Showing posts with label Agrarian Landscape. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Agrarian Landscape. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Branches in a Vase: Talent Not Required

Constance Spry trained dozens of floral designers.  She said it  mattered not their skills/talents, floral arranging is easily taught.  Perhaps, if she's the one directly teaching.  No Constance in my life, nor floral arranging skills, yet plenty of talent for making choices and following up with action steps.
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I dared tread into the realm of branches in a vase.  No talent, no budget.  Pure desire.
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Paying attention to types of vases, numbers of branches, scale to the room, and macro-silhouette.  Vases sourced from local thrift stores, branches from side of the road, and bushes needing a bit of pruning in my yard.   

blue-and-white-needlepoint-rug-living room-in-long-island-new-york-house-designed-by-frank-de-biasi-veranda-may-2017.png
Pic, above, here.
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Last year my life took a turn most lives take at some point.  My schedule was not my own.  Moms trump everything, and my mom was sick.  With the chaos of leaving my life, and helping mom in Texas, the imperative to cut branches and put into vases throughout my house became paramount.
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Pure Miss Katherine Scott, "I can live without the necessities, but I must have the luxuries."

 
 Pic, above, here.
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Blessedly my heart did not follow my head, and I did place branches in vases in several rooms at home.  Time for this, seriously?  Nonsense.  But the soul/muse spoke, and I was too emotional to be balanced.

 
Pic, above, here.
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Hunting and gathering the cuttings became a form of prayer.  Mom's illness was the first thing in my adult life pushing me into care giving another soul, and taking me away from my work.
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With great appreciation I learned helping mom is a joy of recompense, she never wanted children and lived a life she didn't want.  Unable to have my own children, her illness made me realize, mom was my ticket onto this incredible Earth.       

 Serena Crawford
Pic, above, here.
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Choosing branches in vases, more than a few, why not go full-monty-wacko in how I spend what little time I have at home?  The joy in doing, too great to pass by.

 Forsythia Spring by Carole Rabe
Pic, above, here.
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Coming home from weeks away in Texas helping mom, several times last year, those branches in vases, awaiting me, I knew, were, oddly,  loving sentinels.  Those branches in vases became stewards of my heart, its loving and hurting were tended.
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What drama about a few branches in vases.  I was born twined with a garden, wasn't until my 20's realizing most people are not.
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Another thing I know.  You need zero skill to create a beautiful vase of stems.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Gardening is Ritual Whether Begun As Sacred or Profane

In the garden is the ritual of life.
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How very satisfying, upon a winter's day, walking by a window, having put this garden, below, upon Earth.  A moment in perfect poetry answering why every galaxy, every star, every atom, every void was created, for this exact moment.
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In the ritual, love.  A manner to 'take joy', whether joy is obviously present, or not.  Joy is always present.  In a garden how can you not get life's 'Take Joy' memo?

Broughton Grange.
Pic, above, here.
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"For Indigenous Australians, ritual sings the natural world into continued life, in a diffuse and enspirited relationship between the Dreamtime ‘past’ and the present. The Dreamtime surrounds the present, having created the landscape and order of the world, giving meaning and profundity to life and reflecting cosmic order, while rituals of the ‘ordinary’ present, in turn, sustain the ‘extraordinary’ Dreamtime order."
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"In the dominant culture, ritual is often a stale, wilted word, as dusty and songless as Christmas decorations glimpsed in midsummer. Many people profess no clear religion and lack formal rites, and yet, even in ritual-poverty, a yearning persists to rekindle it from a stub of a candle, a petal and a word. There is a perceptible need for that numinous Other Place to which ritual gives passport – where no one is exiled and none a foreigner, and there is a defiant fecundity in contemporary ways of answering that need to give wishes wings."
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" The poiesisor making of beauty, not the possessing of it, is the kind associated with art or poetry.  Meanwhile, the effect of making beauty, a Balinese taxi driver told me, is that ‘your mind is surprised and happy. Beauty makes you feel pure, and purity is necessary for prayer.’ " 
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"In the canang saris, flowers are the symbol of beauty, and flowers attend rituals all over the world: flowers for birth and death, the doorways of life, flowers for social doorways, for guests and hosts, flowers to honour and to thank with the lightest touch – a petal-weight of unimpeachable beauty. You don’t have to believe in god to believe in the radiant divinity of flowers and their beneficent efficacy."
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" Flowering plants are quite literally a source of life; according to the botanist Walter Judd at the University of Florida: ‘If it weren’t for flowering plants, we humans wouldn’t be here.’ They are necessary, but they also illustrate the margins of grace beyond necessity – a rhapsody of colour where life sings: such is the veridical beauty of flowers. In terms of evolutionary aesthetics, the beauty of flowers is primal – they have sung a soft serenade for 130 million years, and their beauty was there before we humans were there to see it. And perhaps after."
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"The sweet paradox of small daily rituals is that the ordinary is intensified into the sacred through the numinousness of the absolutely commonplace, an illustration of immanent divinity, demonstrating that all it takes to find cascades of enchantment is a tender attention in which the natural living world is blessed by the psyche, and the psyche by the natural world. Ritual sculpts, shapes and polishes the spirit in a fineness of mind, the hearth of the heart tended and made more tender by the delicate touch of something little more than a thank you. So the slightest of ritual magic, turning on a breath, might open doorways on to a future; and life might be protected by a petal and the holiness of prayers."  All quotes, above, by   Jay Griffiths , award-winning author and contributor to The Guardian and Orion magazine.  She lives in Wales.  
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In my garden, living with my garden around the house, and in my heart, became, along the way, love, grace, joy, and ritual for surviving on this Earth.
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Take Joy, indeed.  
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Full article with the quotes, above, Aeon.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

A Pair of Landscapes: Exactly Alike Yet Opposites

Within constraints of sacred vs. profane the world takes away so much of our life, why give it more?  Merely targeting industrialized residential landscapes ca. 1945 to present, in USA. 
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This pair of landscapes, below, are opposites in style, yet both have style centuries older than industrialized landscapes.  What style is that?  Agrarian/pastoral.  More, both landscapes focus on the house and its inhabitants/guests, as proscenium and star.  A sweet pairing, life is the focus, not life maintaining the landscape. 
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Pic, above, here.
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Top pic appears modern, bottom pic appears historic.  More, their style, appropriated to other sites, becomes new again, unique.
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Ambition and aspiration are both of great value.  Yet how they are mixed, and their changing percentages given across our life, even a day, show in our material lives.  Ambition and aspiration should be in the landscape, with aspiration weighted heaviest, they've made the best landscapes for centuries across continents and cultures. 
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Industrialized landscapes stop at mere ambition.  Agrarian/pastoral landscapes, even with a bit of industrialization tossed in, have ambition, but their aspirations are greater. 
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What does this mean?  'Ambition is what we want to achieve and aspiration is who we want to become.' 
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 Maurice Fatio Designed Significant Home - Landscape outside of Dallas Estate Property
Pic, above, here.

 Mary Oliver's Top 15 Quotations
Pic, above, here.
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Seeing agrarian/pastoral landscapes as a child, there were a few, compared to thousands of industrialized, I saw generosity of spirit, welcoming arms, a rich conversation, fun, intelligence, secrets, home, love.

If Iris Apfel says it, then it must be true!
Pic, above, here.
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Hedges, trees, & a meadow/gravel terrace is the trinity for agrarian/pastoral, and the new modern industrialized landscape.  Be like Iris, know how you can get away with anything.       

 Quotable - Joan Didion
Pic, above, here.
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Grief, when it comes, I take into the garden.  At least I know what the garden will do.  A new grief?  Never know what it will do.
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Pic, above, here.
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Your landscape should tell me who you are from the curb.  If I see a photo of your patio, it must be so fabulous I have to go inside your home, and wander the garden.

 
Pic, above, here.
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Gardens have always been places of light and love, to me, from earliest childhood, and respite from the darkness & hate that comes in measure to all.

 
Pic, above, here.
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Perhaps it was not being able to have children, I never had to give her, above, up.  Ever.  No worries if you've never gardened this passionately, there is no age limit to start. 
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Get dirty?  When I garden there are bruises, blood, time ceases yet expands, hunger doesn't exist, epiphanies arrive, grief has a place to harbor for awhile, forgiveness is given but feels like a bestowal.....
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT

Friday, January 18, 2019

The New Modern Landscape

  "If a woman has a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear, she doesn't know herself very well."  Bill Blass.  "Our lives are about getting the outside to match the inside."  Karl Jung.  What does your landscape say about you?  What do you think of the landscape, below?  Words, not thoughts.  Can you write words about the landscape, below, and its mechanics of being?  How old is this landscape, below, in the realm of landscape design?  Is this a 'done' landscape, below?  Is this a landscape not-done, below?  How do you know the difference?
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Historic world class landscapes, after centuries, if they exist at all, present a unified trinity, Wildwood, Meadow, Stone Focal Point.  Varies little across cultures/continents.  Until the 20th century peoples were mostly agrarian/pastoral.  Born ca. '60, I was raised in a subdivision, pure industrialized landscaping.  Nothing agrarian/pastoral in my personal life.

How is this landscape, below, considered?  What words does an industrialized human, especially American, have to use, describing the landscape, below?  No worries, took me 2 college degrees and decades of studying historic landscapes across Europe/America to find the words for this garden.  Worse, it was only in the past few years, I learned the 'why' of this landscape, below. 
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(Canopy, understory, meadow, focal point, flow, contrast, texture, layers, pollinator habitat, no chemicals needed.  You, you are needed, here, to enjoy the garden.)

Habitually Chic® » Revisting Chateau de Primard

Drama with the garden, above, evolves, below.  Enter, the hedge and a focal point.  Do you know what you're looking at, below?  I know, it's a book on new modern landscape design.
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Focal point, below, shot at a different angle could look freshly installed at MoMA.  Yet there it sits in a centuries old agrarian new modern landscape.


Habitually Chic® » Revisting Chateau de Primard

Industrialized landscapes don't function upon the myriad layers of this landscape, above/below.  Do you know what functions are missing?  Do you know what happens in industrialized landscapes, that do not happen in the landscape above/below?  What if you think you know what happens, but your answers are wrong?  Are you sure your answers, so far, to all my questions, are right?

Habitually Chic® » Revisting Chateau de Primard

Those hedges, below, be still my heart.  At the front end of my career, industrialized learning, worse, industrialized living, I was taught hedges create garden rooms.  Decades accepting hedges create garden rooms, as the sole answer.  Why not?  Good industrialized parrot, I was.  Looking back, cringing, at the shill an industrialized narrative and life had made of me.     
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No worries if you don't have answers to my questions.  Most people are not born Garden Whisperers.  I was.  Few are born each century, and what joy when we find each other.  Some of you, reading this, may be realizing you are a Garden Whisperer too.  Welcome !  Conversely, I know life having lost several Garden Whisperer friends.  Beloved knows them too, though they died before I met him.  That's how much they mean to me.   

Habitually Chic® » Revisting Chateau de Primard

Hedges do create garden rooms, and more.  Hedges next to meadows create a safe haven for insects/wildlife and are Earth's maximum pollinator habitat.  Life happens in the margins.    We're not separate from these facts.  We evolved with microbiomes in the landscape, without them, we die.  More, studies showing how much microbiomes within us affect our mental health.  Won't go further, you can extrapolate for yourself.
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Enter stage, too exciting, Stick Trees, below, hedges in the air.  Centuries of design with Stick Trees.  Beginning when we 'lived' in our landscapes, not merely drove thru them into the garage, or look at them from inside our HVAC homes.
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Canopy trees, oaks/maples/etc, are Rivers in the Sky.  Water transported from the ground high into the air, Earths first Swamp Cooler.  More, pollinators are at all layers from ground to tops of canopy trees.  Stick trees, in addition to allees for walking, or adding privacy, are a layer beneath understory trees, for pollinators.     
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Habitually Chic® » Revisting Chateau de Primard

Has it struck you about this garden, above/below, that it's a garden for meandering?  Noticed how showy it is, yet all green?  Noticed flowers are not the objective, yet entirely the objective?  This garden is agrarian flowered  vs. industrially flowered with greenhouses, big box nurseries, bagged potting soil, transportation issues.....  Further, it is what a Garden Whisperer 'knows' as flowers vs. flowers sold as the industrialized ideal.  Flowers, above/below, millenia in the making for man/beast/insect/fungi.

Habitually Chic® » Revisting Chateau de Primard

Agrarian based landscapes vs. Industrialized landscapes teach lessons.  Agrarian landscapes invite us into their world.  Industrialized landscapes invite us to look.  Agrarian landscapes need no chemicals, are not toxic to groundwater & wildlife/insects/people.  Before humans, Earth made itself a garden.  Following agrarian templates, inviting us into the garden vs. the template of industrialized landscapes, keeping us out of the garden, while selling their upkeep, is the post/modern choice.  Where to take language at this point?  We are post modern with our industrialized landscapes, agrarian gardens are the new modern.

Habitually Chic® » Revisting Chateau de Primard

A recent study on those who live the longest concluded with the top 3 things about why they lived so long, gardening was one of them.
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"...sometimes the world disrobes, slips its dress off a shoulder, stops time for a beat.  If we look up at that moment, it's not due to any ability of ours to pierce the darkness, it's the world's brief bestowal.    The catastrophe of grace."  Anne Michaels.  Agrarian based landscapes are thin places, where catastrophe-of-grace is designed to happen.
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"Researchers analyzing soil from Ireland long thought to have medicinal properties have discovered that it contains a previously unknown strain of bacteria which is effective against four of the top six superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics, including MRSA."

Habitually Chic® » Revisting Chateau de Primard

Macro views, above, of the garden rooms.  Where a Garden begins, below, from inside views.  Industrialized landscapes originate from the street view, looking at the house, not being in the house looking out.  Often, that is why a client hires me, they tried for years to DIY, not realizing their point of origination was wrong, with a few layers after that wrong too. No worries if that is you, it was me at the front end.  My excuse?  A horticulture degree teaching me.  What we unlearn, sets us free.   



The Well Placed Chair, below.  Centuries of The Well Placed Chair.  What did I learn after putting them into my own garden?  The Well Placed Chair became a part of everyday life.  Great for setting things on if I was fluffing the garden, best for a spot with lunch, and phone calls.  From the first, having lunch in one of my Well Placed Chairs I learned the garden came into me, as I had never allowed it while moving about.  Sitting still, hummingbirds swirl about my head, butterflies land on me, as if I was merely another part of the garden, sounds and their variations, not heard before, are heard, the level of my eyes, taking everything in is different, richer, and 'rest' while in the Well Placed Chair intensified, now learned to be Earthing, aka, Grounding.






You didn't get the heads-up about this garden, above/below, it's famous, the owner at bottom.  Had to smile seeing the livestock, above, the owner probably has the property in an agricultural easement for taxes.












"Elegance is refusal.", Coco Chanel.  Simplicity.
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This garden, all pics, above, belongs to Catherine Deneuve, below.
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Image result for catherine deneuve
Pic, above, here.
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"Life foists roles on us all; the challenge is to accept these costumes without letting the private core of you become pure quicksilver.", Thomas Browne, 17th century.  When you have an agrarian styled new modern landscape for your life's stage, costumes come & go, and don't matter, you're working with the best director, Providence.
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Quote, above, from, Aeon.
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@girlandhermoon
Pic, above, here.
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Grace is not a commodity.  Grace is active, on its own initiative and timing.  A real stinker when you're needing grace, and it's no where to be bought, grabbed, coerced.  Without intention of finding a place for grace to be found, I did.  And it's there for you too in the new modern agrarian landscape.
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   Nature~The Universe~"I AM" the God Particle. Life is within me now, of that I can be sure.
Pic, above, here.
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Notice Hubert Reeves, "Nature", above?  Within the past decade it became the same for me.  A singular epiphany about nature being truly Nature.
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Pic, above, here.
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Agrarian new modern landscapes are the unspoken at the edge of the spoken.
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 Spiritual Use of an Orchard Garden of Fruit Trees (titlepage) 1653 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Pic, above, here .
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Ralph Austen, above, I certainly have a to-do list for heaven, meeting you is now on the list !  Orchards have meant a lot to the evolution of my Garden Design career, in the agrarian new modern landscape.  Culminating after touring Israel, with my parents, in the foot steps of Jesus for 2 weeks.  Specifically, the garden of Gethsemane where Jesus went before being crucified, to pray.  Imagine my shock discovering the garden of Gethsemane is an orchard.  Once home, planted my orchard.  BTW, an orchard can be a single fruiting tree.  If you can't have an orchard you can certainly have the metaphor.  Though I did manage 6 espaliered fruit trees on my less than 1/4 acre, and named my home, Orchard House.
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  Henri Bergson quote
Pic, above, here.
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Isn't it best when we remove our own veils of ignorance?  Away from the world, in the loving preserve of Nature.  There, it's accepted as epiphany, appreciated as a gift, change is wrought, in joy.  At least, that is what my garden does for me. 
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Inspirational
Pic, above, here.
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Everyone has a unique learning method.  Gardens, oddly, are mine.  If you've understood this post so far, gardens are your teacher too.  We put our time to what we value.   Growing up my father was the lion of the Serengeti.  Had to pay attention, lions bite.  Kept my butt off his Serengeti.  Created my own world, away...away from the lion.  Ironically, I was the one helping him with the yard and pool.  Gardening was an arena we could co-exist.  More proof, oh garden how great thou are.
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Skipped my senior year of high school for college, more getting away from dad's Serengeti than brains.  Lion, above, looks a bit like my dad the day he dropped me off at SMU freshman year.  Of course you can guess who I look like now, dad.   
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Pic, above, here.
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Humility has many teachers, the garden is a teacher of humility, if you pay attention, it's also a stage to heal the wounds from other teachers of humility.
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Pic, above, here.
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Need to forgive someone?  Perhaps you knew this was coming?  Agrarian landscapes teach forgiveness.  If you doubt that, trust that an agrarian landscape is a place to go pray for forgiveness.  2018 was my year to learn about a forgiveness given in 1986, while in my garden.
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For this sole fact alone, I would garden.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T