Monday, 21 January 2013

The roses in my garden

Ok, a funny title for a post in January, I admit that but, there is a reason behind it! Hoover Boo at Piece of Eden is making a series of posts about all the roses in his (or her? not sure if it is a man or perhaps a woman) garden, he’s got so many that after 5 posts he has only got to the letter K. I thought this was an excellent idea and would like to present the roses in my garden too. I usually read what the producers have said before purchasing a rose, but I don’t always agree with the information, once I have the rose in my own garden. Does the rose actually smell strongly or just faintly? Is it actually red as they said? Or is it more pink or purple? By getting information from people who grow the roses themselves I think we perhaps get more reliable information.

I used to have 11 roses in my garden, after a clear up just before Christmas I now have 9 but I will present the 2 that went in the compost bin too. In my tiny garden I have to be very selective when it comes to roses, I can’t have a huge towering rose filling half of my sunny bed! Instead I have gone for smaller roses and even some that tolerate a bit of shade. When I was selecting photos for this post I realised it was almost impossible to choose just one photo for each rose, as they often look different in the summer and winter, and as all roses, very different in the stages from bud to fully sprung. I therefore decided to make these photo collages of each rose, to show the difference in each. It was a tough choice which photos to choose for some of them anyway! (Please click on each collage to get a much better view.)

My first rose is the oldest one, and it was here when I moved in to my house 11 years ago. I think it was a very old rose even back then, but since it still produced some flowers I let it stay. It is a pink hybrid tea with no scent, but I don’t know what its name is. It used to flower all year round and produced paler flowers in the winter. This is one of the roses I have removed.


This is Peace, also a rose that was here when I moved in so it could be quite old, but with its distinctive colours it was easy to recognise. It has no detectable scent and is prone to mildew and was not producing many roses at the time, but I loved the flowers I got so much so I let it stay all these years even if it probably was overdue removing way back when I moved in. The flowers start off in a orange-pink colour and open warm yellow. This rose would also produce flowers all year round and in the winter the flowers would be very pale, almost white and so different from the summer you would be forgiven for thinking it was from a different rosebush! This rose was also removed last December but I wouldn’t mind having it again, if I could get hold of it.


This is the third of the roses that was in my garden when I moved in, 11 years ago. It is a miniature rose, or a pot rose that has been planted out in a bed. It is an absolute star in the garden! It produces masses of tiny creamy-peach flowers without any scent. The aphids are not that interested in this rose and it hasn’t had any other diseases, so all in all a very nice rose, even though it is only 1’ tall.


This is the first rose I bought myself, nearly 10 years ago, Crimson cascade, a climber, and I have it trained up against a 5’ fence, which probably is not ideal but the rose has resigned to this being all the space it gets and produces masses of flowers in the spring with a second flush in June/July. The rest of the year it produces some roses here and there but not the same amount as in the top season. I cut down all my roses in February and Crimson cascade is usually the first of my roses to flower again in the spring. It has a lovely dark red colour, a proper red colour with no hint of pink or purple, with a velvety feel. I have to spray for black spot, but it still gets attacked, not sure how to get on top of that, but I am trying! The roses stay on for a very long time and when they go off they often don’t just drop all the petals everywhere, instead the petals just stay and dry a bit, making it easier to pick off the petals without getting them all over the garden. Crimson cascade has no detectable scent unfortunately, although it is said to be a fragrant rose, if it had a scent it would make it the perfect rose in my garden.


This was the second rose I bought, 8 years ago, Freedom, and I thought it was a very good companion to the rose I already had called Peace! It is a lovely rose, with strong upright stems and flowers with the brightest yellow you can imagine. This rose is also prone to black spot, despite spraying. It flowers all year round in my garden, only interrupted by being cut down in February. No detectable scent unfortunately.


This has turned out to be a rather tricky rose in my garden. This is Rob Roy, supposed to flower profusely, but after 8 years I am rather fed up with his measly production! I usually have only one or two roses at the time, often none. It is supposed to be a 3’ tall rose but in my garden it is less than 2’ and more like two twigs with some leaves on. Those two twigs are healthy enough, but just not living up to expectations! This year I will dig it up and put it in a pot in a more favourable position to see if it will recover, if not I think this will be another rose for the compost bin.


And this is another rose that hasn’t really lived up to expectations, but that might be more my fault. This is Mildred Scheel and I think she is placed too close to Crimson cascade, and that might be why she just isn’t growing into the big rose bush she is supposed to. I have had her for 6 years and the flowers are lovely, although without scent. If I had somewhere else to put her I would, it’s just that my sunny border is very small and very full!


Here is a rose that is doing surprisingly well in my garden, it is a another miniature rose or pot rose. I bought it for £1 in Tesco many years ago and I think that must have been the best investment I have done in terms of roses! Even though it is a pot rose, it actually grows quite tall in the container it is growing, last year it grew to 2’ tall, hardly a pot rose! I prune my pot roses in February, just as I do with the rest of the roses and they get the same type of fertilizer. This pot rose produces roses all year round and have especially lovely flowers in colder periods, when they get a tinge of salmon.


After buying rose after rose without any scent I finally decided to get some scented roses. Last year I bought 3 David Austin roses and here is one of them, Susan Williams-Ellis. They will all take some time to get established, but they all flowered last year. Susan Williams-Ellis is said to have strongly scented flowers, the highest scent number a rose can have (10), but I could not detect any scent on the roses I got from her last year. A bit surprising, as I have a good sense of smell, I would not have missed that if there was a scent. The flowers are absolutely gorgeous, pure white from start to finish, something that is rather unusual. It is a bit too early to say anything else about this rose, I hope it will live up to expectations!


Here is the second David Austin rose I bought, Wildeve, and it has lovely flowers, but it is not as scented as I expected from description. It also has the annoying habit of looking absolutely gorgeous one minute and once you turn your back to it, two or three roses have gone off and dropped all their petals on the ground in a huge pile. Most of my other roses go off quite slowly, I can leave flowers that look OK but not brilliant, knowing they will still hang tomorrow and can be safely snipped off then. With Wildeve that’s not possible, it goes from perfect to a pile of petals on the ground in a matter of minutes. But I love the flowers, the soft pink old rose style so different from all my other roses are absolutely gorgeous. This rose is planted in a semi-shade position, apparently that’s perfectly OK, it is a bit too soon to say how it will perform but I will no doubt write more about this one in the coming year.


And here is the third of my David Austin roses I bought a year ago, Scepter'd Isle. And this rose has lived up to all my expectations and more! It is strongly scented with an absolutely exquisite smell, the pink cupped roses stay cupped throughout and stay on for a very long time. I am also usually able to predict when it goes off so I can deadhead it in time. I first planted this rose in the ground but I then moved it to a large container so I could have it at my seating area because the scent is so heavenly. I hope it will thrive in the container, it is described as a small rose suitable for a container. I think my readers will hear more about Scepter'd Isle, at the moment it is my absolute favourite rose in my garden :-)

That was all my roses, not exactly a huge collection, but I am planning to buy a few more, if I can manage to find a place to squeeze them in. I have even thought about taking some other plants out so I can put more roses in, I just don’t know what to sacrifice! There are so many lovely roses I would like to have, and if I had designed my garden from scratch I would have made it different, more suitable for roses, lots of roses. My garden has evolved over the years and I am not finished yet, who knows what it will  look like next year? Until next time, take care.

I am linking my post with Mary at Mosaic Monday for the first time.

60 comments:

  1. Ohmygosh, these are stunning. I am so envious, as I love roses and have such a difficult time growing them in my sandy soil. I do miss them. You have a beautiful blog. Take care, Jen

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    1. Thank you, roses are one of my absolute favourite in the garden too!

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  2. So many beauties. The Roses are simply stunning and the mosaics really show them off brilliantly.

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    1. Thank you Bernie, I am afraid I went a bit crazy with the mosic, but it was a good opportunity to use it!

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  3. Hi Helene,
    Your roses are all beautiful!!! And you grew them for a long time, so they maybe happy to be in your garden! David Austin roses are very popular in Japan, too. I preferred miniature roses or old roses with soft color(or white) before. But I become attracted to crimson roses with a velvety feel lately, like your Crimson cascade. So I got crimson one called "Under the Rose"(breeded in Japan) last year. Love your Susan Williams-Ellis with its charming rosette shaped flowers, too:)
    Thank you for sharing!!

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    1. Thank you Keity, I think you would like Scepter'd Isle too!

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  4. Some lovely flowers - must admit we haven't many roses but the of the ones I have bought mainly shrub roses for the allotment my first consideration has been perfume.

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    1. Yes, I won't buy any more roses from now without any scent!

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  5. You're right this is a wonderful idea, to list the roses with a description of how they have performed. Roses are one of the flowers I prefer to admire in other people's gardens. When the stars align they are perfect, but they are just too high maintenance and finicky for my tough love gardening style. Your photos are all so beautiful, you were right to include them all :)

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    1. Thanks Rosemary. I don't find roses high maintenance in my climate, I have other plants that require more, much more. I just need to keep ontop of the deadheading and they look great :-) But maybe I have been lucky with my choice of roses?

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  6. What a great idea. I love roses but we don't have a garden any more.We had more snow today and boy it was dangerous onthe roads so chaos also.

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    1. We got more snow last night and early this morning too, more than last Friday actually. Hopefully it will soon be gone!

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  7. Just look how healthy your roses are! You truly must care for the very much.
    This is a great idea to log them altogether and you can add to the post at a later date. So far I've done my heuchera and hope to get round to all the plants that I have more than 3 off!
    A really cheerful blog for mid winter!

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    1. Thank you Angie, I thought a post like this could be a bit of a cheer-up right now, but it was actually Hoover Boo who started it!
      My roses are the gems in my garden, along with my lilies, but I have other plants I care just as much for I think :-)

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  8. You have a surprising number and variety of beautiful roses. Your presentation of them this way is so special.

    I'm doing a similar thing with posting plants from my garden to create a list and a reference for how the fare over the years.

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    1. It is great to have posts like this to look back at, for reference and also to show other people what works and what doesn't.

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  9. Helene, I wonder you can have so wonderful roses in your tiny garden! I love most your yellow and white roses --are awesome!

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    1. Thank you, I think I can manage to squeeze in one or two more roses, I am going to try!

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  10. Excellent post! I like how you did each rose as a group of clear photos showing it in different moments. Wish I'd thought of that. All very beautiful and I think you have inspired me as well. Thanks!

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    1. You're welcome, but you were the inspiration for starting this :-)

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  11. Forgot...Hoover Boo was my old dog. I am Gail.

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    1. Oh, hello Gail, I am going to assume you are a 'she' then, sorry for calling you 'he' ....although I suppose it depends how old you are, Gail was a name used for men too in the past. You never know who you talk to on the Internet :-)

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  12. Oh, I love the peach pot Rose...oh, and of course the David Austin Roses...and the pink pot Rose! They're all stunning and I am very envious. Sigh...

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    1. Thanks Beth, I love them all too!

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  13. This is a great idea for a post. I bought three new roses a couple of years ago and they were all supposed to be fragranced, but I couldn't smell anything on any of them! I am planning to get Margaret Merrill this year because I have smelled that and it is gorgeous. My best scented ones now are Cecille Brunner, an extremely vigorous climber with tiny pink blooms, and Frau Dagmar Hastrupp, a Rugosa which I am hoping will produce lovely red hips but also had the bonus of a strong scent. I have been thinking that I should do a post profiling them!

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    1. Perhaps we all could make posts profiling all our plants for everyone to learn our experience, likes and dislikes? I certainly have plants that have exceeded expectations and plants that have far from lived up to them!

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  14. Hi Helene, enjoyed your Roses and the manner in which you portrayed them. Your favourite Scepter'd Isle does indeed look a beauty. Many Roses grow well in Aberdeen, unfortunately David Austins series of English Roses perform very poorly in our cooler Summers.

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    1. Hi Alistair, glad you liked the post, sorry to hear that the David Austin roses are not well behaved in Eastern Scotland, a bit surprising since many of them tolerate less sun than roses normally do.

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  15. Beautiful, Helene, thank you for the eye candy in the middle of winter! It is hard to believe that the pictures in the first collage are all of the same rose :). You have some nice Austins, I don't think Susan Willliams-Ellis is available here.

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    1. Thank you Masha, a lot of my roses are much paler in the winter, it is as if they need sunlight to produce colour. Only exception is Crimson cascade, it is extraordinary dark red all year round.

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  16. Hi Helene - came here to have a break from the snow posts. You are obviously in love with your roses and I don't blame you. Your pot roses seem to be the winners to me. Have you ever smelt Blue Moon roses? ... they have my favourite rose scent and a lovely lilac colour.

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    1. Roses have a special place in my garden, I have never smelled a Blue Moon rose, have seen them online, but since lilac is not really suitable colour with the rest of the colours in my garden I haven't really considered them. Perhaps for a container, seems like they have wonderful scent :-)

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  17. Hi Helene, I'm so happy to "meet" you, and so glad that you joined in this week! Your roses are gorgeous!!! I have always wanted to grow them, but our garden is not fenced, and the deer love to munch on them... :( Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful images and your gardening experience at MM! xoxo

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, I will be back with more picture collages at a later time.
      Sorry to hear that you can't grow roses, have you considered growing the really thorny ones? They might not be so tempting for the deer. Failing that you could fence in each rose bush with a pretty, decorative fence, I did that when I lived in Norway, we did have some deer problem, but our main problem was moose eating the roses! Needless to say, not much moose to see in my London garden :-)

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  18. Beautiful! I just love the David Austin roses, and I really love that differently colored Peace rose as well! That is too bad that some don't have a strong a fragrance as you would like. I wonder if amount of sunlight or other environmental factors affect the fragrance? Sadly, I know little about roses, as they are too thorny for clumsy me to grow many of ;)

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    1. I have wondered about the environmental factors too, as some of the 'strongly fragrant roses' hardly smell anything in my garden, but it could be down to less sunlight than strictly required. Not sure if it matters what your fertilise with too.

      I just suggested roses with more thorns to Mary, in my answer above, but to you I would like to suggest thorn-less roses, some have absolutely no thorns. Would be something to try :-)

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  19. Ero un po' di fretta questa sera mentre mi sono incappata nel tuo blog, ma non per questo, non ho apprezzato i post che ho letto e sopratutto mi sono commossa a leggere della disavventura di salute avuta. Non sai come sia vicino al tuo stato d'animo poichè anch'io ho vissuto e vivo una situazione simile. Da otto mesi porto un busto ortopedico che mi limita e mi da dolore. Non volevo ne rattristarti ne annoiarti, ma solo dirti che hai un giardino splendido curato da un'altrettanto splendida persona. Emma

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    1. Emma, la ringrazio per le sue cortesi parole, il mio giardino significa molto per me e mi dà un sacco di felicità.
      Helene.

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  20. Hi Helene, I found its trial and error with roses too, when it comes to fragrance and colour. You do have some lovely varieties there. Sceptre d isle is a beautiful rose and over this neck of the woods it grows to about 1 metre in height and width.

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    1. My Scepter'd Isle is about 1m tall already, I hope it won't get much taller when it gets older as it grows in a container. The trial and error method is good for a lot of things, gardening included - I use it all the time :-)

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  21. Glad there was finally one rose that had a nice scent for you. Seems very few roses these days have any scent left at all.

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    1. There are probably thousands of roses with scent, it's just a matter of finding them! And as I suspect, one rose might not smell the same in two different climates. But many modern hybrid tea roses have lost their scent, that's true, that's why it is so important what David Austin has done to roses, combining the old with the modern and get the best of both worlds :-)

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  22. Hi Helene, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post about your roses and think you have a wonderful collection. Even though they are all beautiful I especially love 'Peace'. Seeing your photos make me want to grow this rose in my own garden. The delicate color of Wildeve is also very appealing to me. I grow Scepter'd Isle myself, but only in a 2 gallon pot so far. It has been pretty lovely already and after seeing yours I am looking forward to get it into the ground. I liked that you posted a couple of photos of each rose, which showed the different faces of each variety. Happy new rose buying!
    Christina

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, roses have a special place in my garden! My Scepter'd Isle is also growing in a container and I intend to leave it there, hopefully it will be happy for years to come. I have a very long wish list of roses I would like to buy, if only my garden was a bit bigger... :-)

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  23. Roses in January...makes me look forward to spring :) but I'm still hoping for a good snow first!

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    1. I hope the snow we got here in London last week-end was it for this winter, I don't need any more :-)

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  24. Your roses are beautiful and it is refreshing to see them in January. Our gardens are dressed in Winter whites... only memories of color remain.

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    1. The only time I am without roses are when I cut them down in February - and the next 6-7 weeks.

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  25. Hi Helene
    Stunning photos of your roses - thank you! I was never a great fan of roses because of the amount of work they required - pests, blackspot, winter coverage. But then again I only had Hybrid Teas and they were high maintenance. Now I have Explorer Roses, Rugosas, shrub roses and climbing. And I love them all. And it has made me look at Teas and David Austin roses differently. They really are beautiful, as you photos show, so I may try again.

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    1. Some roses require more than other, I think I have been lucky with my selection, I don't feel I do much work with mine!

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  26. All those beautiful roses in your small garden truly lovely and wonderfully photographed. I always go for fragrance first essential in a rose in my opinion.

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    1. Yes, I have also started to appreciate fragarnce more, in roses and other flowers. With roses it is possible to get top mark plants with great fragrance, just need to do a bit of research - which is why I ended up with my Scepter'd Isle, so happy with it!

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  27. Hi Helene
    Wonderful post! I planted Wild Eve in my garden too last year. I'm very fond of David Austins Roses and Old Roses. Meanwhile I've got over 50 roses in my garden and still, I like to plant more... it sounds like I'm a rose junkie *lol*. If you like roses with a scent try Gertrud Jekyll or Jacques Cartier. They are great and Jacques even gets along with a half shady place.
    Have a rosy day!
    Alex

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Gertrud Jekyll is on my wish list - if I only had a place to put her...any new roses will have to grow in containers so they need to be small and compact.

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  28. Your roses are all so beautiful. I don't see how you can sacrifice any of them for the compost bin. You are so methodical even when it comes to culling them - a report card with checklist for evaluation! Your roses must have felt pressured to perform ;)

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    1. Roses don't last forever, in fact, after 15-20 years they stop flowering much and get very woody. They are better taken out and replaced by something else for a while. A rose should not be replaced by another rose for a good few years.

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  29. Peace was the first rose I ever grew. What a stunner! I also have Sceptre d'Isle. It's one of my favorites. :o) I really love the white David Austin. What a gorgeous flower! It's amazing how tough those little grocery store roses are. I also have a small rose from the grocer that has been a tough little beauty. Love the collages. :o) They were even better close up.

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    1. Thanks Tammy, I had a hard time choosing pictures, I have soooo many! I will buy a couple of more pot roses this year as I have had such a success with them, a dark red and a yellow is on my list - and they are so cheap!

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  30. I loved hearing about all your roses - and I really love that you did a collage of different blooms. As you say, a rose can look different at different times of the year, or sometimes just different days.

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    1. Thanks Holley, I liked making the collages too, I think I will make some for my greeting card collection, they were so easy to make. I found several collage programs on the Internet, but ended up using Picasa this time.

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