Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Monday, November 10, 2008

Winter's Gray Herald


Early this morning winter made its first appearance in Nashville. It came with the cold, brisk wind that dropped the temperature 20 degrees.

But autumn color is guaranteed to continue at Clay and Limestone for a little longer~~(all photos enlarge with a click)  

The Japanese Maples in Woodland Garden have taken center stage.  

Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood' looks her best among the golds and yellows.


Most of the year Acer palmatum is a lovely soothing green,

but, each fall she erupts into fiery color.  Such a beautiful view of them both is offered from the porch.  We love to watch the changing fall scenes.  You can't believe how beautiful it is with the lower angle of the sun.  The maples are stunning when backlit!

'Natchez' Crape myrtle is just beginning to show her fantastic good looks.

She's a young plant, but already the bark is becoming more prominent.  There are two other Natchez in the front gardens...the fantastic bark, white flowers and fall color,  so worth  repeating.

Rusty/Viburnum rufidulum is also just beginning to
color in the shadier front garden. Isn't his form perfect. The shade slows down his color change but eventually he does get to burgundy.  We've planted five small  V rufidulums  about the yard for color continuity.  I do love Rusty!

Not wanting to be left out, another Rusty has put on his burgundy tuxedo and is dancing in the Garden of Benign Neglect ( a future post).

Finally, we have

oranges and reds in the understory and shrub layer (Witch Hazels 'Diane and Virginiana, and Japanes Maples beyond).
  

to compliment the yellows (Shagbark Hickories).

It's true, we can no longer deny that winter will soon be here. Much colder weather is predicted! A possible killing frost. I suspect it will reach its icy fingers into the south facing and protected garden and soon...

Possibly tonight,  will take out

the last of our blooming beauties...(Salvia leucanthus)

Today, there were no bees in the garden.  Not even on the  native  asters.  Not a Bumble in sight ...it is too cold for them to be out and about.  When the flowers are  gone there will be no  food for any hungry visitors.

Life in the garden will go on.  But I will miss the bumbles and other pollinators. This time I am positive  that they are gone for the season.  Well, I am pretty sure....We'll see! It is magical here!

Thanks for visiting and have a lovely day!  

Gail

70 comments:

  1. Hi Gail, good morning and so glad to see you still having the fall showcase and even some flowers! There is magic in your woods, it can be felt easily and seen without effort. Maybe you can be out without getting 'et up by the mosquitoes now. We will miss the buzzers, I didn't see any yesterday but they always show up when those warm spells return.
    Frances

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  2. Good morning Gail! Brrr! Your fall foliage is still quite plentiful and beautiful.

    Things have taken quite a turn here in the past several days. Last night temps were in the 20's. It's still dark outside, but I suspect the impatiens are done for now. I haven't seen any bees here for the past several days.

    Our furnace picked a lovely day to conk out, and I'm sitting here with a jacket on. Seemed like a good morning to run the self-cleaning oven! I've got a couple of large kettles on the stove boiling water to take the chill off in here, and it's looking like a good morning to have our first fire in the fireplace. It feels like winter inside as well as out today!

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  3. Dear Gail....when you write about your bumbles it is though you read my thoughts......bumbles are the little creature I miss most when my gardens start to sleep......

    Your maples are beautiful and add wonderful colour to your garden....can you ever have too many........I don't think so....

    A beautiful post.....waiting for the frost......and winter to begin.....

    Have a wonderful week......

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  4. Frances,

    Good morning...Now tell me were you first pick as well? I have to head over to blot to see! It's cold out there...i have already been outside to see how mushy everything is...not too bad. Can't tell if the asters came through! Then when it warms up the buzzers will have food. You know it will warm up again!

    That's a good thought...no mosquitoes, we can live with that...have a fantastic day.
    gail

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  5. Linda,

    Good morning! I am sorry to here that about the furnace. Thank goodness it isn't your electricity, you can still turn on the stove to keep warm....and there is something romantic about a fireplace.

    Brr is right ...the 20s is cold weather. Your imapatiens probably are gone, they were lovely in your garden. Don't laught, but, I put all my potted lantana in the Subaru wayback...let's see if I saved them! Our temps will bounce back up and drop down; like Tigger. Rather exhausting at times.

    Have a great day and hopefully the furnace fix will be easy and cheap!

    Gail

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  6. Dear Cheryl,

    Yes I do love the Bumbles...they are delightful lirttle creatures and seem to do only good...well, we have some that like to drill hols in the soffit of our house!

    We got frost last night...good luck with yours!

    Have a great rest of the day!

    Gail

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  7. Hi Gail, we had our coldest night so far last night, dipping into the 20's. Brrrrrrrrrrr

    I doubt I will find anything blooming today. Your color is still very pretty. Those Japanese Maples are so accomodating. I like seeing the pink in the morning sky too.

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  8. Morning Gail, I miss the little bumblebees too. The colors in your yard are beautiful.
    Marnie

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  9. You have a lot of beautiful fall colors. Still waiting on ours. I see some sprinkled around a little. I love the Rusty too, maybe I should get one since that's my husband's nickname!

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  10. Lisa,

    We have the oddest wether. It gets cold then it bounces back to the sixties..very confusing to the flora and fauna and this gardener!

    You are having cold weather...it sounds like the heat will be on at your house for the duration! Keep warm!

    Gail

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  11. Gail, when I came here I expected to see gray skies and bare trees, but you have so much vibrant color still shining in your garden! The bumbles left us a little earlier, but we can take solace in knowing they will be back next spring.
    Winter is here, which makes these lovely colors that much more precious. Enjoy them while they last!

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  12. Goodbye to the bumbles, but at least the fall color is still hanging on. I need to add that salvia to our garden, some of our Salvia nemorosa are still blooming but not much. It was a very cold morning this morning, I had to scrape frost from my wife's car. Cold, very cold!

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  13. I know you will be missing your bumbles and all the flying friends. Now the feathered ones will gain our attention.
    You fall color is wonderful and that bark on the Natchez is striking.

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  14. Signs of fall are every where. Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos with us!

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  15. Lovely photos!

    Everytime I think we're through with good weather, it's nice again!

    Cameron

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  16. It got down in the upper 20s here last night. I'm afraid fall will be coming to an end. I was just looking at the salvia leucantha yesterday and it is still spectacular. It will be sad to see it go.

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  17. Your maples are gorgeous! I especially love the "bloodgood" maple photo with the fabulous blue pot in the foreground. We'll see how strong the magic is at C&L, won't we?? I'll be back to see what survived. I hope you haven't lost the bumbles for the year ~ it's been pretty sad here without them. We will have to start thinking "spring thoughts" soon....

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  18. I don't know Rusty Viburnum - going to look him up - has that nice V shape like my Viburnum plicatum tomentosa - is it a water hog? Would love to find a Viburnum that was drought tollerant. Aren't those Japanese Maples the best!

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  19. Lovely autumn colours; that Acer palmatum is burning a hole in my visual cortex. ;-) Winter won't be long now so enjoy the Fall glory while you can.

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  20. Wow, it got colder by you than it did here! I think "Rusty" would make a great replacement for the invasive Euonymous alata (which I have). I love your Shagbark Hickories, they are such majestic trees. BTW, I noticed that the Hammamelis virginiana at church is in full bloom.)

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  21. Gail, your garden is purely magical -- it reminds of the places I used to love to play when I was a little girl. Enchanted forests, and all that. :) I still want that blue urn!!

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  22. No matter what the weather your garden has some desirable offering reserved.
    Donna

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  23. Donna,

    Hi there! I have to tell you...the frost missed a few beauties, but I think I will keep them to my self! You guys must be tired of the Little gardener who cried frost!

    Gail

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  24. Nancy,

    You have a great memory! It is a great urn and not a bad color! Doesn't it look good with the red maples!

    Gail

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  25. MMD,

    It was cold last night around 29...some of that icy cold weather from the north swept down here to do a little damage! There are frost pockets of damage but a few flowers remain! I think Rusty is a perfect substitute for E alatus....I have two surprise alatus in the GOBN that have to go! Have a good day!

    Gail

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  26. ye,

    Hi there! My brain still operates in a system that says fall is October but Nashville has fall until mid November! The Bloodgood is a nice bright red this year! I saw your post, great title, but have to wend my way across the sea to comment!

    Gail

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  27. marnie,

    Those bumbles are something else! I was looking at the garden this morning and thinking about changes...with winter coming it will be very different.
    Thank goodness for the birds...they will keep things fun here!

    Gail

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  28. Darla,

    You ought to get a Rusty...your dear husband might like a tree with his name in the garden!

    Gail

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  29. Rose,

    It was a bit misleading...at 1 am when I wrote it it seemed so perfect. Never write a post when you are that tired! I am taking great solace in the long fall and Indian Summer we have had this year. I know the bees may even show up again...we will have weather in the high 50s and 60s this week and there is some aster still blooming! Oh my!

    Gail

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  30. Dave,

    I woke up grabbed my coat, hat and cmera and headed out to see the damage...frost on the flowers and the Sweet Potato vine is mush! The Salvia Leucanthus looks unhurt but it's often hard to tell. I can highly recommend the salvia. Plus being a mint family member...you will have fun propagating it!

    Gail

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  31. barbara pc,

    I have four Rustys that we not watered at all! Just rain. They did beautifully. Not a water hog...this guy will grow in TX or Florida! It is a fantastic plant...I did a post called I Love Rusty that might help you get more info!

    Gail

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  32. Cindy,

    I feel so lucky to have had such a fantastic fall! Lovely yellows and now a little red! The other thing that is fantastic are you guys! Thank you for visiting!

    Gail

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  33. Cameron,

    We do have the most Tigger weather...up and down, up and down...Up to the 60s this week then down to 32! On the other hand! We have early spring!

    Glad you stopped by!

    Gail

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  34. Jamile and Randy,

    Hi there! Is this fall going to ever end! I hope not...I bet it is still fantastic in your garden. Did I ever tell you that I love the arbors you made. They are incredible....and what a great idea. Folks head over and check them out!

    Gail

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  35. Phillip,

    Hi there. How is your garden? The very tenderest of plants left the garden with this dip into the 20s but the salvia leucantha is still going strong! is still going strong. Strange!

    Gail

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  36. kathleen

    Okay, the magic held a little there are few blooms! The frost free pockets are fun to have. The fall color might continue a bit longer but the wind and rain will do their best to blow them from the trees! I am glad you have enjoyed the magical fall Nashville has had...I am looking forward to winter's break! Our winter...not your winter! So glad you stopped by for a conversation and a visit!

    Gail

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  37. Gail: The cold autumn mornings have their own charm though, don't you think? I am out of flowers and almost out of colorful foliage. Just a few bright spots left. Almost time to hibernate but I have been stocking up on books!

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  38. You have such wonderful color this time of the year with the Viburnums (a new addition to my garden this year too) and the Natchez Crape Myrtles. But I have to say your Japanese Maples (especially Bloodgood) are stealing the show! Soon winter will be here but for now your garden is still shining brightly.

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  39. So sad to think that all the blooming pretties soon will be gone bye bye. Then the busy holiday season will take center stage. Then the sad time between the holiday ending and spring. Ho hum, lets not think of anything but today shall we???

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  40. It does look magical, in that languid, end-of-season way. Your 'Natchez' is lovely, as is Rusty and the Japanese maples.

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  41. brrr, i am right there with you gail. only tonight i am sitting quietly by the fire to stave off the chill. your gardens are lovely and so mature. goodbye cool weather hello cold. weep, weep!

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  42. Hi there, Gail! I love that Acer Palmatum (sp)!!! That should be placed on my wish list! I have absolutely No Flowers left (outdoors!). But, all the more reason to anticipate the indoor ones! :-)

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  43. Layanee,

    Soon we will be out of color and flowers without the benefit of snow cover...then the world is brown! When I take walks in the nearby park...it's also brown! What are you reading?

    Gail

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  44. Shady,

    No indoor plants...that darn cat! My Bloom Day shall be oh so bare!

    You must have a Bloodgood! It would look lovely in your garden! Right by your garden bench! Have a lovely week!

    Gail

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  45. Marmee, There are parts of this garden that are very new! But you are right, there are mature trees and very tall shrubs and small understory trees. Diane has been here for ten years! She is not a fast grower! The exciting thing about your new garden is planting it all and watching it grow into the garden you've envisioned. I am excited for you!

    Gail

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  46. PG?Racquel,

    The Blooodgood and the palmatum are really pretty right now! I did think about not planting them...once upon a time I was going to plant just natives....but aren't they lovely! Who could pass up CRape Myrtle, either. Viburnums have so much to offer, don't you think so? Which have you planted?

    Gail

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  47. skeeter,

    Pretty soon we won't have any color or flowers left Skeeter! Thank goodness there are birds and critters in the garden all winter long! They will distract us from missing the butterflies and bees!

    Gail

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  48. Pam,

    They are nice understory trees and some of my favorites...Rusty and Diane especially...you know I think he would look great in your garden...but then I am a tree pusher...

    Gail

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  49. Beautiful fall colors. My favorite time of the year, unfortunate we don’t get those colors here Florida. I hope winter stays way a little longer.

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  50. rusty,

    Ahh but you live by the ocean and play in the sunshine and have good Cuban food nearby! We do have some beautiful fall colors and the seasons are a good change of pace...winter not so wonderful! So glad you stoppeb by!

    gail

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  51. Hey Gail what a colourful and wonderful post, amazing that some of us still have some great colours left in the garden. That Azer Palmatum certainly has erupted into fiery colours. Stunning, have a great day/ Tyra of the north.

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  52. Gail, at last you have some other colors to go with all that gold and yellow. I love the Japanese Maples-they are pretty any season. But most of all I love all your big trees. Almost makes me wish we lived in the country again. Enjoy your fall beauty.

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  53. Yes, it's true here too--old man winter is making his mark. Our weather forcast said some snow maybe on Thanksgiving! Will it return to the winter of my youth? It use to be cold and wintry here in NC but for the past 10 years or so--we've been warm. I would like to see it return--I miss the snow.

    Your maples are delightful. There is nothing like a bloodgood! I have the perfect front yard for them but no money right now to get one. And...it is sad to see the bumblers go isn't it?

    I enjoyed reading about your blue dishes. I appreciate anything that has been passed down. Makes it more better as my kids use to say.

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  54. Fall is SO great this year! I am looking forward to seeing Rusty's fall colors.

    Guess what I got yesterday? Someone you introduced me to-Diane! 60% off at a Louisville nursery. I will have to think of you! I have two others but your post of her form and color intrigued me. Hubby was not happy but better once I introduced my new acquisition as Diane. It personalized the tree you see:)

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  55. ugh! I love it and wish I thought of it - "Garden of Benign Neglect" could be the title of my own garden's story! Speaking of my own garden, I spotted a hummingbird in it yesterday. It's late, but maybe don't give up on those pollinators just yet...

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  56. Kris,

    Is this a case of the shoemaker's daughter! I haven't given up totally...the aster is still blooming. Good to hear from you! I still have a post for midwinter about your gorgeous garden...

    gail

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  57. Tina,

    That is spectacular! She is a beauty and at a great savings! Can't wait to see her in your garden!

    Rusty is looking dapper these days! Did you see one at the nursery? I found one in the wayback backyard! I must have planted him and forgot all about it! He is taller then the rest of them... Benign Neglect rules.

    Gail

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  58. anna,

    Brr...cold weather and snow! Are you zone 6b? The gray of a nashvillee winter is settling in for the week! That is how I think of Thanksgiving....long drives, gray and cold weather with lots of food and family.

    Gail

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  59. Beckie,

    When did you move? Smaller lot? The big trees are wonderful! They gift me with shade, pretty foliage and lots of fall leaves to rake and add to the gardens. I wonder how I would garden differently with full sun!

    Gail

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  60. No Rusty, but some neat stuff. My daughter bought 'Grace' smoketree, a Seven Sons and some hydrangeas. They had some good stuff but the witch hazel was my bonus. Not a native nursery but 60% off all deciduous shrubs. We were really looking for serviceberries. They had them, not on sale though:( Benign neglect gardening always offers the coolest surprises.

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  61. Tyra of the north!

    I like that!

    There are still a few asters and the Japanese Maples help with the transition to winter...not much longer, gray will be settling on us with its friend brown! Have a lovely week!

    Gail

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  62. Tina,

    I lost a beautiful serviceberry this summer...I thought it was in the ground long enough to not need supplemental watering...Wrong! So maybe a Diane is better!

    Have a good day my friend!

    Gail

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  63. Gail, you give me such wonderful ideas for that future garden I am planning in my head. I would never have realized that planting trees on a south-facing slope, for instance, would protect the garden flowers from frost. You always have such great info as well as great photos.
    Marie

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  64. Tilelady,

    I am so very glad you found a bit of help for your garden to be! Isn't that one of the best gifts we get from blogging! Plus meeting new and delightful folks! Have a good day...

    Gail

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  65. I love the acer palmatum, and I want to hear more about the garden of benign neglect! What a charming name. I love the understory plantings in your lovely setting.
    Regards,
    Philip

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  66. Phillip,

    I will tell you all more! I have a post in the hopper!

    I am glad you like the garden...it is wild!

    gail

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  67. Lovely photos, Gail... I am always impressed at the way that you look at your garden, and thus share it with us. :)

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  68. Blackswamp girl,

    Thank you! I hope that my real affection for this place...warts and all, always comes through!

    Gail

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  69. Hi Gail,
    That Acer palmatum is gorgeous, and if they weren't so pricey, I might even consider getting one for the back yard, now that we're seeing about getting the fallen maple out before winter really sets in. We just need to get the rest of our bulbs in before the ground freezes! Hopefully we still have a week or two, unless things warm back up a lot.

    Amazing that your frost didn't do in 'Caracas!' It went with our first hard frost and looks pretty pathetic right now. Fernymoss did manage to gather a fun mix of our "Freaky Celosias" last weekend, so I'm going to include that in your 'care package.' With any luck (if I don't have to work again this weekend!), I'll get it out this weekend! Sorry about the long wait.... Believe it or not, we still have some valiant Calendulas still blooming, looking a bit wilty but a luscious orange!

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  70. Hi Gail, Your autumn garden is stunning. It is just as I imagine all your trees would be. So different than my garden. sigh. I just adore the natural woodland feel and all that color is stunning. I hope you don't get hit too hard in the next couple of days with wintery weather... although I just listened to the weather forecast and it is looking like you might. Keep us posted.

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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