Stone path

garyfla_gw(10 Florida)April 26, 2014

Had to show a pic of the partially completed path. Only took 30 years to get this far lol gary

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nice tree canopy!
and now we need a shot of that water lily ? pond at the end?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 4:25PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Phenomnal Gary,

Can you say Shangri La!


    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 7:43PM
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Looks nice and inviting. Well done!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 8:34PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Here is a pic in the opposite direction Peru lilies are starting to open blue water stayed in flower all winter this year, gary

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 4:51AM
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Very nice! Gardens are always a work in progress!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 5:29AM
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Oh, Gary! Do you rent out??? I want your garden!



PS: Where are your orchids?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 12:53AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

here is a pic of a Brassidium that has become established on the Cassia roxburghii. This is to the left of the path pic
Also have some rescue phals ,and a purple hybrid catt which are doing well (warm winter??) The bulk of my orchids are kept in the shadehouse . There are some spathiglottis in the last pic of the water lily. No flowers as yet The Vandas are kept between two queen palms to the upper left of the first pic . my fancy vandas are kept in the SH way out of the pix lol gary

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 2:49AM
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Gary your garden is lovely. I would so like to sit in that chair and have a glass of iced tea. :o)

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 10:09AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Oh Gary, it is lovely! Simply lovely! I know you are enjoying it. Very nice work and gorgeous plants.

Carol in Jacksonville

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 12:59PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

If you sit in the chair you will be bombarded by squirrels and bluejays lol i find Magaritas the beverage of choice if you have 3 you see a lot more color and form 4 and you get music!! lol Have noticed a drop in temps from all the stone and no mud YAYYY lol
Notice no one picked up on all the plants are in pots save the suriname cherry and all were grown from seed except the crocodile and asplenum ferns and they were two dollar WM specials lol
Need 3 more stones to finish this side and then to work on the path on the other side
At the far end I'm adding a tree fern forest and to the right an epiphyte "grotto"
This is at least the 5th reincarnation of the grow area
and it sure looks a lot better than 500 pots in rows lol
Hopefully the hurricane gods will be kind this year??
Thanks for all the nice comments !! gary

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 5:14AM
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Gary, whip up a batch and I'll be right over. :o)

But seriously your garden is so inviting. I'd see color and hear music with out the Margaritas.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 7:16PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Gary, I didn't notice that all of your plants were in pots - I guess because they all look so comfortable and fitting nestled into their locations. But I did notice that your large birds nest fern in the first photo was in a pot. I have a similar-sized one as well as two slightly smaller ones, all in pots. They did so well this past winter that I'm thinking about moving them into the ground in their same locations. They showed absolutely no sign of frost/freeze after a night of 10-hour hard freeze and a low of 23.5 F. But I thought I'd ask you first: why is yours in a pot? Is there a benefit?

Carol in Jacksonville

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 8:29PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Number one reason for me is "powder sand with a bunch of seashells " Even the weeds struggle in my soil.. Number two is I like groups of plants and ignore rule # 1 keep beds less than 3 feet wide .Notice that evil queen palm in the BG?? It needs pruning about every two weeks lol. In pots I can move everything out , prune and damage nothing.
Also my neighbors have a row of areca palms and all the fronds fall on my side lol. The queen is in a buried pot because it's directly under the power lines . the pot helps restrain it and when time to remove MUCH EASIER.?? I'm replacing with a group planting of ptychosperma palms this time .
As to ferns i always start with very small plants and MUCH easier to grow in pots and again easy to rearrange as they grow.
BN ferns are tough but they do get large .
One other thing is Coleus can't resist putting cuttings in every pot and space and they quickly become leggy shrubs so need constant regrouping .. I can get them to grow in the ground BUT those in pots are twice as vigorous for much longer.
For me pots are the best answer. I suspect they would grow in the ground with enough water but what to do when they get too big??
I'm a hopeless "collector" not a landscaper.
The "tree fern area " will be mostly in improved soil due to size but most of the underplantings will be in pots
In a weak moment i bought a tiny start of an elephant fern which is in a 6 inch pot in that area . This year I'm seeing considerable growth. They are reputed to be the "worlds largest fern" with fronds 20 feet long . Worse they are trailing habit never upright or "tree " habit
have heard they are difficult for many reasons So my thought was it'll croak before it becomes a problem lol
Good luck with whatever you decide . Curious as to how you will arrange the bed?? gary

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 6:30AM
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That's gorgeous! I don't think I've ever seen a pic of your garden before. Wonderful to see it. Though wasn't it you years ago who posted photos of a meadow with fruit trees?


    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 8:49AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)


That's because there never has been anything resembling a "garden " in the area lol The worst was 500 pots in rows
I began this "landscaping ' about 15 years ago and has been twice leveled by hurricanes two years ago the canopy recovered . Though still in pots they are disguised and put into similar groupings have cut my orchid collection by half and doing away with the GH.
Getting old and cranky and "rare and exotic" not nearly as attractive.
My entire lot is only 75x100 feet so no "meadows "in my pix lol. As i get older I'm soooo glad I didn't have a lot of land would have been a suberb of the amazon by now!!lol Still have a long way to go but finally have a "plan"!!! Thanks gary

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 6:21AM
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Your path and plants look beautiful. With lush foliage it is hard to see that they are in pots.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 8:02AM
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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

Wow you sure did a lot of work on that stone path! It looks great-kinda has that courtyard feel to it with the water garden.

What variety of tropical of water lily is that one?
I have Pamela and Miami Rose about to bloom here and King of Siam shouldn't be too far behind them. My Panama Pacific tubers and Red Cup (a night bloomer) are just now coming out of dormancy for some reason and only have a few leaves up so far.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 10:42AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

That pool, is only 5x10 and the "Blue Goddess" takes every square inch of the surface so had to remove all other plants I have started a planting of asian lotus in the far corner in a large planter. Seems to struggling so far.
I've grown lotus before but the dwarf hybrids which were weeds lol It is growing but slowly and seems unhealthy. Got a very large tuber but had no growth or roots on it in Jan. Guess I'll have to be patient?? lol gary

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 6:49AM
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keiki(10 FL)

Nice job! Looks like a great place for margaritas .

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 11:18AM
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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

Wow Blue Goddess must be a large waterlily! It is certainly beautiful. I have all mine in large containers because I don't have a pond except for my two little patio ponds that I keep a few koi in. They like to eat water plants so I just keep the plants kinda around the pond lol. I am planning to build a larger pond at some point.

My lotus are also in urns. They are the smaller ones: Baby Doll, Momo Botan, and Chawan Basu. I used to have more but something got into them and ate up the tubers so this year I had to start over. I am surprised yours hasn't taken off yet because I just started mine from tubers at the beginning of March and they have several leaves already. Maybe the larger ones are slower...*shrugs* Do you have any fertilizer tabs in there? Lotus take up to twice as much fertilizer as waterlilies as they are heavy feeders. I plant mine in topsoil mixed with half Black Cow and 3/4 a cup of osmocote for vegetables. Then I also added two 5 gram pond tabs. If you aren't using other fertilizer then you should use 21 Gram Lotus tabs or just more smaller ones.
(These 5 gram are only meant to feed for a month so I add more every month depending if they are flowering well or not. They generally do pretty well with just the Black cow and osmocote though)
I weigh the tuber on top of the soil with a rock and fill up the urns the rest of the way with water. It is about 3/4 soil and 1/4 water.
Here is the pic of the urns I am growing the lotus in to get a idea of the size. THis pic is old from the last time I was growing in them. The 3 urns are in the middle (lotus) I am now using the large pots on the ends for waterlilies and I have 4 more as well that are about the same size.

This post was edited by sultry_jasmine_night on Sun, May 4, 14 at 10:28

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 10:21AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

The "Blue Goddess" will easily cover the 5x10 with 3 foot pads by mid summer . Then they start to stack up it even crowded out the water hyacinth lol. Normally it will go dormant in Jan /Feb but not this year never even stopped flowering lol It will multiflower but by disbudding you can get 15 inch flowers standing two feet out of the water. very nice sky blue with purple anthers and has an incredible aroma. So I let it have the entire pool
The lotus I just got in Feb of this year supposedly it will get 10 feet tall with 3 foot pads .About the size of a large carrot no pads or roots Came from central Texas so was completely dormant. It is growing pads but no roots so far.. I did fertilize it with spikes . BIG mistake !! Entire pool turned bright green lol. IME with smaller varieties ,they grow floating pads then the standing . but this one is growing both but small and short lived no roots at all
so far. I'm opptomistic !! Have to wait and see??
This pool was originally built to hold rainwater and evolved into a "lily pool" after passing through a tropical fish growout tank to now a water garden The winter of 09 wiped out all my tropical fish so now have GF. Takes up a lot of room but feel the WL is worth it lol
Since the rest of the area is maturing strong sunlight is getting rare and WL /lotus need alot of it the future is somewhat cloudy lol
You should build a pool fish/water garden . Many waterplants are some of the worlds most spectacular. good luck gary

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 6:06AM
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Wow, your place is a garden paradise! You definitely can't tell your plants are in pots. You've done a fantastic job. I'm going to have a margarita or two tonight with tacos, only a couple of days late for Cinco de Mayo.

Happy Gardening ~ FlowerLady

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 4:09PM
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Just beautiful. Thx for the pics.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 10:19PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Here is a closeup of the Goddess. During summer I disbud and can get 15 inch flowers standing two feet out of the water Another benefit is that it has a terrific aroma.
Only complaint is that the pads are plain medium green and it grows very aggresively. gary

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 4:14AM
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somehow I have not had sucess growing water plants. I am trying again this year. i don't have a big pond, so I grow in pots. Any suggestions?? I will look for this variety. Thx.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 9:29PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

being a fish keeper/breeder I've always kept small inground ponds so plants were secondary. Almost no experience with growing in extternal pots but I see many pix of it. SJN on this post is certainly doing it?? Most water plants require a lot of sun and get very large for a pot.
I have a 5x7 in dappled shade about a foot deep where I'm experimenting with various tropical .Spathiphyllum, swamp lily, swamp iris,calathea ,maranta ,canna, split leaf philo. and amazon swords .. Only up around two years but so far is doing well.
usually you can make a small inground for around the price of a large pot,spent less than 50 on this one.
Maybe SJN will make some suggestions for true water plants?? gary

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 2:51AM
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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

Gary, wow 15 inch flowers sound amazing! I kinda like the combination of cool green leaves with the very light blue flowers it adds to the serenity of the lily. Did you build your pond with blocks surrounding it and then add a liner and then something to top the liner? That might be a good option for me because then I wouldn't have to dig through a bunch of tree roots. It is very wooded here. Do you have a fountain or filter pump in your pond?

The Miami Rose water lily has two large buds getting ready to pop out of the water. It is a new variety for me this year so I am excited to see it bloom. I will post pics when it does :)

Water gardening in pots is very easy. It depends on what you want to grow for the instructions (lotus, water lily, bog type plants etc.) Benefits are you can do it on a easy budget and move them around how you want them. Pots can be anything large that doesn't have any holes in the bottom. At walmart you can get those large round laundry tubs for around 7.00 or so. I did my first waterlilies in tall round trash cans. While these aren't very attractive, you can surround them with other pots of elephant ears or other medium height plants to disguise the water pots.

I use mosquito dunks to control mosquitos. You only need a small piece to add to a pot. You can also use small fish if the water stays cool enough towards the bottom of the pot.

Sams club has some nice large pots without holes for about 22.00 that is what I am using this year. Working out well so far. Those large red pots on the ends of the urns in the photo above were purchased at Big Lots one year for 15.00 each. Not too bad for really large pots. You can use half whiskey barrels, small preformed ponds or put a pond liner into just about anything.

I know someone who is growing hardy waterlilies on her apt balcony and they do really great. Water lilies in a container will never be as large or spectacular as the ones in ponds but they will bloom and look pretty. Some are also fragrant.

If you know what kind of plants you want to try I can give more detailed planting instructions for water pot culture.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 10:26AM
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Thank you so much. Water lillies and Lotus are the ones I am trying. I have 2 water lillies and 5 lotuses. I tried chawan basu and momobutan 3 years in a row without success. They grow and I have nice laves and thats it. I also had standard white lotus tuber that grew very well and last oct, it died suddenly. It just rotted. The lotus seeds I tried also grew but then 2-3 months later just did'nt do well. This year I got standard pink lotus / Hindu lotus,and another from texas waterlillies and 2 bowl lotus from ebay and one from local nursery hoping that maybe local grown will be better. At this point in time I just want something to bloom!! I do place mosquito dunks. I have top soil that I got from garden center. I did not use potting soil.
Thank you so much.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 8:00PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

The pond in the pic is made of stacked p.t 4x4's . Was first built in 1981. around 16 inches above and dug down
around two feet below ground Had some serious rot so was redone in march of 12. Have always used fiberglass tarps as a liner Decided to replace it though it didn't leak after all those years lol Went with a "sea blue " don't think it matters much as it can't be seen anyway. The caps are vinyl fence boards still haning in there after 30 years It uses a "purge" systen as filtration rainwater comes from the roof , underground and joins the pool at the bottom Have a two foot weir on the back to provide skimming and overflow. goes into a "march garden" in the back . Have never used any other type of filtration circulation, works well with steady rains and purge from the hose when dry. Was originally built to contain rainwater but evolved into a water garden/fish pond over the years .
originally it had mosaic tile on the exposed wood but haven't replaced as yet after the repair. Thinking of making a "grillwork" to grow epiphytes at least on the front.
Check around before building there are a gazillion ways to do it!! lol gary

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 3:41AM
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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

For lotus I pretty much followed the instructions in this post
I only used 1/2 cheap topsoil and 1/2 black cow and also added a little red clay from our yard. I used 3/4 cup of osmocote towards the bottom of the urns. I also add a pond fertilizer tab per month. I got good flowering with this method. I add water from the hose as needed usually every other day if it isn't rainy. They are in full sun. I filled the urns with 3/4 topsoil/manure mixture and 1/4 with water. I laid the tuber on top of the topsoil and weighed it down with some small rocks. Lotus are very heavy feeders so they really need some type of fertilizer.
If yours are already growing roots and have some leaves it might be best if you just added some fertilizer tabs instead of disturbing the roots by repotting until they are dormant again.
* It is very important with lotus, that once they come out of dormancy, to not disturb the roots or tuber. They are very fragile and if they break they will die if they aren't in a dormant state. Try not to let any leaves break off either because if part of the tuber breaks at the bottom of the stem it could cause it to rot. Just let your leaves and flowers naturally die off and fall into the container or on the ground etc.
*Another consideration for lotus: I have heard that using square containers for lotus is a no no. The reason being is that the lotus could grow into the corner and jam up and break the tubers. With lotus they grow roots and then more tubers, roots, tubers etc..
I don't know if it is true but I have always used round urns and planted directly into the urn vs submerging another planter pot down into it. Lotus are vigorous growers and may grow also outside of the planter pot and continue to make tubers into the water container.

Once it has got cold enough in the winter that the tuber has gone dormant, and all the leaves have disappeared, then you can dig up your tuber and separate the new growth ones to get more tubers. I would do this in early Feb or late Jan. right before I would replant them again. It might be different for your zone.

I don't have experience with lotus seeds. I bought some from Michael's but never planted them lol. My lotus made a few seeds but I didn't really do anything with them either I just threw them into the tub but I don't think they ever sprouted. Bees really love the flowers. I think that's what pollinated mine.

Water Lilies: Use a large container without a hole. Fill it with water. Trash containers, Round laundry tubs from walmart, nice pots or whatever you can find as long as it doesn't leak should work.
For potting the actual lily. You can use either plastic dish tubs from the dollar store or cheap oil pans from walmart or round pots with holes in the bottom that you can put a few layers of newpaper down to cover the holes. You want one that is about at least a gallon size. I like short fat pots better than tall skinny ones. I planted several in the large hanging plastic baskets I got on sale I just took off the hanger and lined them with newpaper.
Soil: Use cheap topsoil without a lot of peat in it. I have found that the more expensive kinds have more peat and peat floats so you don't want that. Some people just use topsoil from their yard or if you can get your hands on river bottom clay that is really great for them. I mixed in some red clay from our yard with the topsoil. The plain kitty litter (special kitty brand) from walmart is pure clay without any additives. You can mix some in if you want a heavier mixture. The thing is with the bagged litter clay is that it probably doesn't have any micronutrients in it for the lily like natural clay would.

Lily Size Considerations: For water pot culture, it is probably best to use lilies that are designed for small or medium ponds. In the variety description on most websites (Texas waterlilies etc) it will usually tell you if it is a small, medium, or large waterlily. I do have a few large ones (red flare and red cup night blooming tropical) that do okay in containers. They just do not grow as large as they would in a pond. I think it is kinda like bonsai...the plant does not have the root space so it stays smaller.
Most of my tropical lilies are medium sized range but some are med-lg. I don't seem to have any issues.

Water pot height: In the lily variety descriptions on the web sites that sell them it will tell you how far below the surface the planting pot (with soil) should be from the top of the water. For example at Texas waterlilies website for the King of Siam lily...note it says, "Best to grow in 6" to 18 " of water. This means the planting pot should be submerged 6 to 18 inches below the surface of the water. This is so the lily can get to the top of the water and so it can get enough light to bloom. For pot culture I go with the deeper measurement because the pots get hotter than a pond would and it just seems to work out better. So keep this in mind when choosing what kind of container you will use to hold water for your lily. If you have a really deep pot, you could use some bricks or something to raise the lily a little bit if needed.

Planting: Tropical Lilies: Some people are now calling these annual waterlilies so the term is used interchangeably. In zones 9-11 they are perennial but in colder zones they need to be stored in a frost free area or just used as annuals. I have recently seen a neat way to store them for the winter.
I use either round or square pots for planting the tropical lily. One to two gallon size seems best for pots. Either way, I like the shorter pots vs taller skinny pots.
Heavy Topsoil or river bottom clay is best. Again, I mix cheap topsoil (no peat) and a little red clay from my yard. One year I used straight 100% clay kitty litter and had no problems. Some people mix in a time release fertilizer but I use the pond tabs after they are planted and submerged in the water. When you plant the tropical waterlilies you want to plant them in the center of the pot and try not to cover the crown of the plant. You can place a few rocks over the root area (not the crown) to weigh it down if you think it might float out. Gently submerge into the water filled container. Then once it is submerged you can add your pond tab fertilizer (if that is what you are using). Just push the tablet down into the soil a few inches towards the side of the pot and away from the lily. I keep my pots in full sun. A little afternoon shade probably won't hurt the lilies especially if you live somewhere really hot.
Here is a good video link (copy and paste into your browser) for planting tropical lilies.

Planting Hardy Lilies: I only have one hardy waterlily. It is yellow with striped leaves. I just used planting baskets that I already had but you can use the dish pans or oilpans for them. They are generally planted in a corner of the tub with the roots facing toward the center so the roots can grow outwards. You can weigh it down a little with a small rock to keep it from floating out. Make sure not to completely cover the crown of the lily (where the leaves are emerging from the tuber). I plant first then gently submerge it down into the water filled pot. Then add pond tabs. Some people use a time release fertilizer that is mixed into the soil. I haven't tried that kind yet so just use the pond tabs lol.
Here is a good video to demonstrate how to plant a hardy waterlily.

Fertilizer: The only fertilizer that I have used for lilies is the Pond Tabs. There are lots of different kinds on the market. I bought some cheap on ebay and added two to each lily basket. Which ever fertilizer you use should have instructions with them.

I am still learning what does and doesn't work with water pot culture. There are lots of videos on You Tube on waterlilies and lotus.
Here is some pics from a few yrs ago of some of the water lilies I grew in trash containers lol.
Red Flare (tropical night bloomer)

Panama Pacific (tropical day bloomer)

Hardy Yellow water lily

This post was edited by sultry_jasmine_night on Sat, May 10, 14 at 12:34

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 11:57AM
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SNJ, they are just beautiful. Makes me want to try some myself. :o)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 1:21PM
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Thank you very much, for your detailed response and effort. I will also look into the sites you provided.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 5:19PM
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