Clippings by myrmayde

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RE: Too many weeds in flower bed - how to control? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: gardenguru1950 on 08.25.2009 at 12:30 am in California Gardening Forum

WEED MANAGEMENT

1. Know what a weed is. Weeds are pioneers. They are nature�s way of covering disturbed and bare ground.

2. Don�t disturb the ground. Except for actually planting new plants or cultivating for a new vegetable garden or flower bed, avoid breaking the surface of the soil.

That includes avoiding pulling, digging, tilling to remove weeds. Yanking out even the tiniest weed makes two mistakes. It brings up weed seeds that have been accumulating at the deeper levels of your soil where they have been too deep to germinate. It also creates a disturbed bit of ground that new weed seeds blowing in find suitable for setting anchor. An additional note: weed pulling disturbs the roots of the desired plants nearby. Evere wonder why people who pull weeds are ALWAYS pulling weeds?!

3. Cover the ground. Mulch newly planted areas, vegetable gardens and annual flower beds.

The best mulch for smothering weeds is a semi-composted organic material of medium diameter particles (about �-inch) that is applied four to six inches thick. Don�t skimp.

Contrary to popular belief, geotextile fabrics (plastics, "landscape cloth") do not work well in the long run and actually lead to more weeds.

Plant living groundcovers to "finish" the landscape and garden. Use low, dense, mat-forming groundcovers to truly cover the ground completely. Some of the most effective weed-suppressant groundcovers include Acacia redolens, Campanula poscharskyana, Cerastium tomentosum, Dymondia margaretae, Gazania rigens (gray-leafed trailing), and Thymus polytrichus �Pink Chintz�.

Plant other plants (low, dense, spreading shrubs and/or full clumping perennials) densely enough to leave no room between them.

The idea is to cover the ground so thoroughly that no weed seeds can find their way to the ground. Those that do make it to the ground cannot make their way up. And those very few that do make it up can�t compete well.

4. Hoe weeds. When weeds do come up in open ground, the best way to eliminate weeds for the long run is to "shave" them off with a sharp hoe. A Dutch or onion hoe is ideal; these have shallow but wide blades that work as does your razor blade.

Hoeing works on weed seedlings. The larger the weed, unfortunately, the more difficult it becomes to actually be able to scrape them off with a hoe.

Use the hoe as you would a razor, scraping toward you with the blade level from side to side against the ground and the handle tilted up enough to allow the sharpest part of the blade to cut at the base of the weeds.

It�s important that you sharpen the hoe blade regularly with a fine rasping file. You keep your best kitchen knives sharp all the time; why not your hoe.

The soil is best hoed when pretty dry. The hoe doesn�t cling to the soil and neither do the weeds.

Hoeing works for all young weeds. Young annual weeds (our most common type) once hoed, do not return.

Perennial weeds will re-sprout from storage roots, tubers, underground stems and the like. The resprouting does, however, use up the food in the storage organ, thereby weakening the plant and a second hoeing of these, within a week of their resprouting will rid the plant of its ability to photosynthesize (which puts more food back into the storage organ). With older perennial weeds, the storage organ will continue to send up a new sprout and your persistent hoeing will eventually totally exhaust the organ.

Where hoeing is impractical (tight spots, flower beds, containers), use a snipper of an apporpiate size. yeah, it works and it really isn't that much work, in the long run. I do it.

5. Mow weeds. Where seasonal weeds have grown too tall for a hoe to scrape them off easily, mow them down with a regular lawn mower. If they continue to grow, mow them again. Repeat.

This works best if you mow them early, before they get too tall. The idea is to keep them mowed until beyond their blooming period, if you have to, so that they never set seed and become a worse problem or at least a continuing problem. Annual weeds eventually give up and peter away.

Tall-growing perennial weeds also give up and fade
away. Low-growing perennial weeds, however, are persistent � maybe even more vigorous -- under this process. Hoeing (early on, of course) and mulching are better methods for such low-growing weeds as oxalis, dandelions and many clovers.

6. Snip off the awkward weeds. Where you have small weeds popping up in the mulch or in the lawn, use any sharp tool to cut them off at their very base. No need to pull, which would either disturb the mulch or interfere with the lawn. This technique also is the best method for removing weeds from containers in which you�re growing other plants.

7. Cut down the big stuff. Use a special tool called a weed cutter. It�s used much as you would a golf club, swinging with an easy stroke back and forth through the stems of the weeds. For those of you who are power-inclined, get out your power weed whacker.

8. Mow your lawn high. If you need to reduce or prevent lawn weeds, set your mower blades to 3 to 4 inches high. A tall-growing lawn shades out weed seedlings and produces a healthier lawn overall that better competes with almost all weeds.

9. Avoid frequent fertilizing of your lawn. Lawns do best with a good organic fertilizer once or twice a year. More frequent fertilizing, especially with quick-acting fertilizers and especially in summer feed the weeds as well as your lawn.

10. Water your lawn infrequently and deeply. Frequent shallow watering encourages weed seed germination. An aside: frequent, shallow waterings also increase disease problems as well as create a less drought and heat tolerant lawn.

Joe

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clipped on: 07.25.2014 at 03:07 pm    last updated on: 07.25.2014 at 03:07 pm

Sowed 1.5 mil. seeds, got mostly weeds

posted by: myrmayde on 05.23.2014 at 05:06 pm in Weeds Forum

Hi, All,
I'm in way over my head! I've been reading through the Weeds Forum archives, because misery loves company and it makes me feel a little better to know that others are fighting the same battle. I can't try many of the good suggestions, because I need to keep soil bare in hopes that the seeds I planted there will germinate, if not this year then possibly next year.

I'm trying to create an enormous (4,000 square feet) border in my back yard to be a habitat for bees, butterflies, songbirds, and hummingbirds. I'm also trying to keep eight different color areas separate, as my design theme. There's a circular vegetable garden in the center, which is about 600 square feet.

In 2011 I got rid of the grass using Roundup, then spread about 1.5" of "soil pep" (composted Ponderosa pine) on top after it died, and then planted a mixture of cover crop seeds (red clover, mustard, buckwheat, barley, and phacelia tanacetifolia). Those seeds germinated and grew very well and died in early winter as planned. Great so far.

In 2012 I chopped down the dead cover crops and turned them into compost. Then I planted about 15,000 lupine seeds. Germination was inconsistent at first, I think due to patchy irrigation patterns, so some areas got planted twice or three or four times. The seeds eventually all came up, some a year later, so the area I planted four times is extremely dense with lupines. They look spectacular and are reseeding prolifically.

In 2013 I planted five fruit trees and plan to plant five more, plus a few other trees and many shrubs. I considered the lupines to be placeholders, kind of like the background of a painting, while I try to get a large variety of other flowers to grow. A year ago I planted 250,000 perennial flower seeds (81 different kinds), after carefully researching their germination requirements and doing cold stratification in the refrigerator for many. Almost nothing germinated except yarrow, flax, daisies, penstemons, some hollyhocks, a few delphinium, and sunflowers (my one annual).

So around the beginning of December I planted a million and a quarter perennial flower seeds, mostly native wildflowers (again 81 kinds, many different than the spring planting). I did many hours of research on every butterfly or moth ever reported in my county, and what plants they need.

This spring I was excited to see some small plants sprouting here and there, in addition to the lupine sprouts with their distinctive leaf clusters. But now they seem to be mostly tiny, individual clover plants, possibly the red clover from my cover crop, or possibly white clover from the lawn. This is in addition to the black medic, also in the lawn, and a tall, tap-rooted clover that might be yellow sweet clover.

Once I had time (I also work part-time at home), after starting vegies indoors and transplanting them, and building a couple of hoop houses covered with row cover fabric, and then redoing the cover with deer netting, I commenced the weeding.

It has taken me probably about 30 hours to go through it all once, tackling only the dandelions, with a Fiskars weed popper. It takes me extra time, because I'm throwing away every blossom and bud and saving the rest of the plant for the compost bins and piles. I wasn't able to finish before they started going to seed, so every day I remove the seed heads. From the looks of it, I need to weed for at least two hours every single day the rest of the summer to stay on top of it. That's physically possible, I suppose, but I don't want to be chained to this chore for the rest of my life. I want my flower seeds to sprout! If 10% of what I sowed had survived, I'd be overjoyed. If even 1% survived I'd consider it a limited success. I haven't even achieved that rate. It's quite disappointing.

Most of my weeds aren't on Montana's list of noxious weeds, so at least they're not noxious (ha ha)! But I hate them anyway. I think they may be inhibiting germination of my flower seeds. What can I do? My weeds are, in order of prevalence:
dandelion
black medic
prickly lettuce
grasses (crabgrass, quackgrass, some kind of fescue from the lawn, bluegrass [perennial from the lawn and/or annual])
field pennycress (or some kind of brassica with white flowers)
Canada thistle (or some kind of thistle)
clover (white, red, yellow, or all of the above?)
aspen suckers from trees on either side of my lot
lambsquarters
broadleaf plantain
meadow goatsbeard (or western salsify)
lacy phacelia (I think, a survivor from my cover crop)
tall tumblemustard
field bindweed
pineappleweed
common mullein
a few more I haven't identified yet

(The photo refuses to load right-side up, but I think it will be when you click on it.)

Thanks in advance for any advice.

This post was edited by myrmayde on Mon, May 26, 14 at 22:12

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clipped on: 05.26.2014 at 10:13 pm    last updated on: 05.26.2014 at 10:13 pm

to stratify or not that is the question

posted by: Micki777 on 01.09.2012 at 01:38 am in Winter Sowing Forum

I'm doing a little research and learning from Gardenweeds spreadsheet flowers that need cold stratified and those that don't.
I have copied a list for you all here, however, I would suggest doing a cross reference on a plant if you really want to know.
Such as I've read Echinacea Purple cone flower likes a period of 60-90 days cold stratification however, most sorces say Ech. does not need stratified, what do you think?
Another Liatris Blazing Star - Gayfeather, there seems to be mixed opinions. the website I'm going to post seems to think many of our perennials do not need stratified. If you have a different opinion please shout it out, lets all get on the same page.
Here's the site:
http://www.perennials.com/seehowto.html?item=11
EASY GERMINATORS: These seeds are great ones to get started with, especially if you plan to sow seeds indoors under lights. None require any special cold treatment. Just sow as for tomatoes or peppers but allow 6 to 12 weeks for germination:
Achillea (Yarrow), Alcea (Hollyhock), Alyssum (Perennial Alyssum), Anthemis (Perennial Marguerite), Aquilegia (Columbine), Arabis (Wall Cress), Armeria (Thrift), Aster, Aubrieta (Rock Cress), Aurinia (Basket-of-Gold), Bellis (English Daisy), Campanula carpatica, Campanula persicifolia (Bellflower), Catananche (Cupid's Dart), Centaurea (Cornflower), Centranthus (Red Valerian), Cerastium (Snow-in-Summer), Coreopsis (Tickseed), Cynara (Cardoon, Globe Artichoke), Dianthus (Pinks, Carnations, Sweet William), Digitalis (Foxglove), Doronicum (Leopard's Bane), Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower), Echinops (Globe Thistle), Erigeron (Fleabane Daisy), Erysimum allionii (Siberian Wallflower), Gaillardia (Blanket Flower), Geum (Avens), Gypsophila (Baby's-Breath), Helenium (Helen's Flower), Hesperis (Dame's Rocket), Heuchera (Old-fashioned Coral Bells), Kniphofia (Torchlily), Leucanthemum (Shasta Daisy), Liatris (Blazingstar), Limonium (Sea Lavender), Linum perenne (Blue Flax), Lunaria (Money Plant, Silver Dollar), Lupinus (Lupine, best sown directly outside in late spring), Lychnis (Campion), Malva (Mallow), Monarda (Beebalm), Myosotis sylvatica (Forget-me-not), Origanum (Oregano), Papaver (Poppy), Physostegia (Obedient Plant), Polemonium (Jacob's Ladder), Potentilla (Cinquefoil), Rudbeckia hirta (Gloriosa Daisy), Salvia (Perennial Sage), Stachys (Lamb's Ears), Tanacetum (Painted Daisy, Feverfew), Thymus serpyllum (Mother-of-Thyme), Verbascum (Mullein), Verbena, Veronica most tall types (Speedwell), Viola hybrids (Winter Pansy).
FOR ADVANCED SEED STARTERS ONLY: These seeds are trickier to handle. Many are tiny, and most require a special cold treatment or absolutely nothing will happen. See the germination link above for specific details:
Acanthus (Bear's-Breeches), Aconitum (Monkshood), Alchemilla (Lady's Mantle), Alstroemeria (Peruvian Lily), Anemone (Windflower), Angelica, Arum, Aruncus (Goat's Beard), Asarum (Wild Ginger), Asclepias (Milkweed), Astrantia (Masterwort), Baptisia (False Indigo), Bergenia, Buddleia (Butterfly Bush), Caltha (Marsh Marigold), Caryopteris (Bluebeard), Chelone (Turtlehead), Chrysogonum (Golden Star), Cimicifuga (Bugbane), Clematis, Corydalis (Fumitory), Crambe (Seakale), Cyclamen, Delphinium, Dicentra (Bleedingheart), Dictamnus (Gas Plant), Dodecatheon (Shooting Star), Eremurus (Foxtail Lily), Eryngium (Sea Holly), Eupatorium (Boneset), Euphorbia (Spurge), Filipendula (Meadowsweet), Fuchsia, Gaura (Butterfly Gaura), Gentiana (Gentian), Geranium species (Cranesbill Geranium), Goniolimon (German Statice), Gunnera, Helianthemum (Rock Rose), Helianthus (Perennial Sunflower), Heliopsis (False Sunflower), Helleborus (Christmas & Lenten Rose), Heuchera hybrids (Fancy-leaf Coral Bells), Hibiscus (Hardy Hibiscus), Hypericum (St. John's-Wort), Iberis (Perennial Candytuft), Incarvillea (Hardy Gloxinia), Iris species, Jasione (Shepherd's Bit), Kirengeshoma (Waxbells), Knautia (Crimson Scabious), Lathyrus (Perennial Sweet Pea), Lavandula (Lavender), Lavatera (Tree Mallow), Leontopodium (Edelweiss), Lewisia, Ligularia, Lobelia, Lysimachia (Loosestrife), Macleaya (Plume Poppy), Mazus (Creeping Mazus), Mertensia (Virginia Bluebells), Myrrhis odorata (Sweet Cicely), Nepeta (Catmint), Oenothera (Evening Primrose, Sundrops), Omphalodes (Naval-seed), Penstemon (Beard-tongue), Perovskia (Russian Sage), Persicaria (Fleeceflower), Phlomis, Phlox (all types), Physalis (Chinese Lantern), Platycodon (Balloon Flower), Podophyllum (May Apple), Primula (Primrose, all types), Pulsatilla (Pasque-flower), Ranunculus (Buttercup), Ratibida (Prairie Coneflower), Rheum (Rhubarb), Rodgersia, Rosmarinus (Rosemary), Rudbeckia (Black-eyed Susan, most types), Rumex sanguineus (Bloody Dock), Sanguinaria (Bloodroot), Sanguisorba (Burnet), Saponaria (Soapwort), Saxifraga (Saxifrage), Scabiosa (Pincushion Flower), Sedum (Stonecrop), Sempervivum (Hen-and-Chicks), Sidalcea (Prairie Mallow), Silene (Campion, Catchfly), Sisyrinchium (Blue-eyed Grass), Stokesia (Stokes' Aster), Teucrium (Germander), Thalictrum (Meadow-rue), Tiarella (Foamflower), Tradescantia (Spiderwort), Tricyrtis (Toad-lily), Trollius (Globeflower), Vernonia (Ironweed), Veronica Dwarf Types (Speedwell), Veronicastrum (Culver's-root), Viola species types (Violets), Waldsteinia (Barren Strawberry), Zantedeschia (Calla Lily).

Here is a link that might be useful: Perennial germination

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clipped on: 05.26.2014 at 04:58 am    last updated on: 05.26.2014 at 04:59 am

RE: Help me choose a kit for octagonal greenhouse (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: myrmayde on 01.28.2014 at 01:52 am in Greenhouses & Garden Structures Forum

Steve, that would probably be the best solution. I went to that website, and there's a lot to think about.

You're allowed a 120 square foot building here without a permit, and you can have more than one, up to 50% of your back yard. So perhaps I should focus on a workable greenhouse next year, and a cute octagonal shed/cabana in a few years, if ever.

Meanwhile, I found a hexagonal oval that might work. It's only 97 square feet, but on the other hand, it's only $2,446. I could get one of these each year, ha-ha:
http://www.greenhousesetc.com/greenhouse-kits/halls-greenhouse-kits/atrium-greenhouse-kits

By the way, in England these kinds of greenhouses are everywhere.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hall's atrium greenhouse kit

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clipped on: 01.28.2014 at 10:32 pm    last updated on: 01.28.2014 at 10:33 pm

RE: Help me choose a kit for octagonal greenhouse (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: myrmayde on 01.26.2014 at 08:49 pm in Greenhouses & Garden Structures Forum

Thanks for the feedback, fruitnut. I agree that these prioritize form over function, compared to Cedar-Built, and I can't justify the expense if that's the case. I think the Cedar-Builts look great; they're just not octagons. I can only get one of these if I think it's functional or can be modified to be. I'm willing to heat it if necessary, maybe with a small propane heater. It sounds as if a vent at the roof apex is essential, so I'll take that into account.

Most of the greenhouses I like cost about $10,000, so that's my max budget. Do you think I could pay for an architect, a contractor, subcontractors, and materials for that amount and end up with a functional 12' octagonal greenhouse?

Another idea is to modify the roof of one of these gazebos so that it's half glazed or all glazed. Here's an example of a smaller 8' octagonal greenhouse with a translucent roof, made by the same company as in the #3 photo above:
http://www.greenhousenation.com/little-cottage-company-8x8-octagon-greenhouse-p-419.html
I could get two of these for the price of one of the 12' ones, but that would provide 106 square feet, compared to 119 square feet in one 12-footer.

Whether I have one custom-built, or get a semi-custom 10'X12' from Cedar-Built, or a semi-custom 12' redwood octagon (#5 above), or happen to find something (either rectangular or octagonal) that's perfect: What do you think is the optimal amount of unglazed surface for a greenhouse in a northern-tier state (assuming the unglazed surfaces are insulated wood and that it will have a heater and a fan but no supplemental light)?

For example, how about 30" high base walls, and solid wood north wall and north roof?

Here is a link that might be useful: 8' octagon greenhouse

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clipped on: 01.28.2014 at 10:31 pm    last updated on: 01.28.2014 at 10:32 pm

RE: Help me choose a kit for octagonal greenhouse (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: myrmayde on 01.25.2014 at 01:55 am in Greenhouses & Garden Structures Forum

Another one:
(9)
http://www.shednation.com/ez-log-structures-emma-4f-12x12-octagon-cabin-p-792.html

Here is a link that might be useful: 12' Emma octagon cabin

This post was edited by myrmayde on Sat, Jan 25, 14 at 2:06

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clipped on: 01.25.2014 at 02:17 am    last updated on: 01.25.2014 at 02:17 am

RE: Help me choose a kit for octagonal greenhouse (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: myrmayde on 01.25.2014 at 01:43 am in Greenhouses & Garden Structures Forum

Here's another one:
(8)
http://www.cabinfield.com/Gazebo/Traditional+Gazebo+Sun+Room/36/253.html

Here is a link that might be useful: 12' Amish sunroom

This post was edited by myrmayde on Sat, Jan 25, 14 at 2:04

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clipped on: 01.25.2014 at 02:16 am    last updated on: 01.25.2014 at 02:16 am

RE: Help me choose a kit for octagonal greenhouse (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: myrmayde on 01.25.2014 at 01:24 am in Greenhouses & Garden Structures Forum

And another one:
(7)
http://www.homeplacestructures.com/frontsite/structures/enclosed-buildings/sun-houses/octagon-cedar-sun-house/#product

Here is a link that might be useful: 12' octagon cedar sunhouse

This post was edited by myrmayde on Sat, Jan 25, 14 at 2:03

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clipped on: 01.25.2014 at 02:15 am    last updated on: 01.25.2014 at 02:15 am

RE: Help me choose a kit for octagonal greenhouse (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: myrmayde on 01.25.2014 at 01:21 am in Greenhouses & Garden Structures Forum

Here's another one:
(6)
http://www.leisure-woods.com/products/index.asp?ID=22

Here is a link that might be useful: 12' Woodbridge cedar gazebo

This post was edited by myrmayde on Sat, Jan 25, 14 at 2:02

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clipped on: 01.25.2014 at 02:14 am    last updated on: 01.25.2014 at 02:15 am

RE: Help me choose a kit for octagonal greenhouse (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: myrmayde on 01.25.2014 at 01:19 am in Greenhouses & Garden Structures Forum

And yet another octagonal sunroom:
(5)
http://www.foreverredwood.com/pergolas-gazebos/gazebos/regal-gazebos.html

Here is a link that might be useful: 12' redwood gazebo

This post was edited by myrmayde on Sat, Jan 25, 14 at 2:01

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clipped on: 01.25.2014 at 02:13 am    last updated on: 01.25.2014 at 02:14 am

RE: Help me choose a kit for octagonal greenhouse (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: myrmayde on 01.25.2014 at 01:17 am in Greenhouses & Garden Structures Forum

Here's another one:
(4)
http://www.gazebodepot.com/proddetail.asp?prod=GazEnc002

Here is a link that might be useful: 12' octagon gazebo enclosure

This post was edited by myrmayde on Sat, Jan 25, 14 at 2:00

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clipped on: 01.25.2014 at 02:12 am    last updated on: 01.25.2014 at 02:13 am

RE: Help me choose a kit for octagonal greenhouse (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: myrmayde on 01.25.2014 at 01:15 am in Greenhouses & Garden Structures Forum

Here's another octagonal sunhouse, which is delivered prebuilt:
(3)
http://www.greenhousenation.com/little-cottage-company-12x12-octagon-garden-shed-greenhouse-p-227.html

Here is a link that might be useful: 12' octagon garden shed greenhouse

This post was edited by myrmayde on Sat, Jan 25, 14 at 1:59

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clipped on: 01.25.2014 at 02:07 am    last updated on: 01.25.2014 at 02:11 am

RE: Help me choose a kit for octagonal greenhouse (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: myrmayde on 01.25.2014 at 01:04 am in Greenhouses & Garden Structures Forum

So, here's another kit I'm looking into:
(2)
http://livingoutfitters.com/12-ft-octagon-whistler-all-season-gazebo-kit

Here is a link that might be useful: 12' octagon all season gazebo

This post was edited by myrmayde on Sat, Jan 25, 14 at 1:58

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clipped on: 01.25.2014 at 02:07 am    last updated on: 01.25.2014 at 02:10 am

Help me choose a kit for octagonal greenhouse

posted by: myrmayde on 01.25.2014 at 12:57 am in Greenhouses & Garden Structures Forum

Hi, All,
I've found so many kits for octagonal greenhouses that I need help narrowing down the choices. I can't post more than one photo at a time, because the later posts override the earlier ones. So here's the first one:
(1)
http://www.fifthroom.com/ProductCustomize.aspx?ProductID=8711&Path=203

Here is a link that might be useful: 12' octagon vinyl sunroom

This post was edited by myrmayde on Sat, Jan 25, 14 at 1:56

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clipped on: 01.25.2014 at 02:06 am    last updated on: 01.25.2014 at 02:10 am