberland,

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      Garden designer gives butterfly habitat tips to Malibu residents

      For those Malibu residents who want to attract butterflies to their gardens, it’s possible that they needn’t look further than the milkweed plant.

      Creating a butterfly habitat was the subject of this season’s first meeting of the Malibu Garden Club on Wednesday, Oct. 7, at the Point Dume Club.

      The club’s guest speaker was David Snow, a garden designer in Thousand Oaks. Snow talked about the various types of milkweed plants that can be found in Malibu and why they were good habitats to attract monarch butterflies.

      Snow said milkweed was the easiest type of plant to grow if people want to attract butterflies.

      “A monarch butterfly born in Malibu is in a pretty good place,” Snow said. “Malibu’s got it all. Malibu is this moderate temperature. Due to the moderation, it’s really not that hard [creating a butterfly habitat].”

      Snow explained some pitfalls of owning milkweed, such as the presence of orange aphids, milkweed bugs, flies and others. However, Snow suggested those problems were relatively easy to control. 

      “[Milkweed] will make everyone a better gardner,” Snow said. “It did with me.” 

      Other plants Snow talked about at the club meeting were the passion vine and cassia plant, which both attract other types of butterflies, he said. 

      Six-year Malibu resident Kit Staats, member of the garden club for two years, joined the group to learn about plants. She said she took away good information from Snow’s appearance. 

      “I’ve been trying to get butterflies in my yard for a long time,” Staats said. “I enjoyed it. I found it informative.” 

      Snow also gave tips on pest control and spoke against using herbicides and pesticides in gardens. 

      Five plants were raffled off at the end of Snow’s talk. Snow also answered individual questions and had some plants for sale. 

      The Malibu Garden Club is a nonprofit organization that meets monthly and hosts guests speakers at its events. Organic gardener Christy Wilhelmi will speak at the club’s November meeting. 

      For more information about the gardening club, visit

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