Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Newbies

Newbie - (noun - American slang) Anyone new at something

Every spring and fall I add new plants to the garden. Beds are enlarged, container plantings, which feature many perennials,  are rearranged, and empty spots filled. This spring I'm expanding my rain garden and adding a few more containers. Here's a list of the Newbies for 2013.

** I've linked the photos to the online nurseries I purchased them from.  Just click on the name of the plant to visit the nursery. All pictures are from Google images, except the euphorbia, which never went dormant.


Spring Planting

Perennials

Aster 'Dream of Beauty'


I'm a sucker for asters and spend large amounts of time trying to figure out how to add more of them to my garden. They're easy to grow, bloom in the fall, and attract loads of butterflies. I'm adding this little beauty to an area near my rain garden.


Campanula 'Pink Octopus'


I love how weird these flowers are. They remind me of ribbons.  I've finally found a spot for them near a patch of euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow'.

Dayliliy (Hemerocalis) 'Star Dream'


I've lost track of all the multiple cultivars of yellow day lilies I have. But I've decided to add more anyway simply because they make me happy. 'Star Dream' are fragrant and are headed for a pot near my back door so I can enjoy the fragrance. These were purchased from the ultra-fabulous Lazy S's Farm Nursery. All of their day lilies are currently 50% off. These were only $5.


Wallflowers 'Wenlock Beauty'



These are another fragrant plant headed for a pot near my back door. I've heard these need absolutely perfect drainage to stay alive so I'm going to mix some growers grit or tiny pea gravel into the potting soil. I'm not sure if they'll overwinter, but it's not really a big deal. If I love them, I'll buy them again. If they turn out to be duds, then I have a new vacancy to fill! It's all good.

Shrubs (all purchased locally)

Blueberry 'Peach Sorbet' and 'Jelly Bean'


Peach Sorbet

I saw this at a trade show and fell in love! It was all I could do not to grab the entire pot and run out the door.  Ok, I couldn't even lift the pot, but so what. I stood there and drooled like a baby, anyway. This dwarf blueberry was bred to spend its life in a container within snacking distance of my kitchen. It has gorgeous fall color and is self-pollinating, meaning it doesn't have to get funky with another blueberry to make baby berries.   




Jelly Bean

But just to make sure my plants are loaded with berries, I'm going to add this tiny round cultivar named 'Jelly Bean' to the patio party. Both 'Peach Sorbet' and 'Jelly Bean' are carried by Monrovia and should be easily available if your local garden center carries Monrovia plants. They might be able to order it for you. 


CityLine Hydrangea 'Venice'


I had to pull up my hydrangeas last year because they were growing in a heat island full of leaf scorching reflected heat. They are currently thriving in the shade at a friends house while I remain hydrangea-less. Discovering these dwarf cultivars finally brought an end to all my moaning and groaning. 'Venice' is the shortest cultivar, topping out at about 2 ft. It's also headed to a pot in partial shade.


Added in fall 2012

Perennials

Garlic chives (Allium tomentosum) (seeds)


I tossed some garlic chive seeds into a spot that also has daffodils and day lilies in an attempt to add more fall flowers to my front garden. If nothing pops up this spring, I'll just throw out some more. I saw huge clumps of garlic chives at Dunbarton Oaks in DC that were covered in pollinators and thought I'd give them a try.

Coreopsis 'Star Cluster'


Last fall I added a butterfly garden along my walkway to the front garden. Five chunks of 'Star Cluster' coreopsis were used to form the main spine of the bed. Coreopsis is a tough plant that takes full sun and hot weather without whining or wilting as long as you give them good drainage. A soggy coreopsis is a dead coreopsis.

Coreopsis 'Full Moon' (purchased locally)


These are a soft yellow I thought would compliment the creamy white of 'Star Cluster'. Coreopsis are perfect plants for gardeners whose soil resembles the surface of Mars rather than the pages of a lush magazine. Don't give them too much fertilizer, either, or you'll have tons of foliage but few flowers.



Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow' (purchased locally)



I added these last fall after spotting them at my local garden center. Known for their ability to withstand hot, dry partial shade, it's really hard to kill a euphorbia. I love their pinkish variegated leaves. My clump has yet to go dormant and has been a bright spot in an otherwise brown, sleepy garden. The unfabulous picture above is from November. My euphorbia have developed redder leaves as it's gotten colder and are really pretty. For the guys - they're NOT pretty! They are interesting and distinctive.

Lily 'Red Hot'


I added these lilies to a difficult spot on the side of my house known as the Yuck side. I redesigned the entire area last fall and planted these around a massive bleeding heart that goes dormant every summer, leaving me with a huge bare spot. These are tall and highly fragrant. The company I ordered them from said to plant them sideways to avoid rotting during excessively wet weather, so I gave it a try. Of course, now I want several feet of snow so I can test that theory.

Monarda 'Dark Ponticum'



I have no will power when it comes to monarda. I don't even try to resist them. I just don't see the point. 'Dark Ponticum' thrives in dryish soil, is mildew resistant, and has incredible purple flowers. The clumps I planted took off and are already poking up leaves through the soggy mulch. Monarda are amazing at attracting hummingbirds. The more monarda you have, the better your chances of filling your garden with these neurotic, territorial little birds. If possible, plant monarda in patches around the garden so you can watch the hummers chase each other from patch to patch.


Oenathera fremontii 'Shimmer' Evening primrose


High Country Gardens is an amazing nursery that recently closed its retail greenhouses but is keeping its online business alive. I love how thin this foliage is and thought the contrast against the round flowers was striking. These bloom in late spring, attract butterflies, and are great for hot, dry spots.  I really hope I don't think these are grass when they come up in the spring and then pull them out...

'Caradonna'  salvia


'Caradonna' is planted in the same bed as the coreopsis and 'Rose Queen'. Salvia thrive in hot, dry conditions that would cripple many other plants. My front butterfly garden is also my Hell Strip and was packed with colorful perennials that would look great, attract pollinators, and need a minimum amount of water. If you pinch back your salvia, you have a fuller and more flower packed plant. All types of salvia attract butterflies.

'Rose Queen' salvia ('Rose Queen' purchased locally)


I purchased 10 pots of 'Rose Queen' salvia last August when I saw them for $5 a pot at a local big box store. Where they immediately tucked into the soil, mulched, and watered until they settled in? Nope. I plopped them onto a steaming hot corner of my patio and watered them every couple of days for two months so they didn't fry in the heat. Did they curl up and die or cuss at me as I passed? Nope. They grew and held on just fine. Salvia are the biker babes of the plant world - tough, colorful, and able to thrive in difficult spots.

Plants that died but I want to grow again



Columbine 'Denver's Gold

My 'Denvers Gold' wouldn't have died if I hadn't hacked its root ball into tiny pieces. I don't recall specifically planting a 'Denver's Gold' cultivar but a giant yellow columbine starting growing several years ago at the very front of a garden bed. This columbine bloomed from spring until our first frost. Tired of not being able to see the plants behind it, I decided to dig it up and move it. Unbeknownst to me, its root ball was snuggly growing underneath the patio and short of removing part of my patio, it wasn't coming out without a fight. While cruising the endless offerings at Lazy S, I discovered a columbine exactly like the one I dug up. This time it's going into the middle of the bed, instead of the very front. I miss having columbine blooms in October.

'Tikki Torch' coneflowers


This picture was taken in June 2011 when my 'Tikki Torch' coneflowers were still quite alive. What I didn't know then was they need perfect drainage to avoid rotting. Hasta la vista, Tikki! Last fall I added several to a large pot, which is my favorite solution for any plant with drainage issues. I've successfully overwintered cone flowers in pots before so I'm hoping they pull through. Maybe I"ll stick little paper umbrellas in the soil and chat them up while wearing a hideous Hawaiian shirt if I think they need encouragement.

62 comments:

  1. Wonderful plant selection you have going there! I have noted several for my own garden...especially that dwarf hydrangea! I have Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow' in my garden and its color still looks great now in January! Thanks for sharing...like some of your plants my garden is in its "newbie" stage and all of the great info helps me make decisions for spring!

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    1. I've learned a ton from other garden bloggers, especially when they review what does and doesn't do well for them. Every one's garden was a newbie at some point. :o) I hope my euphorbia is as happy in July as it is now. :o)

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  2. 'Wenlock Beauty' and that Euphorbia made me swoon! You have some excellent newbies. Can't wait to see more photos of them during the coming growing season!

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    1. I really hope 'Wenlock Beauty' does well. Finding fragrant plants can be really challenging. I'm hoping they're fragrant from a distance and not just when I have my nose stuck in them. :o)

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  3. Wow, great choices! I don't know the variety 'Dream of Beauty' but the species S. oblongifolius, Aromatic Aster, is one of my absolute favorites. LOTS of flowers, and a relatively manageable compact size. Drought resistant, too. That Monarda 'Dark Ponticum' also sounds fantastic. I was planning to buy some 'Claire Grace' buy maybe I'll track down some of these - I like the color and compact size.

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    1. I have 'Claire Grace', too! It's an awesome monarda. I'm excited about the 'Dark Ponticum' because it took off right after I planted it, which is always a good sign.

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  4. Thanks for introuducing us to the Freshman class of 2013! You've made some gorgeous choices. Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow' makes me fall in love every time I see it!

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    1. The Freshman Class! I love it! I hope they're all well behaved. :o)

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  5. They should make for some pretty garden pictures, I like the wallflowers, very nice.

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    1. I've never grown them before so I'm looking forward to having them in the garden.

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  6. Tammy I can't wait to see your garden in full bloom. You are definitely on the right track for creating an even more beautiful landscape with all the lovely newbies in your garden. Potted plants on the patio are always a nice touch.
    Loved the purple monarda.

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  7. Wonderful choices. I thought High Country Gardens had announced last year that even online they were closing so it's nice to see they are still in business.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. I thought they had closed completely, too. I was thrilled to read about their plans to keep their online business open.

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  8. Some lovely plants. The evening primrose planted together is very striking. I've got lots of ideas from your post.

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    1. That's great! I'm looking forward to seeing how the primrose woks with the other plants. I hope it doesnt take over.

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  9. Oh, how I love flowers! You made some great choices, too. Your garden should look absolutely beautiful when everything is in place.

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  10. What a cornucopia of plants. All are great choices, but I have to say I am right now on my way to find those blueberries. Snackers in pots by the kitchen door!! Peach Sorbet and jelly Bean! I cannot possibly resist. Thanks for putting these on my radar, and shortly on my deck.

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    1. I'm dying to get my hands on those blueberries. :o) My last blueberry bushes were mauled by a well meaning teenager with a wheelbarrow full of mulch. Wheelbarrow - 1 Blueberries - 0.

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  11. You highlighted some nice plants, but the Primrose is really a plant that spreads. The Monarda too, but like you, I have a hard time resisting them as the butterflies and hummingbirds love them.

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    1. I've actually had a bad experience with pink primrose before. I've heard this cultivar is better behaved but if it starts to take over, I have a few containment ideas at the ready.

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  12. You're so organized! I haven't even figured out my seed orders yet let alone any new plants. I like those campanula too, very different from the usual purple variety.

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    1. I prioritize my organization. My garden - organized. My kitchen desk - a wreck. :o) Campanula are pretty tough. Do you think 'Pink Octopus' would do well for you?

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  13. Love your "newbies". I need more daylilies - may have to check out that sale! - and I really like that evening primrose. You are right - the foliage is fantastic! Euphorbia - "it's really hard to kill". That's what I thought. But I have killed three or four (so far). I've about decided they and I don't mix. Too bad - they really are extremely interesting and I lusted over them for so long before I finally found some to put in my garden. Love those blueberry bushes! Mmmm.... I can almost taste them now!

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    1. My experience with euphorbia is limited. I also have a beautiful purple variety a friend gave me as a seedling from her garden. They seem to like well drained soil and a bit of shade. I hope my 'Ascot Rainbow' proves to be as tough as my mystery purple euphorbia.

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  14. That is a great selection of new plants! It is when reading posts like yours I realise how tiny my garden is...or how many plants I already got. I wish I could add just half of these, but I have added Campanula 'Pink Octopus' to my wishlist, absolutely gorgeous! I am going to add some more lilies this year though, there is always space for a lily here and there!

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    1. I find it easy to always find a spot to tuck in a lily, too! I'm excited about the 'Pink Octopus'. It's such a cool plant. :o)

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  15. Wow, you added a great selection of plants to your garden. I admire the Caradonna Salvia, go to have a look where I eventually can buy that one. Your new Hydrangea 'Venice' is a beauty too, but I wonder if it remains blue, in my garden all blue Hydrangeas change to reddish pink due to the soil. I often added iron and for one year they get blue again, but I have to continue this all the time, so I stopped.

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    1. I'm going to grow the hydrangea in a pot so it should be easy to keep the pH low. It will be next to a pink rose so I really want blue or purple flowers. I hope my 'Caradonna' salvia is as beautiful as the one pictured. It will be growing in a butterfly garden in the front of my house. :o)

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  16. Tammy, I love Monarda as you but it's no lucky in my garden. Its green trunks are very small after snow melts
    Every spring I try to throw it away as a weed, so Monarda can't survive in my garden! This year I will sow it and try to grow in a pot till winter.

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    1. I think growing monarda in a pot is a good idea, especially if you can overwinter it in the house. It's a really beautiful plant that the hummingbirds and butterflies love.

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  17. You put me to shame, Tammy. I am slow to get planing additions for 2013. There are many interesting choices here. I would love to have a berry patch with strawberries, raspberries etc. It will be interesting to here how you do with the blueberries.

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    1. Can you find Monrovia plants in Canada? The company that sells the blueberries also has a compact, dwarf raspberry plant just for containers. Then you wouldn't have to worry about the fruit being eaten by bunnies. I'm really hoping the blueberries do well.

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  18. That's a long list you have there. Some beauties in it too like the yellow columbine, primrose and the aster. I made my first order this week, only three types of plants but 9 in total. They won't arrive until april or may. When do yours arrive?

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    1. My plants should be here the end of March, which is my Spring Break. I'm excited! What did you order?

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    2. I ordered some Labrador violets and Gillenia trifoliata 'Pink Profusion' as well as the species G. trifoliata which is white. All natives for me and hard to find.

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  19. What a great way to organize your thoughts on new plant acquisitions! Beats boring old lists. Love the Coreopsis and Euphorbia. Both can be tricky to get through my winters depending on the cultivars but that hasn't kept me from trying. Salvia 'Carradonna' has been a winner here. I get little to no rebloom but have it planted in my inhospitable front curb garden where it gets no supplemental water. Soon all of our plant dreams will begin to become realities. Yay!

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    1. I've tortured coreopsis before and finally pulled out a patch one year that I just couldn't make happy. However, the last coreopsis I grew well ('Sunshine Superman) is super happy so I've decided to try again. Live and learn! It's good to hear how well your 'Caradonna' is doing. I love how tough salvia are. :o)

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  20. Thanks for the heads-up about High Country Gardens. Based on the prior announcements, I thought they were gone-gone. It's good to know I have someplace to go for more Agastache. Love your 2013 plant selections - I'm going to have to add that Campanula and some Coreopsis to my own wish list.

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    1. I thought they were goners, too, until I popped over to copy that pix of the primrose and saw their announcement. I as thrilled, since I depend on them for certain plants/types of plants. I always get my agastache from them. :o)

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  21. The aster and daylily, with the word "dream" in their names, certainly are aptly named. Your list offers the best of dreams, creating the perfect garden of the mind. A fine bridge to the planting season.

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    1. I hope everything works out as well in reality as it does in my mind! :o)

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  22. I love your plant choices! I haven't seen a campanula like that before. Very unique.

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    1. I've had my eye on that campanula for a couple of years. I'm exited to finally have a spot for it. :o)

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  23. You have a lovely selection of plants in your garden I seem to lose my so called perennials over winter each year just waiting to see what has pulled through this year.

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    1. Do you know why the plants aren't pulling through? I occasionally have a few heave if they were transplanted too late in the season. What perennials have you lost?

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  24. Wow, you must have loads of room to put all those newbies in! Funny, I did the same thing with salvia 2 summers ago! They are tough as nails.
    I do not grow any of the new ones you are planting except the Primrose. It was invasive as heck in my Zone 7B garden. Perhaps you will have better behaved plants!

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    1. Hi Sissy! Some of the plants are going in pots, some went in my front garden, while others are going in the back garden. I'm going to use spikey green lawn edging pieces to control the primrose. I'll pound them into the mulch so that they don't show. It should keep the primrose in check. I had a horrible experience with pink primrose once and swore I'd never plant it again. I really hope the yellow is better behaved, too. :o)

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  25. Happy gardening with all your newbies! Garlic chives are my favorite herb. They are great to cook with, and the butterflies and other flying insects love them, too! Be sure you remove the seed heads before they are set loose in your garden, however, as you will have a million popping up everywhere. Blueberries and euphorbias are on my own list for this year. You have made some great choices!

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    1. Glad to hear the chives are easy growers. I'm really excited about those blueberries. :o) They're one of my favorite fruits.

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  26. I'm drooling!!! This is better than a gardening catalogue, I want them all. I'm a Monarda addict as well and the colour you've posted is to die for. Can't wait for spring!

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    1. You're drooling? Mission accomplished! :o) Gardening catalogues are like torture for me. I want everything! I love how monarda smells. It smells like summer to me.

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  27. Plant dreaming, thank you for feeding it!

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  28. Goodness, what a fabulous collection, you could start your own nursery! I really like that wallflower, I hope it enjoys all that drainage, but it is the coreopsises (?) that stole my heart.

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    1. Is coreopsis available in the UK? It's such a great plant. I have zero experience with wallflowers so I hope I don't kill them. :/

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  29. BRING ME SOME SHRUBBERY....love love love it. I like the Campanula and you having it next to the Euphorbia. Would you believe that 'some bunny' ate the leaves off of my Ascot Rainbow? Couldn't believe it.

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    1. That pix is a keeper! I love scrolling Google images of funny garden pix. Cats+Monty Python = a winner. :o) I think the 'Pink Octopus' campanula and the Ascot Rainbow will be a cool combo. The bunny didn't eat the leaves. It pruned them. ;o)

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  30. Well you've got lots of wonderful newbies for your garden. I didn't read through your plethora of comments so if I repeat something that has been said, forgive me. 'Pink Octopus' tends to be a spreader. I love mine and have it in a raised (3 feet) container so I can enjoy the blossoms up close. 'Ascot Rainbow' is a winner. 'Wenlock Beauty' thrives in my winter-muddy clay that magically morphs into adobe in summer. It's easy peasy. However, I can't keep 'Rose Queen' Salvia alive. Boo hoo. Garlic chives are wonderful and the bees adore them. However, it's important to deadhead them or you'll have a bazillion the following year.

    I'm so glad High Country is staying open for mail order. It's an awesome resource. I agree with Janet, (above). The kitty photo is too funny!

    I can't wait to see your garden this summer with all your newbies fitting in with the veterans. It's going to look awesome! Great choices.

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    1. I'm so glad to get feedback on the wallflowers! I'm excited to give them a try. Salvia want perfect drainage. Stick them in a pot and ignore them. I'm serious! Hot sun, low fertility soil (old potting soil from pots you've been ignoring all winter works well), and sharp drainage = happy salvia. I was so relieved to see that High Country is staying open. I really depend on them for my xeric plants. :o)

      Rock on, Monty Python shrub cat!

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  31. Thank you so much for sharing that link on my post!!! What an amazing artist and piece for your garden!!!! Outstanding! I marked the shop on my Etsy page!!! Hope you take pictures when you get it!!!!

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