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Archives for August 30, 2016

Designer of Naples Botanical’s Asian garden dies

Made Wijaya, the flamboyant and renowned designer who created the Naples Botanical Garden’s Asian garden, died unexpectedly Sunday in his home country of Australia.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported his death. No age was given.

“Made (MAH-DAY) was one of the most complex and engaging people that I have met. He was acerbic and outrageous, a brilliant designer and commander-in-chief of his gardening guerrillas, a raconteur, stubborn and sometimes difficult,” Brian Holley, executive director of Naples Botanical Garden, said in a statement on Wijaya’s death.

He had, Holley added, “a wit that Noel Coward would have been jealous of and one of humanity’s kindest souls.”

Wijaya designed the approximate 1-acre garden here, formally titled the Marcia and L. Bates Lea Asian Garden, in 2010, and took special care to embrace a broad Asian design. He incorporated structures built in Bali by Balinese workers and artisans and then shipped them to Florida, where the same workers reassembled them.

A Javanese temple ruin and ancient plaza was sited in a landscape filled with banyan trees, bamboo and groves of tropical Asian fruits. The garden’s extensive water features surround a Thai pavilion set in a lotus pool and a steppingstone path through a water garden leading to a Balinese shrine.

Ellin Goetz,  president of Goetz Strope, the Naples-based principal landscape architect for the gardens, remembered working with Wijaya in implementing his designs.

She recalled that Wijaya, coming from Asia, had a different sense of plant life at times than would Floridians: “He was transfixed with ixora. But to us it’s an everyday plant,” she recalled.

She also recalled his frustration with public structural and landscape codes that Collier County imposes: “We have a very strong landscape criteria here, which they may not have in other countries,” she said.

But she appreciated his attention to the theme.

“He was trying to project an Asian theme that migrated around Asia, rather than just stopping in one spot,” she recalled. “He had some very cool ideas — the rice paddy was very cool.”

Wijaya returned to Naples Botanical Garden last November to address garden supporters and employees on how to guide the next decade of growth. He also gave a standing-room-only lecture: “Theatrical Nature – My Life Creating Exotic Gardens in the Tropics.”

“Theatrical” was an appropriate description for Wijaya. He was born Michael White but became Made Wijaya after he adopted Bali as his home. He often wore Balinese dress and was blunt-spoken in his opinions on design and most other topics.

Wijaya championed Balinese design in his striking tropical garden designs the world over, including for celebrities such as David Bowie and for luminaries in Miami. He designed well more than the 600 gardens attributed to him a nearly decade ago.

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Death in Sydney of renowned garden designer keenly felt in his …

Bali: The world-renowned tropical garden designer Made Wijaya – one of Bali’s most flamboyant, controversial, and larger-than-life characters – has died suddenly in Sydney, leaving the island he adopted in mourning.

Only his closest friends had known he was sick.

Made Wijaya in his natural setting. Photo: Sahlan Hayes

Wijaya, who was adored and loathed in equal measure, is best known for designing David Bowie’s garden at his Balinese-inspired home on the private Caribbean island of Mustique, but he was so much more than that.

“Made Wijaya set the bar for how deeply a foreigner could understand and love Bali – so much so that the Balinese sometimes looked to him to better understand themselves,” says filmmaker and long-term Bali resident Daniel Ziv.

‘Made had many gifts’: Made Wijaya, seen here in 2010, cultivated a controversial identity and a consuming interest in all things Balinese. Photo: Sahlan Hayes

“(He) was an inseparable part of the island’s cultural ecosystem (and) will be deeply missed.”

Balinese artist Nyoman Gunarsa, who first sponsored Wijaya to live in Bali, said he was a true friend and artist. “I really loved him,” he said. “May his spirit be accepted to be by God’s side.”

Wijaya started life as an architecture student and teenage tennis champion from Sydney named Michael White, who by his own account arrived in Bali in 1973 “having jumped ship and swum ashore in a rainstorm”.

The visit was intended as a short break from his studies, but his fascination with Bali’s culture led him to move in with a Brahman family in South Bali.

Architecture of Bali: A sourcebook of traditional and modern forms, by Made Wijaya. Photo: Marina Oliphant

He worked as a tennis coach, filmmaker and photojournalist before the wife of a famous architect suggested he try garden design, with his first big commission the Bali Hyatt’s garden in Sanur.

Phaidon, the global publisher of the creative arts, wrote that Wijaya’s style of tropical gardening had been characterised as “the tropical Cotswolds look”.

Tropical Garden Design, one of many books published by Made Wijaya. 

In an interview with the publisher, he lamented the rustic movement was “very unfashionable”.

“It’s all gone soulless, treeless, birdless and loveless,” he said. “You have the opportunity in the tropics to have the birds nesting around the pool and frangipani flowers dropping into the waters, but these pleasures are denied because of a school of anal architects.”

A garden by Made Wijaya from the book Tropical Garden Design.  

Author, historian and professor of South-east Asian studies Adrian Vickers said Wijaya left a great legacy of cultural knowledge and the University of Sydney would work to preserve his extensive and unique cultural archive.

“Made had many gifts. He was certainly more than David Bowie’s gardener, although Bowie’s house in Mustique is one of many landscape monuments to his talent around the world, from Florida to the Taj hotels in India,”  Professor Vickers says.

“He spoke Balinese with a fluency that no foreigner could match – and perhaps even a few Balinese had trouble topping his double entendres. He had an immense talent for all things visual, from photography to design and architecture. His research on Majapahit, on Balinese architecture and on Balinese costume (the subject of his last book project) was based on a memory that was visually encyclopaedic.”

Made Wijaya was the nom de plume White used for the witty and acerbic column he wrote, “Stranger in Paradise”, which catalogued his life in Bali. The name stuck.

Wijaya was nothing if not opinionated. He recently described the massive tourist development proposed for Benoa Bay as “mindless environmental vandalism”.

“Imagine filling in Sydney Harbour – it’s pretty radical. It’s going to become like, heaven forbid, South Florida, with fake waterways and cheesy houses. And the last thing we need is more traffic in South Bali,” he told this reporter.

Melanie Morrison, whose father Bill Morrison was the Australian ambassador to Indonesia in the mid-1980s, said Wijaya loved to shock people with his offhand remarks, inappropriate jokes and complete irreverence.

But for all his erudite wit and talents, it was Wijaya’s kindness that many remember. “This master of design had even taken it upon himself to redesign my scruffy little garden in Marrickville – from David Bowie’s Mustique to the inner west, we joked.”

“Behind the scenes he was such a lovely man who helped so many people,” says photographer Andrew de Jong, whose first book Wijaya helped publish. “We are all still in shock today.”

Bali will be a lot more boring without Made Wijaya.

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12 Southern Events & Happenings: September 2016

We’re SO excited for fall and the many fun events that are coming up. As we transition from summer, the variety of fun Southern events picks up — and we’re excited to hit the road to partake in the fun. Here are some of the top options we’re looking at for September. Take a look!

Get out and explore the South this fall at some of these fantastic Southern events.

September 2-5, 2016: Southern Living’s 50 Anniversary — Nashville, Tennessee

This Labor Day weekend, Southern Living and the city of Nashville are teaming up to celebrate Southern Living’s 50th anniversary with a weekend of experiences that celebrate the city’s food, fashion, art and, of course, music. You can taste hot chicken and craft beer, stroll Nashville’s art galleries, enjoy local barbecue, dine at Cheekwood, shop 12South or brunch with Southern Living editors. Ticket prices vary. Learn more at

September 9-10, 2016: Southern Ideal Home Show — Charlotte, North Carolina

Need ideas for a new home or remodeling project? Find all things home improvement at the Southern Ideal Home Show. From landscaping to interior design, you’ll leave feeling inspired by the show’s experts and on-stage presentations. The show will be held at the Park Expo and Conference Center located at 800 Briar Creek Road, Charlotte, NC  28205. Tickets can be purchased online in advance for $9 or at the door for $10. For hours and a list of show exhibits visit

September 10, 2016: Zoo Rendezvous: An Evening in Africa — Memphis, Tennessee

Experience a taste of more than 70 local restaurants and bars while supporting the Memphis ZooZoo Rendezvous celebrates the new Zambezi River Hippo Camp and brings together the best tastes of the town with live music on four stages from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.  Tickets are $200; buy them at

September 15-17, 2016: The Wharf Uncorked — Orange Beach, Alabama

Spend a weekend in Orange Beach for a great cause. The Wharf Uncorked, a fundraising weekend for Make-A-Wish Alabama, features food and wine tastings, live entertainment, cooking demos, cookbook signings and much more. The fun takes place at The Wharf at Orange Beach. Click here for details.

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September 15-17, 2016: 44th Annual Greek Festival — Birmingham, Alabama

If you love food, music and the Greek zest for life, this is the event for you! The Holy Trinity-Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral will host the 44th annual Greek Festival, which draws crowds from across the Southeast to revel in the gorgeous art, delicious flavors and vivacious music and dance of Greek culture. There is even a drive-thru for those that need to get their annual authentic Greek food fix but don’t have time to park and explore the festival’s many offerings. Come savor Birmingham’s rich Greek culture September 15 through September 17, from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day. Admission is free. Visit

September 20-24, 2016: Charlotte Fashion Week — Charlotte, North Carolina

September 24-25, 2016: Pilgrimage Music Cultural Festival — Franklin, Tennessee

The 230-acre Park at Harlinsdale former horse farm in Franklin acts as the perfect music festival venue, and fall is the perfect time to be outside enjoying music. Sounds of rock ‘n’ roll, country, bluegrass, jazz, indie and gospel will be heard during this two-day festival. Kids can play in the designated play area, festival goers can enjoy the region’s best food and drink — and everyone can enjoy music from standout acts including Grace Potter, Jason Isbell, Kacey Musgraves and more. Day passes are $69. Visit

September 25, 2016: Fried Chicken Festival — New Orleans, Louisiana

Indulge your Southern taste buds in a day devoted entirely to fried chicken. The Fried Chicken Festival takes place in Lafayette Square in the Central Business District. Partake in a fried chicken wing-eating contest, enter your secret recipe in the fried chicken contest, sample foods from more than 20 restaurants, mingle with food writers, critics and bloggers from across the nation and more. Click here to learn more.

September 25, 2016: Breakin’ Bread at Sloss Furnaces — Birmingham, Alabama

The 14th annual Breakin’ Bread Festival is a local flavor explosion! Come out to Sloss Furnaces with an empty stomach to explore unlimited food samplings by Birmingham’s highly acclaimed chefs, craft beer and wine, a kids’ zone, live cooking competition, live music, tasting seminars and a showcase of local Alabama brews — as well as access to explore the sprawling and impressive Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark. Do we need to say more? Presented by Birmingham Originals, this food lovers’ celebration begins at 1 p.m. and ends at 5 p.m. General admission tickets, which include unlimited food samples and two drink tickets, are $30 and increase to $35 on September 2, 2016. VIP tickets, which include unlimited food samplings and drinks, access to the exclusive lounge area and gift bags, are $89 and increase to $99 on September 22016. Children under 12 get in free. Visit

September 27-30, 2016: IdeaFestival — Louisville, Kentucky

Are you curious, an entrepreneur, interested in the future, a lover of TED talks? By all means, get thee to the Kentucky Center September 28 through 30, 2016, for the IdeaFestival. There is something for everyone here — and be prepared for a lot of intellectual stimulation, all weekend! Check out the schedule here. Visit

September 30, 2016: Vin-a-Que at Memphis Brooks Museum of Art — Memphis, Tennessee

Celebrate Memphis’ barbecue heritage and pair barbecue dishes with wines, specialty drinks and craft beer at Vin-a-Que. This fundraiser for the Brooks Museum of Art is a see-and-be-seen event featuring live music and a silent auction under the stars on the museum’s plaza, plus all the yummy barbecue from area restaurants, plus and libations. The event is from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and tickets are $75. Details and tickets are online at

September 30-October 2, 2016: St. James Court Art Show — Louisville, Kentucky

The 60th annual St. James Court Art Show will take place from September 30 through October 2. The juried fine arts and arts and craft show hosts 750 artists from around North America and is held in the heart of historic Old Louisville. Hours are Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit


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Tour Diane Keaton’s Spanish-Style House in California

Think Georgia O ’­ Keeffe in Beverly Hills. Imagine, if you will, that you’re walking down a sidewalk in Los Angeles (a stretch in itself, of course), strolling along blocks strangely devoid of human traffic, past rows of coiffed hedges and manicured lawns when, suddenly, you happen upon a plot full of lavender behind whose pastel foliage you can just make out a low-slung, off-white structure more Barcelona than Beverly Hills, more Hernando’s Hideaway than Hollywood; a glimpse of the Spanish, a taste of the Mediterranean, a far cry—make that shout—from the houses surrounding it. A little bit of California in the twenties, smack in the middle of Beverly Hills in the nineties. It could only belong to Diane Keaton, this glorious Wallace Neff-designed house that she calls home—and anyone else might call art.

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New Extension program promotes rain gardens to combat floods, erosion and stormwater runoff

CLEMSON — The Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service and Carolina Clear have launched an initiative to help property owners install rain gardens to mitigate potential flood damage and help protect South Carolina water quality.

The new Carolina Rain Garden Initiative provides property owners a step-by-step, 17-video tutorial called a “Virtual Rain Garden” that provides tips for choosing plants, selecting a location, preparing soil, creating the appropriate shape and depth, selecting mulch and much more. The newly launched website also provides a 16-page informative manual for download, a list of upcoming educational workshops on rain gardens and a map of demonstration rain gardens throughout the state to visit for information.

In addition to providing tips for installing a rain garden, the Carolina Rain Garden Initiative also certifies professional rain garden installers and designers. Certified professionals are listed on the website.

“A lot of people think that a rain garden is a really wet garden, and that’s simply not the case. We can create rain gardens that infiltrate water quickly; that help with stormwater runoff, erosion and flooding issues; and that also function as beautiful landscape features that attract birds, butterflies and other pollinators,” said Kim Counts Morganello, a water resources agent with Clemson Extension’s Carolina Clear program.

Clemson University Extension leads the installations of a rain garden.
Image Credit: Clemson University

Water infiltrates properly designed rain gardens in three days, or often less, so pooling water does not attract mosquitos. A rain garden installed in North Charleston by Extension Master Gardens, for example, was dry less than 24 hours after receiving three inches of rain from Tropical Storm Bonnie, Morganello said. That’s more than 750 gallons of water soaked up in 24 hours by a small 150-square-foot rain garden, she said.

Excessive rainfall can lead to standing water that causes erosion damage and carries a host of pollutants to streams and rivers, including excess fertilizers and pesticides, oil residue, pet waste and other litter. Properly designed rain gardens are landscaped depressions that act as sponges to soak water into the soil where it is effectively filtered by plant roots and microorganisms. Rain barrels can be added to catch and store water that can be used to irrigate the rain garden and other landscape during dry periods.

“One of the reasons we really like rain gardens at Clemson is their ability to reduce stormwater pollution,” Morganello said.

The Extension Service has installed roughly 20 demonstration gardens at public locations throughout Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley counties to allow residents to view the gardens for ideas. More demonstration gardens will be added throughout the state and will be listed on the Carolina Rain Garden Initiative website.

Karen Piret and her husband, John, recently installed a small 5-by-8-foot rain garden at a rental home they own in Mount Pleasant. Rain was causing erosion around the back porch, washing away landscaping mulch and preventing grass from growing in spots of the backyard, Karen Piret said. The small rain garden was a simple and inexpensive fix, she said.

“There are no more water issues,” said Piret, who graduated from Extension’s Master Gardener program along with her husband. “We are really happy this solved our problems because then we didn’t have to dig a drain and run tubing. That would have been a lot of work.”

George Aaron, also a Master Gardener, installed two rain gardens near his home, one about 10-by-18 feet and a second 6-by-8 feet, to pull water away from his home and rid his yard of puddles after rainfall.

“I live on the marsh, so we also wanted to keep the runoff out of the marsh,” he said. “There was very little cost associated with it.”

Home gardeners interested in installing a rain garden can attend the Rain Garden Workshop for the Home Landscape Nov. 18 in Berkeley County. Professionals interested in learning about rain garden design can attend the Clemson Extension Contractor BMP training Nov. 15 at the Clemson Sandhill Research and Education Center in Columbia. Additional workshops will be scheduled throughout the state in the future. For a list of workshops, visit the Carolina Rain Garden Initiative website at


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7 Companies Proving Triple Bottom Line Is Possible

Social consciousness is becoming a critical aspect of today’s brands, driven by an audience expecting environmental responsibility. In response, more companies are looking to make significant changes and potentially revolutionize their industries and helping the environment along the way. Think triple bottom line; people, planet, profit.

Triple bottom line business

Triple bottom line is possible. Image Credit: wk1003mike / Shutterstock

Focused on triple bottom line operations, these 7 companies are adapting their operations to be more environmentally conscious.

  1. Seventh Generation — In an industry like cleaning products where harsh chemicals rule, Seventh Generation has proven that cleaning products can be environmentally sound. They use natural ingredients that still provide effective cleaning capability while at the same time protecting people and the environment. Seventh Generation has even expanded into baby products and feminine care products.
  2. DHL — By their very nature, shipping companies are large consumers of oil and gasoline. After all, those packages don’t move themselves. DHL is taking shipping back-to-the-basics, enacting a revolutionary delivery program to illustrate that shipping can be more efficient. How? They now use couriers on bicycles in many European countries, including Germany and the Netherlands. DHL estimates that this change alone will reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 152 metric tons per year.
  3. EnviroPure Systems — Food waste and disposal is a big issue for restaurants and supermarkets. EnviroPure Systems has created a revolutionary solution that helps effectively dispose of organic food waste without resorting to landfills. The food waste solution speeds up the composting process and creates a byproduct that can then be used for landscaping and gardens. Water use reduction comes in the form of a dry system.
  4. CSI globalVCard — The payments industry has traditionally relied on paper intensive processes. With our seismic shift to online shopping, CSI’s globalVCard proves that you don’t need plastic or paper to make a payment in person or online.
  5. Due — Much like payment processing, invoicing has historically been a paper intensive process.  Due’s revolutionary online invoicing platform is changing that.  Online invoicing takes paper out of the equation, with invoices now being accessed via email or through a link. The recipient can now go online, view the invoice, and then pay it directly. Voila!
  6. Patagonia — Patagonia does not use any chemicals in their production processes and often use recycled, organic, or environmentally sound materials.  They are proving that outdoor equipment and clothing can be made for all types of environment without causing any harm to the environment. Patagonia is also a vocal (and financial) advocate for environmental initiatives (sustain farming, water conservation, etc.).
  7. The Eco-Laundry Company — Eco-Laundry Company locations are powered his stores with wind energy, use machines that conserve water and non-toxic, biodegradable soaps and detergent. Their green dry cleaning service also uses biodegradable hangers. Looking to revolutionize the industry, The Eco-Laundry Company offers franchise opportunities.

Change, for the better

These are just a few of the amazing ways companies are changing their industries for the better. They are proof that triple bottom line operations are possible, inspiring others in the process.

Feature image credit: Denphumi / Shutterstock 

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Harford County has multiple stormwater remediation projects in the works

Harford County is using a mix of bond, grant and general funds – leveraged by redirected recordation tax revenue – to design and build a series of stormwater remediation and watershed restoration projects to help project local waterways that feed the Chesapeake Bay.

The county has spent the past year and half completing the first phase of three watershed restoration projects in the greater Bel Air area, according to county government spokesperson Cindy Mumby.

Construction on four others is slated to start this year and in 2017 – the work is expected to be complete by the spring of 2018. Fourteen more stream restoration projects are in the design phases, Mumby said.

The cost is covered by state grants and bond funds. A portion of the revenue collected through the recordation tax, which is paid to record a real estate transaction in the county land records, is used for debt service on the bond funds, according to Mumby.

Fairbanks Garden Club offering landscaping classes – Fairbanks Daily News

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12 Tips to Get Your Edible Garden Started

  •  (Priscilla Torres/Houzz)

  •  (Amy Renea/Houzz)

  •  (Square Foot Gardening/Houzz)

You’ve dreamed of turning your lawn into a lush food-producing oasis. Perhaps you’ve had visions of stepping onto your patio before dinner to snip fresh chives and basil onto your plate. The good news is that almost anyone can grow food, whether you have a tiny apartment balcony or a big yard. And there’s still time to start many summer crops — and to plan for a cool-season garden for fresh harvests this fall.

12 Edibles Perfect to Plant in Late Summer

1. Start small. Just because you have a big backyard doesn’t mean that you should turn the entire thing into a vegetable garden. At least, not in the first year. Begin by building one raised bed and see how things go. You may be surprised both by how much food you can grow in a tiny space and by how much work it actually takes to keep things going. If you’re hungry for more next year, add another bed or two.

2. Plan your garden. Before you spend money or build anything, take time to get to know yourself and your space. Where is the best light? How much time do you have each week to spend on your gardening? How much food do you really want to grow? Ask yourself these questions before you put your shovel into the ground.

3. If you don’t have a backyard, find an alternative. You don’t need a big backyard to grow food. Patios and decks can make for great gardens. They can even offer advantages over traditional beds since they often have plenty of light. You may also want to consider building a front yard vegetable garden. It’s a great way to bring the neighborhood together.

4. Get good soil. Soil is the most important factor in the health of your garden. Instead of buying bags of the cheapest stuff from the hardware store, do some research and find the best way to get compost-rich organic soil for your garden. Whether you build your own soil or buy it from a reputable supplier, your plants will thank you.

5. Choose easy-to-grow crops. Giant leeks, Romanesco broccoli and heirloom watermelons look gorgeous in the seed catalog, but hold off on planting them in the first few years. Instead, choose tried-and-true varieties of crops that are productive and easy to grow. Snap peas, radishes, herbs like mint and chives, salad greens, kale, tomatoes and zucchini are all classic choices — just make sure you actually like to eat them before they go into the garden. Consult a seed catalog from a local company to find the best varieties for your regional climate.

6. Decide whether to plant seeds or seedlings. It can be tempting to buy seedlings from the nursery or grocery store, but, in some cases, planting seeds is even easier. Growing vegetables from seed also saves a lot of money, opens up a world of plant varieties and can make for healthier plants.

7. Invest in some garden tools — but not too many. Vegetable gardens don’t need a lot of tools. In fact, you may find that the best “tools” out there are a good pair of garden gloves and your hands. Start with a trowel, weeder and a few other essentials, then build your collection from there.

8. Try planting a square-foot garden. Gone are the days of planting vegetables in long, skinny rows. Instead, try building raised beds and planting them using the square-foot method described in Mel Bartholomew’s book All New Square Foot Gardening. This technique, which divides crops using a grid, creates patchwork quilt-style gardens that grow more food in less space.

9. Stay on top of weeds. Square-foot gardens usually have surprisingly few weeds. Still, you’ll find a few in there. Rather than straining your back over giant dandelions, try pulling weeds out when they’re relatively small. A once-per-week weeding is the perfect way to keep things in shape.

10. Welcome the birds and the bees. Pollinator animals, like bees, hummingbirds and butterflies, are your allies in gardening success. They provide an essential service by helping plants set fruit — so having lots of them means that your cucumbers and apples will be way more plentiful.

Pollinators are sensitive creatures that need your help to thrive. Welcome them by planting attractive flowers and by providing sources of shelter and water.

11. Don’t forget to label your crops. It’s a small detail but one that makes a big difference. Whenever you plant something, label it with a plant maker including the crop, variety and planting date. Otherwise, you may sow the same place twice before seeds emerge. Plant markers help keep your garden organized.

12. Remember that it’s an experiment. Treat your garden with curiosity and an open mind. If a crop fails, don’t get upset. Do some research and try to figure out what went wrong so that you can avoid the problem next time. Successful gardeners spend years learning from mistakes and are always open to trying new techniques. Treat it as a fun and delicious experiment.

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