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Spring into Solidarity

Posted by Felix Assivo on
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Empowerment
Spring into Solidarity

Ceononthus-california lilac.jpeg

By Cynthia Brian 

“Lose yourself in nature and find peace.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Between the pandemic, the Russian-Ukrainian war, and, for me, a frightening family medical emergency, 2022 has been tumultuous and tough. Everyone is feeling the pain regardless of any city, county, or country residence. Anxiety and stress mount daily as news of the world become ever desperate, depressing, and diabolical.

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Increased research indicates that nature-based activities are an excellent therapeutic intervention to ease our mental and physical stress. Whether it is a walk in the park, forest-bathing, hugging a tree, smelling the jasmine, or weeding your garden, taking a break with the beauty of the natural environment is an essential element in keeping us well. Listening to bird songs, the croaking of frogs, the lapping of waves, or the trickling of a fountain all have positive effects on our health. We’ll lower our blood pressure and decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol as we awaken our senses outdoors.

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Standing in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, I continue to embrace the colors of blue and yellow. Perhaps because I’m looking for those colors, they seem to be everywhere, and I am shooting photos. This week I’m enjoying the tiny, starred cerulean of Blue-Eyed grass as well as the ubiquitous buttery blooms on freesia. Marsh rosemary (Limonium, sea lavender), nasturtiums, and sedum carpet hillsides and paths reminding me of the courage of the Ukrainians. I hiked a trail around an Emeryville harbor to soak in the water views and inhale the fresh sea air, while marveling at the spectacular cobalt plumes of Pride of Madeira (echium fastuosom) and the sky blues of California lilac (ceanothus). My mood instantly improved. 

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Being in nature fosters resilience as well as encourages awe and wonder. Nature is restorative to body, mind, and spirit. Spring is here and the ground is bursting with new life. Trees unfurl luxuriant leaves, bulbs bloom in a kaleidoscope of colors, and fruit trees, including apple, pear, crabapple, and cherry are bursting with buds. This is the perfect season to plant peace.

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I’ve planted three avocado trees that have been nurtured from a pit. A dwarf navel orange has been added to my citrus grove which is buzzing with bees sucking on the sweet nectar. Since I added new nutrient soil last season to my garden, there are numerous weeds. Pulling those weeds is time-consuming, yet it allows me to let my mind wander, relaxing enough to assist in solving challenges. Once my hillside is free of unwanted plants, I will begin to sow seeds of “pretties”, flowering annuals that will bring me joy and tranquility.

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If you are looking for seeds that will grow in our region, visit the Moraga Library where the Moraga Garden Club has installed a FREE seed library. The public is invited to take up to five packs of seeds and if you want to donate seeds to this marvelous outreach project, you are invited to do so.

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It’s not too late to plant roses and since peace is what everyone wants and deserves, consider planting the beautiful Peace Rose. It will brighten your garden and your heart.

As I lose myself in nature to find peace, I recall the words of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. 

“One day the people of the world will want peace

so much that the governments will have to get out

of their way and give it to them.”

Pride of Madeira (echium fastuosum).jpeg

I think that time is now! 

Peace be with you.

Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for April

 

ü  EMPTY vessels of standing water as mosquitoes are already breeding. For fountains and birdbaths, clean the water regularly or add drops of bleach or mosquito dunks.

ü  REMOVE deep-rooted weeds such as dandelions from your garden by hand. 

ü  DECREASE the spread of crabgrass by applying a pre-emergent that keeps seeds from germinating.

ü  HARVEST the tender leaves of wild mustard, arugula, purslane, and dandelion. Add to salads and sandwiches for a surprising snap.

ü  AERATE your lawn to improve the absorption of moisture and fertilizer before reseeding.

ü  PICK UP dropped camellia blooms to deter petal blight.

ü  REFRAIN from cutting back daffodils until they are as crisp as a cracker. They need to replenish the nutrients to the bulb for next year’s floral explosion.

ü  CUT small branches of crabapple or redbud to bloom in a vase on your nightstand. 

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Research indicates that individuals with the brightest outlook and happiest attitudes keep blooms bedside. 

ü  FERTILIZE lawns and shrubs.

ü  SCATTER snail bait to protect new shoots from the crawlers. 

ü  VISIT your local nursery to buy intriguing plants that will increase the attractiveness of your landscape and improve your temperament.

ü  LOSE yourself in nature and find peace.

ü  SUPPORT Ukraine.

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Happy Gardening. Happy Growing. Happy Spring!

Photos and more: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1603/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Plant-for-Peace.html

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Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, is available for hire to help you prepare for your spring garden. Raised in the vineyards of Napa County, Cynthia is a New York Times best-selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3. Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy copies of her books, including, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, and Be the Star You Are! www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. Receive a FREE inspirational music DVD and special savings.

Hire Cynthia for writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

Blooms for the Brave

Posted by Felix Assivo on
0
Empowerment
Blooms for the Brave

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Digging Deep with Goddess Gardener, Cynthia Brian

 

Boots on the Ground!

By Cynthia Brian

 

“I’m fed up with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.”  George S. McGovern

 

“Lose yourself in nature and find peace.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

How much can a gardener accomplish without the proper boots? To be a successful gardener, we need the right tools.  Sturdy boots are an indispensable ingredient for keeping steady and safe on any terrain. Although my gardening wardrobe varies with the seasons, the one item that I’m never without is my garden boots. Over the years I’ve worn out numerous pairs of cowboy boots, rubber boots, and mud boots, but none were pretty or stylish. My Christmas gift this year from my daughter and her husband was two pairs of decorative, yet highly functional gardening boots. These boots are beautiful, comfortable, waterproof, and quick cleaning, as they must withstand all types of ground, but not battlegrounds.

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They are not combat boots.

Wearing my pretty and protective boots, I wonder about the boots of the brave people of Ukraine, both military and civilian, who are courageously fighting against the Russian aggressors. In unanimity with this valiant nation, I am dedicating this season to the colors of blue and yellow. Glory to the heroes!

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We can all spring into solidarity by planting blooms for the brave. Choose a combination of specimens from both color spectrums that best represent how you feel. Make sure to check compatibility with light, moisture, and growth habits.  Plant in a pot or create the Ukrainian flag in a grand gesture of unity with any of the varieties listed.

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BLUE

Dutch iris

Bearded iris

Hyacinth

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Delphinium

Phlox

Lavandula

Lavender

Clematis

Campanula

Liriope

Nepeta

Agastache

Periwinkle

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Lupin

Aquilegia

Aster

Brunnera

Crocus

Geranium Rosanne

Echinops

Freesia

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Hydrangea

Pansy

Petunia

Blue-Eyed Star Grass

Salvia

Angelonia

Agapanthus

Heliotrope

Sweet pea

Lobelia

Verbena

Buddleia

Hibiscus

Lilac

Anchusa

Baptisia

Gentiana

Plumbago

Ajuga

Scabiosa

Veronica

Forget-Me-Not

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YELLOW

Crocus

Lantana

Bearded Iris

Dutch Iris

Shamrock

Daffodil

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Tulip

Roses

Margarite

Shasta Daisy

Calibrachoa

Gladiolus

Pansy

Calendula

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Petunia

Tithonia

Yarrow

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Rudbeckia

Marigold

Zinnia

Dahlia

Forsythia

Hibiscus

Echinacea

Aquilegia

Baptisia

Ligularia

Chrysanthemum

Coreopsis

Gaillardia

Golden Star

Hellebore

Daylily

Sunflower

Hollyhock

Lupine

Primrose

Sedum

Mustard

Although I don’t know of any weeds other than the dayflower that boast the blue color, many unwanted plants have yellow flowers. Keep in mind, what some people consider a weed, others enjoy as a medicinal herb, wildflower, or pretty plant. Weeds are plants growing where they are not wanted. Some species that many gardeners consider weeds are sold as garden favorites in garden centers. You decide what you want to allow to thrive in your garden. Seeds from weeds are spread by wind, water, and birds, quickly and effectively. If you have weeds, it is best to pull them out by hand by the root as soon as possible and before they go to seed as they can take over a huge area in a very minimal amount of time. Many of these weeds are considered invasive and noxious as they are difficult to control, and they displace welcome plants. Also, be aware that any plant could be poisonous if ingested. Never take a taste sample of a plant unless you are certain that it is safe. 

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WEEDS with Yellow Flowers

Dandelion

Spiny Sowthistle. 

Yellow Hawkweed

Woolly mullein

Golden clover

Creeping buttercup

Butterweed

Goldenrod

Loosestrife

Ragwort

Cinquefoil

Creeping Jenny
Yellow burr weed

Spanish broom            

St. John’s Wort

Skeletonweed

Flat-top goldenrod

Yellow Toadflax

Velvetleaf

Black Medic 

Goat head wee

I am saddened and outraged by the aggression and devastation Russian forces have and continue to inflict on this independent nation, specifically targeting innocent civilian populations, hospitals, and schools. In addition to prayers, positive thoughts, and donations to relief organizations, spring into solidarity with Ukraine and exhibit blue and yellow now and until this unjustified war is resolved.

Our boots are made for walking and while my boots are on my grounds, as I garden, I stand for Ukraine.

Cynthia Brian’s Mid-Month Garden Reminders

ü  PLANT early blooming pollinators including California poppy, chives, larkspur dianthus, lupine, pea, viola, and sweet alyssum.

ü  GOPHERS are breeding. Be on the alert to eradicate these destroyers. 

ü  START your spring gardening by improving the soil. Gardens are often missing the microorganisms and nutrients needed for a thriving crop.

ü  RE-SEED or plant a new lawn during this spring weather. Commence weekly mowing for sturdier growing. For best results, do not use a leaf bag but instead, allow the clippings to compost on the grass naturally.

ü  FERTILIZE fruit trees and flowering shrubs with a high nitrogen solution.

ü  DIVIDE perennials such as daylilies and agapanthus.

ü  CLUMP flowers together in areas measuring four feet diameter or more to attract bees, butterflies, and birds.

ü  CLEAN fountains, ponds, birdbaths, and other water features to welcome our flying friends home for the warmer weather.

ü  CELEBRATE spring on March 20th, the vernal equinox. The day and nighttime hours equal exactly twelve each.

ü  SET a bowl of yellow and blue fruits such as lemons, grapefruits, bananas, grapes, and blueberries to remind us that freedom isn’t free, we fight for it. 

ü  FIND peace in nature. 

ü  SHOW solidarity with Ukraine and democracy by embracing a garden filled with blue and yellow flowering plants. 

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing. Happy Spring. Triumph for Ukraine and the world.!

Photos and More: http://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1602/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Boots-on-the-ground.html

cynthia brian supports ukraine.jpeg

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, is available for hire to help you prepare for your spring garden. Raised in the vineyards of Napa County, Cynthia is a New York Times best-selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3. Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy copies of her books, including, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, and Be the Star You Are! www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. Receive a FREE inspirational music DVD and special savings.

https://www.cynthiabrian.com/online-storeCynthia Brian books banner.jpg

Hire Cynthia for writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

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