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Landscaping: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
10 Ways to Keep Cats Out of Your Yard
I'm often asked how to keep cats away from yards. The answer lies in cat repellents, whether by wire, water, or just plain understanding how feline pests think.
How to Build Great Rock Gardens for Small Spaces
This tutorial illustrates how to build rock gardens. They're enhanced if attention is paid to color choices (both for the stones and for the plants).
10 Shrubs That Thrive in the Shade
Shrubs that grow in shade are a boon to folks who toil to find bushes to fill shady voids in the landscape. This top 10 list is designed with variety in mind.
Top 10 Trees and Plants That Love the Shade
My list of the 10 plants that do best in the shade includes flowering dogwood trees and one each from all major categories of landscaping plants.
Snow Shoveling Tips
Snow shoveling can be difficult enough without making the job tougher on yourself. Read these tips to make the job of clearing a driveway easier.
How Not to Landscape Your Yard
The 10 mistakes I present in my article will help beginners learn how not to landscape a yard. Avoiding these errors means you won't mess things up.
How to Keep Dogs Out of Your Yard
A problem with dog repellents sprinkled on the soil is the need to reapply after rain. On the upside, 2 products in this class lie right on the kitchen shelf.
How to Protect Your Lawn from Moss
How do you get rid of moss in a lawn? The real question is what causes it to grow there in the first place.
Fill in a Bare Landscape Fast with these...
Fast growing shrubs are great for homeowners needing quick privacy hedges. I list several bushes for those who need privacy in a hurry, linking to plant info.
Weed Pictures
My weed pictures include photos of plants you probably know, but not by name. Here's some help in identifying common types of weeds.
12 Interesting Landscape Designs to Inspire...
Before you contemplate specific backyard landscaping designs, you have to ask yourself some basic questions.
How to Keep Voles Out of Your Yard
Identification is a first step in vole control (they're distinct from moles). Then you can work on getting rid of these field mice or meadow mice.
How to Build Beautiful (and Cheap!) Waterfalls...
A simple and cheap way to build outdoor waterfalls is to erect cascading stone spillways that hang right over your pond. I show you how in this tutorial.
What's a French Drain, and How Can You Install...
Installing French drains is an option for providing yard drainage on land where there is excess water. Learn how to make one in this piece geared to DIYers.
What Shrubs Make the Best Hedges?
Hedge plants serve the practical function of giving a property security and are also decorative. Here I discuss some of the best shrubs to use for hedges.
Pictures of Poison Ivy
View my pictures of poison ivy and similar vines for identification. My photos show the plants at different stages of development in the course of the year.
5 Good Shade Vines and 5 Shady Characters
Learn about perennial vines for shade, including that rarity, a cold-hardy, flowering one that grows in shady areas. I also warn about invasive vines.
Don't Know Much About Landscaping? Start Here!
If you're wondering how to get started landscaping your yard, I offer every type of resource available under the sun. See which one is right for you.
Landscaping Ideas for the Botanically Challenged
Front-yard landscaping ideas suited to suburbia may not work in rural areas, and vice-versa. But these basic design ideas will point you in the right direction.
Plan Your Garden With This Climate Zone Guide
The definition of planting zones refers to USDA hardiness maps, to which I link. I tell you how to use them but explain why you needn't follow them slavishly.
10 Ways to Landscape Your Property Lines
In landscaping your property line, are you hoping to minimize maintenance, maximize privacy or enhance the beauty of your yard? I help you with all 3 here.
Beginner's Guide to Landscaping
Need some simple landscaping ideas? From designing front, back and side yards to how to start a garden, consult my tips to help with your yard makeover.
10 Ways to Care for Your Lawn Before Mowing...
If you neglect spring lawn care, you'll pay for it the rest of the year. But while you shouldn't neglect it, spring lawn care doesn't require nearly as much time as mowing does in summer.
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Roses
What do black roses mean? My answer is 1 of 11 facts about roses I give here, ranging from which are easiest to grow to what they have to do with the rosary.
Incorporating Red Twig Dogwood Shrubs in Your...
Red twig dogwood shrubs are so named for the color of their bark in winter. But these stunning bushes offer much more than just colorful winter bark.
Everything You Need to Know about the Rose of...
Rose of sharon bush is a deciduous flowering shrub, sometimes thought of as a small tree. Learn about pruning it and other growing tips here.
What's the Difference Between Rhododendrons and...
Read this intro to learn how to care for azalea and rhododendron plants. I give tips on planting these popular flowering shrubs, including pruning azaleas. Page 3.
16 Flowers that Bloom All Summer Long
Long-blooming perennials give continuous garden color, with just a little deadheading, dividing, etc. on your part. Discover some flowers that bloom all summer.
Easy and Cost-Effective Ways to Remove a Tree...
Removing tree stumps is possible without the aid of stump grinders. You can do it manually with mattocks or by applying nitrogen and waiting, which is cheaper.
Pictures Illustrating the Concepts Used by...
If you need some ideas for the yard, study these landscape design pictures showing some basic principles and learn about the concepts the pros use.
How to Get Rid of Crabgrass for Good
What's the best way of killing crabgrass? Using preemergent herbicide is one way to get rid of this weed, but proper ID must come first, so I provide pictures.
All About Butterfly-Friendly Milkweed Plants
Learn facts about common milkweed plant (picture), including its uses and growing requirements. Learn what these host plants for Monarch butterflies look like.
All About Flowering Quince Shrubs
Should you grow flowering quince shrubs? These spring-blooming bushes have their good and bad points, which I relate while telling you how to grow them.
How to Plant the Perfect Flower Beds
Practice layering when planting flower beds, plus preventative weed control. These are just 2 tips I offer here, as we go from back to front row of a sample bed.
Prune These Bushes in Late Winter or Early Spring
There are some shrubs that you can prune early (late winter or early spring), without worrying that you're going to cost yourself some flowers during blooming
Fence Pictures
These fence pictures illustrate some of the different materials and styles available. Among these landscaping photos are examples of fence plantings.
How to Use Vinegar as a Natural Weed Killer
The organic gardener sometimes uses vinegar as a natural weed killer. It's non-selective, so be careful not to spray or pour it on your good plants.
How to Incorporate English Ivy in Your...
I discuss growing English ivy plants (picture) as a groundcover here. But my tips come with a warning: they have fallen out of favor due to their invasiveness.
Build a Stone Retaining Wall in 15 Steps
This tutorial deals with building stone retaining walls 3 feet in height or less. When you build without mortar you have limitations but also some benefits.
Native Lilies: 5 Beauties Northeasterners Need...
These five native lilies grace the woods and meadows of the Northeastern U.S. Native plant lovers can grow them in that suitable shady or sunny spot.
Your 11-Step Guide to Transplanting Trees and...
I present 5 easy steps in teaching you how to transplant trees and shrubs. Learn how to dig the holes and move the plants; also learn about care after installation.
Care Tips for Healthy, Lush Privet Hedges
Privet hedges (Ligustrum shrubs) are traditional favorites, being amenable to pruning. But these bushes are invasive plants in North America.
Types of Roses
The pictures in this photo gallery provide examples of some of the types of roses available, by color. All are AARS selections; learn more about these beauties.
How to Determine When to Plant Your New Trees
I am often asked when to plant trees. To answer the question, we first have to know if we're talking about the best time for deciduous or evergreen types.
Think You Know About Living Privacy Fences?...
Options for privacy fences are divided into building hardscape structures vs. using shrubs in hedges as living screens. I list the pros and cons of each here.
What's the Difference Between Annual Plants and...
What is an annual? In distinguishing between annual plants and perennials, it's all a matter of the life cycle; I explain the difference here.
Pictures of Landscaping for Front Door Entrances
View my pictures of landscaping showing examples for front door entrances. Using symmetry is popular, but there are many possible styles for entryway plantings.
Attract Hummingbirds with These Flowers and...
Grow the top 10 flowers to attract hummingbirds to your yard. Besides attracting the winged jewels, these plants will excite the envy of other gardeners. Page 1 of 3.
7 Shrubs That Are Compact but Colorful
I discuss 7 types of small evergreen shrubs perfect for owners of tiny yards who crave big-time color. Consult my list of compact bushes before you shop.
Everything You Need to Know About Using...
'Emerald Green' arborvitae trees are evergreens. Technically shrubs, their foliage is like Leyland cypress'; they're used as live privacy screens.
Gas Snowblowers
Gas snowblowers are available in both single-stage and two-stage models. Learn which type you should buy in regions prone to heavy or wet snowfalls.
Choose the Best Flowers for Your Landscape with...
The lists of flowers (with pictures) here are organized by color. Browse these galleries to gain ideas for creating colorful landscape designs.
Should You Drop the Bomb on Ticks?
One option for tick control in the yard is to spray to kill ticks. There are other options for organic gardeners; I help you pick one suited to your lifestyle.
Types of Plants: Browse My Database
Need to find information about a particular kind of plant? Search my database by clicking on the links below. Search by common name or scientific name.
How to Care for Shade-Loving Climbing Hydrangea...
Climbing hydrangeas solve a problem for people with shady areas to plant, being shade-tolerant vines. But they'll flower better if they receive some sunlight.
What Is the Difference Between a Mole and a Vole?
Garden pests include the mole and the vole, those subterranean, mouse-like garden pests. But what's the difference between a mole and a vole?
Tulip Trees: Tiptoe Through the Fall Foliage
Tulip trees are sometimes referred to as yellow poplars, although they are related to magnolias, not poplars. These tall specimens provide yellow fall foliage.
Breaking Ground: How to Open Up a Garden Bed
To start a garden from scratch, take stock of the conditions where you'll be opening up the new bed. I supply all the basic info you need here.
Meet the Dinosaur Tree
Ginkgo biloba trees are the oldest type on earth and commonly called living fossils. They provide a medicinal extract and fine fall foliage as my pictures show.
Deadhead
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All About Mock Orange Shrubs
Mock orange (Philadelphus coronarius) is a deciduous flowering shrub. This article discusses growing both P. coronarius and Minnesota Snowflake plants.
All About Mountain Laurel Shrubs and Bay Laurel...
My description of mountain laurel shrubs is supplemented by pictures. I distinguish between these shrubs and the bay laurel trees made famous by the Greeks.
10 Shrubs You Really Need to Grow
Consult this list of shrubs before you shop at the nursery. This list describes popular and more unique kinds of bushes for the yard.
What Are Some Common Types of Palm Trees?
Beginners are bewildered by all the different types of palm trees available. To help, I offer a handy list of some of the various types in this introductory article.
Step-by-Step Instructions for How to Lay Your...
Laying flagstone patios in sand is not difficult, although the stone itself can be heavy. This DIY project is like building a puzzle; I show you how here.
The Landscape Design Principles Do-It-Yourselfe...
The basic landscape design ideas (color, form, line, scale, texture) are introduced with pictures to illustrate how they play out in designing a garden.
Are Any of These 12 Poisonous Plants in Your...
Pictures of poisonous plants can help you to identify and avoid them. My list includes more than just toxic leaves, berries, etc. that you shouldn't eat.
Pictures of Flowering Shrubs
Pictures of flowering shrubs can give you ideas for your own landscaping. Browse my shrub pictures to view photos of some of the finest blooming bushes of spring and summer.
Try This Project to Increase Landscape Drainage...
Learn how to build dry creek beds for landscape drainage. It's an easy landscaping project if the soil you'll be excavating isn't strewn with roots and rocks.
Help! My Dog's Pee is Killing My Landscaping!
Landscaping with dogs means compromise. You must alter plans you'd otherwise have for a yard, e.g., avoiding extensive lawns that will only be stained by urine.
What is the Up-Front Cost of a Heated Driveway?
Here's an estimate of the cost to build a heated driveway. This cost estimate assumes the snow-melt system will have manual controls.
10 Perennials That Thrive in Full Sun
Full-sun plants are often perfect for rock gardens, for example. Learn about some types of drought-tolerant perennials before you buy a plant for that hot spot.
How to Grow Elephant Ear Plants
Elephant ear plants are tropical but can be overwintered in cold climates in containers. Keep your plants in a cool, but not freezing basement or garage.
Regional Maps to Help Find Your USDA Growing Zone
Growing zone maps are provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They show average extreme minimal temperatures broken down by region.
10 Components of a Beautiful Yard
Home landscaping pictures give numerous ideas for creating your own beautiful yard. My photos illustrate components found in the best landscapes.
Which Kinds of Spring Flowers Bloom the Earliest?
Spring flowers cheer us up after we've survived the long winter! But before selecting posies for your vernal garden, learn which ones are the earliest bloomers.
All About Japanese and English Yew Bushes
English yew bushes are widely used for foundation plants or in hedges, while a number of cultivars of Japanese yews exist and can serve similar functions.
Finish Off Flower Beds in Style With Landscape...
Landscape timber edging installation is simple and looks spiffy. Using photos, I relate how to install it to build an attractive edging with minimal effort.
Flowering Ground Covers
Flowering ground covers combine beauty and functionality, giving floral color while fighting weeds and erosion. These pictures help you with selection.
Deck Pictures
Browse these deck pictures for design ideas. The images are supplemented with links to information discussing their designs.
Saucer Magnolias: a Staple of Spring
I describe saucer magnolia trees in this article and offer growing information. I also supply pictures and introduce other types of magnolias.
Landscaping Articles
Explore my landscaping articles for help on everything under the sun on beautifying yards. My mission is to bring easy-to-understand information to DIYers.
Help, My Snow Blower Won't Start Up
Don't you hate it when your snow blower won't start up? But don't reach for that shovel just yet: Ariens offers troubleshooting tips to help you.
Rock Star From the Lily World
Learn how to plant and care for Stargazer lilies, a popular Oriental type. Read my growing tips and begin enjoying the flowers of these exquisite bulb plants.
Why Dwarf Trees are the Ideal Choice for...
Dwarf trees (evergreen and deciduous) are popular in small yard design. You can plant them with the knowledge that they won't quickly spike out of control.
Is There a Difference Between Irish Shamrocks...
Searching for true Irish shamrocks? Various plants lay claim to that billing, but a look at their history will explain why four-leaf clovers don't qualify.
Build Your Own Floating Deck in 10 Easy Steps
It's easy for DIYers to build floating decks, because they are not attached to a building. This tutorial (includes pictures of the small structure constructed) shows you how it's done.
The Right Way to Care for Your Lantana Plants
Lantana plants are a tropical shrub and a symbol of Florida landscaping, their salt-tolerance making them a favorite flower in seashore communities.
Cultivate a Healthy Lawn by Following This...
Tips are provided in this resource for fertilizing lawns. I also give you a care schedule you can follow for spring, summer and fall.
What Is the Difference Between Dioecious and...
What's the difference between dioecious and monoecious? Learn what these terms used in reference to plant reproduction mean.
Don't Make These 10 Home Landscape Design...
Success in home landscape design is surely possible, as what DIYers lack in skills they make up for in persistence. But here are 10 common mistakes to avoid.
Grow These Vibrant, Spring-Blooming Shrubs with...
Border forsythia bushes (often misspelled 'forcynthia') are shrubs renowned for ushering in spring. Learn how to care for these plants (including pruning) here.
How to Grow a Lush, Green Lawn
Is the grass always greener on the other side (your neighbor's)? These tips for growing green lawns will remedy that, putting a green lawn within your reach.
10 Best Plants to Grow in Shady Areas With Dry...
Plants for dry shade meet a dual challenge: little water and little light. The tough plants discussed in this article will tolerate these difficult conditions.
I'm Disabled. Can You Summarize the Ways to Get...
If you're physically incapable of shoveling, look into the various other ways to get rid of now, such as hiring someone else. Here are some leads to follow.
Sign Up for My Free Landscaping Courses
My free online landscaping courses give you plenty of options. My readers are not all the same, meaning they don't have the same instructional needs.
Practical Scarecrows, the Modern Version
Scarecrow Sprinklers are better than animal repellents that you spread on the ground (and that you'd have to reapply after a rainstorm), as I say in my review.
The Top 10 Weeping Trees for Your Home's...
Of the weeping trees, some Japanese cherry trees are among the most spectacular. Such specimens give your landscaping a drooping habit and lovely blossoms.
Landscape Design Photo Gallery
Check my landscape design photo gallery for front-yard design ideas. Let these landscaping pictures inspire you in your DIY projects.
How to Care for Your English Boxwood Shrubs
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Efficient (and Safe) Ways to Remove Snow from...
What is the best way to remove snow from a driveway? In my shoveling article, I offer 10 tips that allow you to do the job safely, comfortably and efficiently.
Everything You Need to Know About Canadian...
Eastern or 'Canadian' hemlock trees are long-lived evergreens. Many cultivars have been developed for landscape usage, including more compact ones useful in privacy hedges.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Planting Boxwood...
This step-by-step tutorial walks you through the steps in planting hedges. Through pictures I show you how to plant boxwood shrubs in a straight row.
Death to Dandelions! (or Maybe Not?)
My pictures of dandelions will help you identify them. Then use my tips for their manual removal or killing them with herbicides.
Grow a Piece of the Ivy League in Your Own Yard
Boston ivy is related to another vine, Virginia creeper, but mature plants have simple, not compound leaves. Learn how to grow this classic vine here.
The Meanings Behind the Different Colors of Roses
Rose color meanings are detailed in this article, so you can look like a smart gift-shopper for Valentine's Day, following a simple, longstanding convention.
Leyland Cypress Trees: A Great Option for...
Leyland cypress trees are often planted for fast-growing privacy screens. These slender trees are generally grown by those seeking a mass of evergreen foliage and who are in a hurry.
Learn the Facts about Columbine Flowers
Columbine flowers come in numerous colors. Of even greater value than their bold colors is the exquisite shape of the blooms, as shown in my picture.
All About the Lombardy Poplar Tree
Lombardy poplar trees may be planted for quick privacy screens or windbreaks, as they are fast-growers. However, they are not long-lived trees.
Deck and Pergola Design
The work of an expert on decks and pergolas is shown in these pictures. My picture shows what the landscape looked like before this pergola design. Page 11.
Screens
Browse these deck screen pictures for design ideas. The deck screen pictures are supplemented with a link to an information discussing their designs. Page 12.
Impatiens Flowers: The Annual That Loves to...
Impatiens flowers are valued for the variety and vibrancy of their colors and their shade tolerance. The 'Super Elfin' series is one of the most popular.
Deck Screening Pictures
See my pictures of deck screening for privacy design ideas. The screening pictures are supplemented with a link to information discussing their designs. Page 13.
Poison Sumac Pictures
Consult these poison sumac pictures for identification purposes. My photos include closeups showing what the leaves, etc. of these plants look like.
A Pencil-Thin Shrub That's Popular in...
Sky Pencil holly presents an option for small spaces. These narrow, columnar shrubs lend themselves to usage near house foundations, especially at the corners.
10 Perennials That Shine in Shade
My best perennials for shade run the gamut from flowering floozies to subtle foliage plants. See what they look like here and learn how to grow them.
The Natural Way to Kill Grass and Open Up...
Organic gardeners wonder how to kill grass and eliminate lawns without using herbicides. There's a natural way to get rid of it before opening up planting beds.
How to Build Your Very Own Concrete Patio
Learn how to build concrete patios, including forms, installing drainage, using automatic cement mixers and pouring. This tutorial is for beginners.
15 Steps to Building Your Own Brick Patio
Learn how to build a brick patio the easy way. These instructions are designed for beginners, so the sample project doesn't involve cutting a single brick!
Simple Building Instructions for a Cheap,...
Fountains and other small water features involving artificial ponds can enhance your yard. Here's a cheap water fountain project for DIYers.
Everything You Need to Know About Foxglove Plants
Foxglove flowers will thrive in shade and tolerate dry soil but prefer moderate moisture. Digitalis purpurea plants are poisonous but are also used medicinally.
What Are Landscape Fabrics and How Can I Use...
Learn how to install landscape fabrics, a high-tech solution for weed control. Weed barriers suppress plant pests without suffocating everything under them.
Dogwoods: Loyal Companions Year-Round
Dogwoods (bushes or trees) are good choices for landscaping color, offering flowers, fall foliage and colorful winter bark. They're also fine structural plants.
Wondering What to Grow in Your Rock Garden?
My list of rock garden plants focuses on sun-loving perennials. I have organized my list according to plant size.
What Does Poison Ivy Look Like?
What does poison ivy look like? Pictures do the best job of answering the question, thus this photo gallery. Use it for positive identification. Page 5.
Deer-Resistant Shrubs
Deer-resistant shrubs aren't Bambi's favorite foods, although he'll eat anything if hungry enough. Consult this list of bushes if you're not anxious to draw Bambi to your landscape.
How Much Slope is Needed Near a House?
Will you be doing any land grading near a foundation to correct drainage issues? To grade properly, you must first know how much slope you need.
These Plants Put Your Dog at Risk
Many plants poisonous to dogs are very common in back yards. These bad plants may be only mildly toxic or cause more serious canine health problems.
Die Crabgrass, Die!
What are the best crabgrass killers? I discuss 3 here, with a focus on post-emergent herbicides; the other 2 consist less of killing than of prevention.
What You Need to Know so You Can Choose Between...
Planting apple trees properly is the first step in effective care. The home gardener can plant in spring in the North, in fall in the South. Page 3.
Pictures of Deck Railings
These pictures of deck railings illustrate a few of the types available to homeowners. Use these photos to help you decide on a style that's right for you.
Lavender: Classic Mediterranean Herb
English lavender plants (Lavandula angustifolia) are perennial herbs with aromatic blooms. Many harvest and dry them, but they also look great in landscaping.
Browse These Landscaping Pictures to Get New...
My landscaping ideas and pictures give design help to novices looking to perform yard makeovers. It's just the boost you need for your yard improvement project.
Should You Grow Ornamental Grass?
Description of the types of ornamental grasses (short, medium and tall), and why they are the best examples of low-maintenance plants.
A List of the Best Salt-Tolerant Plants for...
Salt-tolerant plants are prized in seashore communities and for roadside plantings in areas where roads are salted in winter. Learn about a variety of examples here.
Growing Tips for the Popular Hinoki Cypress Tree
Slender Hinoki cypress trees are semi-dwarfs, being more compact than the species trees but not as short as 'Nana Gracilis,' the true dwarf.
The Best Flowering Dogwood Trees for Attracting...
Flowering dogwood trees are among the best spring specimens. 'Cherokee Chief' and Japanese (Kousa) trees are tops, as they excel at attracting wild birds.
Ice Plant a Cool Choice of Ground Covers
Purple ice plant (Delosperma), despite its South African origins, is a hardy flower. Delosperma cooperi is one of the most popular flowers from this group and is used as a ground cover.
How Do You Drain Water Off of Lawns?
In answering how to drain water off lawns, you need to know not only about water drains, but also what to do with the runoff (dry wells being an option).
Pave the Way to Easier Mowing With a Mowing Strip
Mowing strips can be created using precast concrete pavers to make it easier to mow your lawn. But these brick blocks are not regular bricks.
Pergola Photo
Lawrence Winterburn is an expert on pergola designs, as shown in his pergola pictures. View these pictures for some ideas, including how to create courtyards. Page 10.
American Holly Trees and Other Great Winter...
Holly plants vary in size and shape. Some are bushes, but the focus of this article is on the growing requirements and uses of American holly trees, Ilex opaca. Page 2.
Daphne: Beyond the Myth
Daphne shrubs are plants that bear fragrant flowers. Carol Mackie plants have white to light pink blossoms and variegated foliage.
Tips and Tricks for Getting Rid of Grass
Want to learn how to get rid of grass? The answer depends on your situation, so I guide you through several scenarios. One of these ways will be right for you.
This Locust Tree Won't Plague You With Messy Pods
Learn about Sunburst honey locust trees which, like Shademaster, are classified as thornless, podless and non-messy. This makes them good street trees.
How to Control Moles in Your Lawn and Garden
Mole control is an one element of lawn care and garden pest control. But before you can get rid of them, first learn the difference between moles and voles.
Could Your Yard Use a Rug?
Blue Rug juniper plants are sturdy groundcovers for sunny slopes. This article contains growing tips and information on their use as groundcovers.
Pictures of Flowering Trees
Why view these pictures of flowering trees? Not only will they give you ideas, but I also supplement the pics with links to resources on growing them.
Why You Should Avoid Trumpet Vines
Trumpet vines are invasive plants, with showy blooms often of an orange color. Campsis radicans climbs trellises, and its salmon flowers attract hummingbirds.
Types of Flowering Trees
If you're not already convinced of the beauty of the various types of flowering trees, then I hope my photos of some of the different kinds serve to sway you.

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