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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Jennifer Juniper Lives Upon The Hill

Jennifer Juniper Sitting Very Still.
Is she dreaming, yes, I think so
Is she pretty, yes, ever so
What'cha doin', Jennifer Juniper my love*



Winter 2008


Isn't this Juniperus virginiana a magnificent tree?

I love them...which is a very good thing because I have a forest of them in my wayback backyard. They are the green punctuation marks that give my garden winter greenery;-)



One of my favorite of the 'larger' junipers in the GOBN.


Red Cedars are native to Nashville, really, the entire eastern half of North America. Here's a little factoid to impress your friends at the next party you attend~~they are the only native conifer in Kansas. They are also not really cedars, but members of the juniper family.



This taprooted tree is capable of finding purchase through the limestone bedrock that is just a few inches below the topsoil. It's not unusual to find the root bent and twisted as it wends its way down through the cracks in rock to the soil below. (I know this because I've been digging them up to move them to other parts of the garden! Do you need any?)

Juniper virginiana are referred to as pioneer trees~~ they are the earliest trees to move into a field that is left fallow. They are so successful in establishing themselves that they are considered nuisance trees on farmland fields. The spread of Red Cedar in the prairies and savannas was once naturally controlled by fires, but since fires have been suppressed they are growing unchecked. It will only take 150 years for that field to become a hardwood forest of hickories, oaks and a few red cedars.


Junipers are quite possibly some of the most beautiful trees in the winter.


They may be a touched with rusty colored needles~




a sagey blue gray, or


a lovely deeper green.

They are made for snowy scenes like this one~~


That's Chionanthus virginicus (Fringetree ) with the Red Cedar

Even though I have 'plenty' of junipers...I have added several cultivars of J virginiana. They tolerate the shallow clay soil, limestone bedrock and nearly neutral soil fantastically.

J virginiana "Burkii" dances quite nicely with The Susans in the Sunny Front Garden. His coloring is lovely and compliments the Little Bluestem grass and the gold, pink and lavender flowers.


Here is a smaller photo since the other one appears to cut off the juniper



What do you think?




"Gray Owl" a smaller cultivar of J virginiana is a fantastic shrub and very fitting for Chez Cedar's garden. It is a beautiful silvery gray foliage plant with green berries that will get bluer as they age. The berries are actually a kind of cone. Cedar Waxwings love the berries.



I've read that the waxwings are intensive foragers and "have been reported to devour an entire fruit crop of red cedars over a two day period." Do you think I can blame them for dispersing juniper seeds all over my yard?


I love this tree. It's good for screening; attracts birds; fairly easy to transplant; tough, dependable and it is drought and heat tolerant. Okay, there are a few flaws~~ it is a host plant for cedar apple rust; it is weedy and might even be considered invasive and aggressive by a few gardeners~~It is still a beautiful tree in my eyes!

Does anyone need a junipers? I have a few to spare!

Gail

* From Jennifer Juniper by Donovan and In case you need a Donovan fix please go here.

69 comments:

  1. Good morning Gail, thank you very much for your kind offer of spreading the wealth of J.J.s, but we have our share also. They are quite nice in your gardens, especially Gray Owl. The birds here, I wish they were the cedar waxwings, must find the berries of the many many mature specimens in the neighborhood tantalizing, for the seedlings pop up regularly in every square inch of soil in my yard. Did you get snow?
    Frances

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  2. Gail,

    Your generosity is appreciated, but I must decline your kind offer of junipers.

    I like the cultivars that you've added. I'm envious of your susans and may you never have rabbits.

    The Cedar waxwings are so beautiful. We have a few come through here from time-to-time, but they aren't regulars at the feeders.

    Cameron

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  3. I love this taprooted tree. When I moved here from NC initially in the mid 1980s I knew immediately when I was in Tennessee-it was when the junipers started showing up. In my neck of the woods of NC they were not real common, more pines than junipers.

    I dug three 5 ft trees from a wild area to put in my garden. What a job with that taproot! Two died, one is still alive which is good. It must've been a bit different of a cultivar to survive. They do transplant well when smaller and grow so fast. I enjoy them here, but not all the seedlings that pop up in the most unlikeliest places. Are you spreading them around your yard? They are so good for the wildlife.

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  4. Your Susans are beautiful, I can already see mine coming up even in this freezing weather!

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  5. Gail,
    Did you know Cherokee Indians believed that the wood of cedar trees contains very powerful protective spirits? Here’s a nice story about it if you would like to read more.--Randy
    http://www.ilhawaii.net/~stony/lore140.html

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  6. No thank you, I have plenty of them! One right next to the house and another as a border. There are seedlings from these two everywhere. They do fall victim to bagworms quite easily. I'd love to see some of those cedar waxwings over here!

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  7. Our waxwings must be finding tastier things because they don't seem that interested in the cedar berries. But that Sapsucker has been back on the tree outside our window this morning. And the yellow-rumped warblers love the berries too!

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  8. We have several of these junipers in the garden. All planted by the birds. All welcome. They aren't fussy growers and as you say there are many to choose from.

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  9. I've been humming this song since I saw your title in my blogroll this morning, Gail:) Brings back memories of my early college days.

    I don't think I have any room for junipers; my yard is surrounded by pine trees, but thanks for the offer. They do look lovely in your garden, though. Thanks for all the information about them--when I think of junipers, I think of the shrubs. Now I know there's a lot more to "Jennifer" than what I thought!

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  10. Hi Gail, yes they are beautiful your trees and big, we have junifers here as well but they are much, much smaller. Are yours fragrant as well?

    Lovely post dear Gail.

    Take Care/ Tyra

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  11. I loved all the pictures. We don't have any juniper trees here. Maybe they don't grow in this part of CA? I do want to grow some black eyed susans this year though. A few years back I had a ton of them everywhere and now I have none)-: I bought seeds though so hopefully that does the trick!

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  12. Wow! No wonder you love this tree! It IS gorgeous and comes in different cultivars you say? Now, that's cool! Oh, I love your Susans! Glad you brought that to our Island trip. I goggle over its photos in the Internet and yearn for it... Someday, that'll find a space in my garden when the seeds companies here consider selling them! Wish that day came soon.

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  13. Gail, this was a lovely, entertaining, and informative post...as usual:)
    I don't need any more trees but you are kind to offer.
    I have a maple in my front yard, along with 3 huge oak trees...and in between those are 7 or 8 holly trees. Then in the back I have several very tall oaks, some Poplars, which I'm not at all fond of...but which probably won't be coming down any time soon. We also have 5 Cedar Cypress on one side of the house, and a huge holly 'bush' between my neighbor and us. I hardly have any room for sunny gardening and this bothers me greatly. I am going to have to have my front yard cut out even further to expand the areas where I do have sun!
    I love the Cedar Waxwings. I was lucky to see ONE only once and it was just this year. I caught it on my camera & even posted it on my blog.
    Have a great day:)

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  14. These are fascinating to me because we don't have any junipers like this; only J. communis and J. horizontalis, and some of their related cultivars. I'm intrigued now and must go hunting through the Flora books I have for our region and see if there ARE any of the taller types native here.
    And the waxwing...I love them. They drop in here occasionally but not nearly as often as I'd like.

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  15. They are lovely trees, Gail. When we built our new house, I planted two Skyrocket junipers and two lower growing Golden Pfitzer junipers as part of some foundation plantings I did. They both did extremely well, though the pfitzers were a little too prickly for me. I just love your back backyard. :)

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  16. Nice free gifts from the birds! Those waxwings will eat fermented berries until they get drunk! I recall a drunken flock flying into an office building in Chicago or NY a while back…

    They stop over here in the spring and fall.

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  17. Although you probably don't need to worry about this, us Northern gardeners appreciate the Junipers' tolerance of road salt. There is a group of them in the middle of the cul de sac in front of my house, so they get splattered with salt, but they just shrug it off.

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  18. Beautiful tree and I love the details of its ability to spread that you gave. If I lived nearby I would be more than happy to accept one of your beautiful trees......
    I thought the same as one of the other bloggers....may you never have rabbits.....

    My garden is looking sad.....with the snow, and rabbits finding it hard to get food supplies, they are eating shrubs etc they would not normally touch. I have a feeling there will be lots of work for me once this weather clears......

    Loved this post......

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  19. Gail: A wonderful variety of photos showing both the beauty of the winter and summer season each create their own magic for us!I hope the icicles in my snow garden will soon become
    flowers! smiles NG :)

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  20. A lot of the fence posts in my area were made from these trees. I do hate the rust on my crabapple trees.
    Marnie

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  21. Marnie,

    The first year we lived here I noticed the crap apples looked terrible...it was then that I learned I couldn't have apples...even if I took out all the junipers they are scattered all over this neighborhood.

    Gail

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  22. naturegirl,

    Thank you and I wish you a very early and lasting spring!

    Gail

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  23. Cheryl,

    I am glad you like the juniper....they provide food and cover for all manner of critters. I hope we don't get rabbits! I see them occasionally, but not a lot of them~~ Well, we do have a huge coyote population and they do keep the rodents in check. Your winter post was really lovely...

    gail

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  24. MMD,

    You know we haven't even had an ice storm this year...I am not sure the salt trucks have had to salt. We have been fortunate, but maybe this helps you understand a little why we might want one snow fall!~~It is good to know that neither rain, nor sleet or salt can take them out!

    gail

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  25. Skeeter,

    Drunken Wax Wings now that must have made the news entertaining! I only saw them from a distance but think they are beautiful! Keep warm tonight then...warmer days are heading our way!

    gail

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  26. nancy,

    You can visit anytime and sit there with me! Or the porch...we can have something very southern ( what ever that might be...I am from the midwest) like ice tea!

    Skyrocket is a cultivar...a very nice shrub!

    Gail

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  27. Thanks for the generous offer Gail, but I'm afraid I don't have the ample space you do! :) They are a lovely tree and anything that can grow through & around limestone deserves a tribute!

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  28. Jodi,

    I would think you might have it...It is hardy to zone 3 and NS is listed as part of its territory...perhaps you all call it something else? But it is a great tree and wood look good as a wind break covered with snow! I felt very lucky to get a photo of the Cedar Wax Wing.

    gail

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  29. Jan,

    The Cedar Wax Wings seem to spend a lot of time high up in the tops of the junipers! I feel great that I got a good photo. I love my trees...we have dozens but it does make for a tough time when you want to have a sunny border....who needs afront yard when you can have flowers there instead!

    gail

    Gail

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  30. Chandramoluli,

    can you order them froom England? Chiltern Seeds seems to have seeds of just about everything! They have a license for shipping seeds so they won't have trouble getting through customs!

    gail

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  31. Racquel,

    I hear you but should you change your mind...I have a few dozen for you!

    gail

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  32. Cindee,

    I bet it does work this time...I can try to send you seeds from my garden in the fall...they will grow anywhere if they can grow here!

    Gail

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  33. Tyra,

    Well some people think they smell funny but I don't think they smell bad at all! The non native junipers seem to smell a bit like a cat used the soil as a litter box! The Cedar tree I have that is a real cedar smells delicious! We have called Juniperus virginiana Red Cedar for so long that it will be impossible to call it anything else...but it isn't a real cedar tree.

    gail

    gail

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  34. Rose,

    I am truly sorry if Jennifer Juniper is stuck in your head...it is in mine, too! For two days now! I might have to listen to some good classic rock to get something else stuck there..

    Gail

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  35. Lisa,

    I love a tree that is fuss free and this is the one. Plus the occasional Cedar wax wing visit is nice...

    gail

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  36. Rurality,

    Thank you! I love knowing what other critters love the berries! I will look to see who is hanging around the trees...

    gail

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  37. Hi Dave,

    Bagworms...I haven't noticed them. I used to see them on landscape junipers, but not here...but then I haven't been exactly searching for them!

    Gail

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  38. Randy,

    I think I might have to carry a small piece of cedar with me! I like this name~~ a-tsi-na tlu-gv {ah-see-na loo-guh} cedar tree. Do you carry any cedar in your medicine bag!

    Gail

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  39. darla,

    That is good news... Btw, did the Mr make you more icicles?

    gail

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  40. Cameron,

    I hope the bunnies keep hopping down the street and don't discover C&L! The Susans are a pretty wonderful flower...Should you change your mind...I have a few dozen small cedars I could send!!!

    gail

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  41. Frances,

    They are a most prolific pioneer tree...they appear to want to turn everything into a Red cedar Forest quicker then a blink of the eye! This is the first year I have seen the Cedar Wax Wings and feel pretty lucky to have gotten a photo...I got curious and googled to find this~~Squirrels will eat the berries and even coyotes! Fascinating.

    gail

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  42. Tina,

    I think we have to get all the tap root or it doesn't survive...but if you need a few small trees let me know!

    Gail

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  43. Anything can be beautiful if you look at it in the right frame of mind.

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  44. I don't know much about trees. We only have room for the huge maple that is in our front yard. There are lots of large trees in our neighborhood, which includes a cemetery a block away.

    Your area is beautiful, and the trees look great to me wherever they are growing.

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  45. We enjoyed a blue-sky day here today!! 19 degrees is still cold, but balmy compared to earlier temps! ;-) Enjoyed your post. I love Cedar Waxwings. They make it here in the late Spring, sometimes... on their way through to wherever they go. :-)

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  46. Gail, Oklahoma is being devoured by the Eastern Redcedar. It is considered one of the few invasive natives we have. So, I have to say that I don't need any of your beautiful junipers either. My lot across the street needs to be cleared of them in fact. Have you ever seen one go up in a fire? It looks just like a Roman candle. I loved your post though.~~dee

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  47. Delightful and informative juniper post, Gail, especially since I thought I was the only one old enough in the group that remembers Donovan!

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  48. Of course the first thing I have to comment on is the Cedar Waxwing photo. It's BEAUTIFUL Gail! You're so lucky to have gotten it. We only see them on occasion. Is that the same bench in the two different photos? It's a different season so that confuses me a bit. Like everyone else I'm going to graciously turn down your offer of the juniper seedlings. Many thanks tho. Hope you're having a good week?

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  49. I always love seeing the "rivers" of Susans in your garden. They are beyond beautiful.

    That's interesting that Red Cedars are pioneer trees where you are. The pioneer trees on my area are Loblolly Pines, Sweet Gums and Red Maples. We have a few Red Cedar here though. My husband loves them, I think in part because his family cut them for Christmas trees.

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  50. I always love seeing the "rivers" of Susans in your garden. They are beyond beautiful.

    That's interesting that Red Cedars are pioneer trees where you are. The pioneer trees on my area are Loblolly Pines, Sweet Gums and Red Maples. We have a few Red Cedar here though. My husband loves them, I think in part because his family cut them for Christmas trees.

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  51. Double posted again, dang it! :)

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  52. Beautiful! Especially the bird -- isn't a bird like jewelry for a tree?

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  53. Good morning Gail, I've got Donovan in my head now. . . who knows, I might have dig out the old albums and give them a spin just for fun!

    We have a couple of small cedars/junipers next to our patio. I have no idea what variety they are, but they are loved by finches, cardinals, robins, and of course all the squirrels around here for nesting, perching, and for food. Besides the berries, the squirrels are crazy about the bark in the wintertime. So far feeding the squirrels this winter has kept them from stripping both trees of most of their bark. With or without their protective skins though, the junipers keep soldiering on.

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  54. It took me about 10 years to warm up to the entire genus of Juniperus... they're still not on my tree-hugging list, but I like some of them well enough now. :)

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  55. I think they are pretty awesome myself. I have two in my front yard and a good thing too as it's the only green thing out there right now. Your cedar waxwings do look plump and happy.

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  56. anna,

    They are important evergreens for those of us in this middle south zone...glad you like them, too! He is a good looking bird...wish they were closer to the ground.
    gail

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  57. Monica,

    I haven't warmed up to all of them..but certainly the
    J virginianas have a few cultivars that are good looking. They are rather prickly trees, not warm and fuzzy like others some conifers;-)

    Gail

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  58. Linda,

    Sorry about that Donovan song...you might have it for days...

    I didn't know the squirrels loved the bark...it peels off so that is good. So many creatures use it for hiding, nesting and food. I've been reading about the fermented berries and how it can poison the cedar waxwings.

    Gail

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  59. Sweetbay,

    Lots of folks like the Red Cedars for Christmas trees...when I was little we had pines and then for a short period of time...we actually had an aluminium one!

    I wonder what else is pioneer here...the big problem is that the bush honeysuckle takes over and keeps other plants from germinating.

    The Susans are my favorites I am glad you like them...I think I feel about them the way you do about the Biden!

    Gail

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  60. Dee,

    I know they are a real problem in OK...I read that they are taking over fields and creating forests of red cedar...What is being done? Plowing them over...when fires were a natural occurring event they were killed but you can't burn the county!

    Gail

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  61. Shady,

    I love blue sky days myself...Glad you had one...even with 19 degree temps. Somehow the bluesky helps, makes it feel warmer~~ The Cedar Waxwings are pretty cool....

    Is warmer weather heading your way this weekend?

    gail

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  62. Kathleen,

    How can you turn them down..I've packed them up and they are ready to be shipped! No problem at all!
    Yes the bench is the same bench winter and summer. Quite a difference yes!

    I was very glad to capture the photo of the Waxwing. Right now there is a huge flock of Robins in the garden but they get spooked every time I approach...several dozen. Oh to get their photos.

    gail

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  63. Cinj...that is very wise! gail

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  64. Joey,

    Until you mentioned Donovan I was sure I was the oldest one in the group! Whew! I feel better now...

    Gail

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  65. Sue,

    You are a doll! I don't think I would plant any morer trees in your yard...you have beautiful sun loving plants that might not appreciate the shade.

    Gail

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  66. I like the way you show your junipers in all seasons. They are quite lovely. We have junipers (that everyone calls cedars) here in central Texas. They're fairly despised by most folks because they cause an intense allergic reaction between December and February. But even though I suffer from "cedar fever" too, I do still enjoy their fragrant needles and the sweep of green that they provide in winter.

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  67. Gail-
    I love junipers, too. They're wonderful native trees, supportive of wildlife, tough, drought-tolerant, etc.

    I didn't know that they're spreading into new territory as Dee in Oklahoma notes.

    But, they are an early successional tree whose 'berries' are dispersed by birds, so they do pop up everywhere, especially along fence lines or under power lines!

    Lisa

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  68. Love Donovan, though I'm more partial to Mellow Yellow. Beautiful Cedar Waxwing. We get them for about two weeks in the early summer when our Serviceberry tree is covered in berries. They always hang around until all the berries are eaten.

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  69. This comment has been removed by the author.

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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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