Saturday, November 7, 2015

A Peaceful End

The weather is cool, the leaves are falling, and it's time to say goodnight to my garden. 
2015 was a good year but I'm ready for a break.


'Peggy's Delight' zinnias with silene 'Prairie Fire', pink coneflowers, and helianthus brought in on the wind.

The basil was weird but the zinnias were beautiful.


'Persian Carpet' zinnias


Deadheading casualties

The closest I ever came to the meme In a Vase on Monday was 
Stuffed in a Jar on Friday.


New garden art was added



White alyssum grows next to the birdhouse. I loved this surprise so much I've already scattered more alyssum seeds around my patio steps. 

and alyssum seeds I thought had been overheated and died were ignored by the birds when I threw them out as bird seed and grew along my patio steps instead.



Monarch on a knautia bloom.

Monarchs flew in and I had a few caterpillars.


This picture is too bright, but it was so beautiful in the moment that I had to take a few photos. A young miscanthus 'Morning Light' against phlox, helianthus, and blue mist flower.

I tried to capture as much of the magic of my summer garden as I could even if the light was never quite right.


13 years ago this area was moist and sunny but as the trees have matured it's become one of the driest spots in the garden. The struggling monarda was removed and replaced with dry shade loving plants. The beautyberry will grow to be about 4 ft x 4 ft and will quickly fill the back of this border. 

This fall, after redesigning parts of my garden, I marked bare root plants and other small transplants with orange flags and bamboo stakes to help me remember where they are.


Most of the water directed towards the 'Little Zebra' miscanthus near my back door ends up falling through the empty space between my pots. I was tired of watering the patio so I came up with this solution instead. A 14" long watering spike from the always fabulous Lee Valley Tools was placed at angle into the root ball. I added an old copper funnel to the spike so I'd have direct access to the roots without having to worry about watering the patio.   


The watering spike is lined with mesh to keep it from being clogged by the roots. The funnel is hidden by the foliage but still obvious enough that I can find it when I need to water. 


To prevent small problems from becoming big disasters, a combo that makes my blood boil, I looked for ways to solve the problems that cropped up this summer so I don't have to deal with them next year. 



Part of the shade garden on a cloudy, rainy morning.

The soil has been amended and mulched and I'm ready to put the garden to bed. 


Custom art work by Frivolous Tendencies.

This is my last post for 2015. I'll be back January 1, 2016.

92 comments:

  1. Oh No! Last post? Do you always take a break in the winter from blogging? I'll miss your wonderful sense of humor. Be judicious about weeding out Alyssum if it comes up where it shouldn't. I sowed it on one side of my property, and two years later it was taking over a bed all the way across the garden. YMMV of course, since we're in different climates. My back and I are also more than ready for a break from gardening. But I still have lots of bulbs that need to get in the ground. I think they're probably going into pots, to be planted in the spring when I have the energy.

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    1. Thanks! It's good to be missed. :o) What does YMMV mean? I take a break from blogging every Nov/Dec. It's my holiday hiatus. I still have bulbs to put into pots, too, but I'm waiting til the annuals are killed by a hard frost.

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    2. your mileage may vary
      or
      different strokes for different folks.
      I have one polite little Alyssum ...

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    3. Thanks! I wouldn't mind if the alyssum spread a bit since it's so pretty. :o)

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  2. Aaah, that top pic has me dreaming of summer all over again. Have a good break, you and the garden.

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  3. Will be sorry not to be chuckling over my meusli as I read your posts, for the next couple of months, but having a break makes goood sense. So ... happy christmas in that case xx

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    1. I'm never gone for long. Happy Christmas to you, too! :o)

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  4. Enjoy your break Tammy, looking forward to your return in the New Year, I still have not replied to your kind offer as I am still trying to track down a source over here. Stuffed in a Jar on Friday is a great name for a new meme, I will sign up up if you start it! Best wishes for the next month or so.

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    1. The seeds have already been collected and stored if you change your mind. :o) I don't have any more room in my garden for more swamp milkweed plants so I won't be using them.

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  5. I love the garden art, Tammy - it's perfect for you. Enjoy your holiday break! I'm very envious. My body could use a good break from intensive garden activities right now. As your season winds down, we move into hyper-drive, which feels all the more intense this year as we anticipate that El Nino will bring lots of rain (possibly, if not probably, accompanied by flooding, mudslides, and downed trees). Provided that the so-call Godzilla El Nino doesn't actually drown my drought tolerant plants, it should help new ones get established so they can make it through the drought when El Nino, the flake, moves on.

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    1. Thanks! You do seem to be in a drought or deluge situation. CA weather needs to find a happy medium. If there were less drought, there'd be less mudslides. What a circular problem. I've heard we have a long term forecast for lots of snow and I'll take every flake!

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  6. Nice wrap up, it looks cold there already. Enjoy your break, your garden looked beautiful. I was wondering about the Gomprehena and I see them in the zebra grass photo looking very pale.

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    1. They only look pale because the pink ones were significantly more white than pink. Next year, I'm growing a different pink variety. The purple ones are still bright. It's much warmer than it looks. :o) We've had the perfect fall weather combo - cool night and warm day so the leaves have been amazing.

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  7. Stuffed in jar of Friday? I could do that! I agree that Lee Vally Tools has great products; a few are in my own tool shed. Enjoy your time off!

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    1. Thanks! Lee Valley is an awesome company. I have another potted plant that needs the same watering spike/funnel treatment and luckily, I already have another funnel. Anything to make watering easier. :o)

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  8. Enjoy your break! It is that time year when things are quiet in the garden and the spring catalogs feel a long way off. Wishing you a Happy Holidays as they come round!

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    1. Thanks! My garden slowly goes dormant in Nov/Dec and I don't start my seeds til Jan so I take a holiday hiatus. It keeps me refreshed. :o)

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  9. Amen...I could definitely use a break - only a few more jobs left to do in the garden and then I will be concentrating on the long overdue indoor tasks! I grew alyssum from seed for the first time this year and by the end of the season I was already seeing them self-seeding in a few spots. Can't wait until next year - I'm hoping they will do all the work for me from now on. Have a wonderful break!

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    1. I finished my last little job today, which was immediately partially undone by one of my dogs, but that's ok. :o) Laying fresh mulch under her favorite tree is just an invitation to dig a new hole or two.

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  10. Stuffed in a jar is the best meme I've seen! Your summer garden pics are so beautiful and you have inspired me yet again to grow more zinnias and try some milkweed! Your garden Is going into winter well prepared. Still working on that here lol! Some bales are practicing never say die and are fighting a valiant fight. Give it a rest- I yell at them !! Enough already.good grief!! Enjoy your hiatus and we will all miss you. I missed a few posts I think but I'm missing a few things..,.;) see ya on the flip side!

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    1. I'm rotten at following meme's. I'm just not much of a follower of anything. I'd rather do my own thing. I have about a zillion Peggy's Delight zinnia seeds I saved so if you want some, just let me know! You know how to reach me. :o) I wouldn't argue with a bale as amazing as yours! Beats buying produce at the store.

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  11. Sweet Alyssum and Zinnias were great in our garden also. I didn't realize Phlox pilosa could grow in shade. I like your gnome and your dog with lady. I never did get any caterpillars, so I'm jealous. Love the mistflower/miscanthus/phlox combo. Enjoy your holidays!

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    1. Gail from Limestone and Clay introduced me to phlox pilosa and I'm eager to see how it does in my garden. I saw it growing along the side of the road in the Blue Ridge Mtns and that had me sold. I need tough plants!

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  12. Have a wonderful holiday Tammy and all the best for next year.

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  13. Love your zinnias, Tammy. This summer was wonderful and now lets relax till next season. Happy holidays and Christmas time!

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    1. Happy holidays to you, too! It's hard not to love a zinnia. :o)

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  14. The penultimate photo really does give a sense of a peaceful end with its glowing crepe myrtle and empty hammock as a reminder of summer. Enjoy the holidays and remember we're looking forward to seeing you in the New Year. And thanks, by the way, for contributing to the domestic ruckus at my house. Even Tim laughed.

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    1. I had fun with that post! :o) That gate is just gorgeous! I spent most of today outside and it was a beautiful, peaceful day. I'm satisfied with the changes I've made and am eager to see the results next spring. But I know the garden will be its best self after a good sleep.

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  15. Enjoy the holidays, and thanks for keeping 2015 fun! The garden looks ready to take a break as well, it's all neat and tucked in and ready to wake up next year :)
    Preventing small problems from becoming huge disasters..... that's one I just can't seem to get a handle on.

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    1. You're welcome! I have an analytical, problem-solution personality honed from teaching for 18 years. Having to deal with a problem that could have been prevented drives me nuts. However, I have no doubt there are lots of unseen probs in my garden that I've been oblivious to that will keep me busy next summer.

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  16. Enjoy your time away from blogging. Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year to you :)

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  17. The garden gets into sleep and you have your break too. I shall miss your sense of humor, I mostly laugh out loud.
    Wish you happy holidays and a nice Christmas time!

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    1. That is wonderful to hear! I won't be gone long. :o)

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  18. The alyssum does look so nice there! How serendipitous! I have never heard of variegated solidago before - I'm interested to see how that looks! I don't dare plant any goldenrod in my garden, though, as it grows naturally all around my yard and enjoys trying to see how much it can sprout and how long it can grow in my garden before I catch it. I love your funnel idea! Have a wonderful and hopefully nice and relaxing rest of the year!

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    1. I've never seen it in person, either. I bought it online but have heard positive reviews of it. The variegation is a bit gold and fairly mild. But when it comes to plants that will take dry shade, aren't invasive, and also attract pollinators, I'll try almost anything!

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  19. A peaceful ending indeed. Your garden is always beautiful, random and a work in progress. I hope to spend more time on my Michigan garden next season. Until then, I'll write about food ;) Check out my new blog if you'd like: www.lifeintwostates.blogspot.com See you January! Merry Christmas!

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    1. I think every garden is a work in progress. :o) Your new blog looks very tasty!

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  20. The alyssum pollen provides food for predators (like lady beetles) until the bad bug (like aphid) population climbs; it's handy to have around and can be easily pulled if it gets too plentiful.

    Have enjoyed your blog this summer, though I have not commented much. Have a restful break from the garden and come back just as fun next year. :)

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    1. That's so cool to know! I love how tough and carefree it is. I'll be back in Jan. :o)

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  21. Oh your yard looked so pretty in its autumn clothes! I LOL'd with the "Monday in a Vase" thing because I never seem to get my act together for that one either. I have submitted a few times and thoroughly enjoy others' vases, but I don't post once a week. Tammy, may you have a beautiful holiday season. I'm sending love and friendship your way-:) Your Portland pal, Susie

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    1. Awww, thanks! I rarely cut flowers for a vase but those were cut on accident when I was deadheading so I stuffed them in some water. I hope your Portland holidays are wonderful. :o)

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  22. I forgot to mention....we have the same cobalt blue birdbath. And against the gold in the leaves....our yards look the same in that photo. Take care Tammy!

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    1. That's awesome since your garden is beautiful! :o)

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  23. Oh, great idea to scatter the Alyssum seeds here and there! I think I would do that if I had a little more sun. I still have flowers blooming, which is so unusual for me in November! Sound like you have some great plans for your 2016 garden. I can't wait to read about/see it!

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    1. I made a few big changes and did lots of tweaking. I hope it all looks the way I'm envisioning it. If not, you may hear my frustrated "Aarrgghh!!" all the way to Wisconsin!

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  24. We'll be raking leaves, mowing the lawn, and planting bulbs through December before we get to put the garden to bed for the new year. By February, the camellias, snowdrops and early daffodils will have us preparing for March mulching. The blessing and curse of the greenhouse is that gardening season is never quite over in there. You've done so many cool thing in your garden this year and definitely deserve a break. Hope you enjoy it to the fullest!

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    1. I still have bulbs to plant but they're going in pots so I'm waiting til the annuals die. I like that I have one more gardeny thing waiting for me. :o)

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  25. It's a great idea to look back over your gardening year in this way. I love the way the Alyssum grew - great design plan there. Ahem.
    Enjoy your break! You will be missed!

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    1. I assure you it was unplanned! Mother Nature was probably rolling her eyes when I threw the seed out for the birds. I'm simply stealing her design ideas. :o)

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  26. We had our first killing frost this weekend so I'm saying goodbye to my garden, too. I have the same guerilla creatures carrying off a gnome, too! They've been brought in for the winter now and will have to wait till next year to finish the job:) Looking forward to seeing all the changes in your garden next year, and enjoy the winter break from the garden!

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    1. I haven't brought in my garden art yet but we're milder that you are. When I do that it feels like winter really is on the way and I'm not ready for that yet!

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  27. Enjoy your break....see you next year.
    Happy Holidays!!

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    1. Thanks! Happy Holidays to you, too! :o)

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  28. Warm Winter Wishes and Happy Holidays!

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  29. You have had a wonderful year, and I have had one following you! You are an endless source of inspiration! Enjoy your break, I shall miss you!!!xxx

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    1. Wow!! Thanks so much!! I'm truly touched to be given such high praise. :o)

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  30. I've enjoyed your gorgeous summer garden and hope you'll continue to write...about anything(!) during winter!! I had to chuckle at your alyssum growing in the summer garden. It's a winter/spring bedding plant here--just too darned hot!!

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    1. I have a pretty silly idea for my Jan 1 post. I'll have to see how it pans out... :o) I was actually very surprised the alyssum made it through the summer. I kept waiting for it to poop out on me. But it's come back with vigor now that the weather is cool. It's blooming like mad!

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  31. Your In a vase on Monday joke gave me a good chuckle! It has been a pretty good year for your garden as I think back through your posts. I loved the summer party themed "Hoe Down on the Sunnyside". I think it was my favourite.
    Have a great break and a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas. I look forward to more posts in the new year.
    P.S. Knowing that Chanticleer is three hours away is one more reason to come to the Fling. I have half a mind to bring hubby and make a real vacation of it. Perhaps we might drive down or rent a car. Is that mad? He could see the Smithsonian etc. while I do some Flinging. Then maybe we could work in Chanticleer. More pennies to save in that case...
    Hope all is well.

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    1. I can definitely stuff plants in a jar but that's about it! I'm so glad you liked that post. The bright parts of my garden always feel like a party to me. :o) I hope to see you both in 2017!!

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  32. Thank you for the last view of your 2015 garden, as you tuck it in for the year. Enjoy your time 'off' - looking forward to 2016. May it be absolutely delightful for all of us who garden!

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    1. You're welcome! I do hope 2016 is a good year, too. :o)

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  33. Hi Tammy, happy Thanksgiving, Happy Christmas and Happy New Year in advance, then! Take a well-earned break and recharge yourself for all the craziness that I know is coming in 2016! I'm trying to put my garden to bed but double-digit temperatures - at night time! - in November mean that the plants haven't got the message yet!

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    1. More growth for those lush borders! I take a hiatus every year and it definitely helps me recharge. Actually, I write a lot during this period and when I'm too busy to blog, I can pull a post off the shelf and be ready to go. :o)

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  34. Beautiful flowers! I like your zinnias and cone flowers. You reminds me to transplant parsley seedlings. Thank you!

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  35. I do envy you putting your garden to bed. Tucking it up nicely with mulch is so satisfying. I wish I was so organised, I have to keep going all winter to try and catch up. The garden is too big and I keep making it bigger, so there is no hope of a winter rest. Enjoy yourself, I look forward to reading you again in January.

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    1. I tend to be pretty organized but it's also a matter of beating the weather. I wanted to get everything mulched before we're hit with any serious freezes and my newly planted perennials begin to heave. I'd had that happen in the past. See you in January!

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  36. Tammy girl after I get the last of these bulbs in I am totally putting the garden to bed and it better be snoring soon !
    Our temps are very weird .. too warm .. I know what a complaint but it really is not right .. it never is though, if you think about it?
    Love the garden art and one question ... what is that little tree by the hammock with the gold leaves ... it is so pretty !
    Joy : )

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    1. Enjoy the warmth while it's here!! You'll be up to your eyes in snow and freezing your butt off soon enough. The tree with the gold leaves is a crepe myrtle, which doesn't grow in northern climates. :(

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  37. Love following your blog, au revoir, have a good break, Tammy.

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  38. Wonderful wrap up...have a great break Tammy!

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  39. So typical...I show up just as the party's over :) Kidding! It's always fun catching up on your garden and blog. I'll be back in the New Year to find out what's what. Have a happy one!

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  40. Nice to see your beautiful garden !! I miss the colorful flowers in the garden !!
    Greetings

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    1. So will I! But spring will be here soon enough. :o)

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  41. Always challenges, but what a fun gardening year.

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    1. There was more to be grateful for than not. :o)

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  42. I really like the whimsical image of the girl walking the dog. And the stiletto and frizzy hair. It will bring a chuckle to anyone passing by.

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  43. That's a beautiful art work that you have in your garden. The garden looked fabulous. I will be waiting for your garden and newer things in 2016.

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  44. Merry Christmas Mrs and a Happy New Year too x

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  45. I like the idea of the funnel on top of the waterspike. It must work quite well. I will definitely look for small flags like yours. The fall of 2014 I added more bulbs of Crown Imperial (Fritilaria i.) to my existing clump. When they bloomed this last spring, it turned out I had planted the new bulbs 3 feet away from the first clump. Small flags like yours is just what I need to solve this problem. I want a large drift of Crown Imperial but I am spreading the cost over a few years.

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