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Wild and Free!

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Empowerment
Wild and Free!

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“I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least — and it is commonly more than that — sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements. ” Henry David Thoreau

Mother Nature has an astounding way of rebounding. The blackened, charred hills behind my house from the October wildfire are now a carpet of emerald green grass accessorized by a super bloom of glorious orange California poppies, and tall, bright yellow mustard. My orchard is blanketed with a plethora of colorful wildflowers mixed with the blooms from seeds either scattered by the wind or me at the end of autumn when the first rains drizzled onto our parched earth. Nigella, morning glory, nasturtium, calendula, statice, euphorbia, chamomile, lupin, daisy, yarrow, and more. My fruit trees have been a succession of flowering petals and delicate fragrance, forecasting a bounty of fresh treats to come. 

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After six weeks of staying-at-home, my garden is more alive and gorgeous than ever. The sky is blue and free of jet streams. The heady perfume of jasmine, lilacs, and wisteria waft through the clean air. The birds are singing as they build their nests. Trotting turkeys “gobble gobble”, bowing to one another, then gobbling again in their quest for mates. Untamed vines tangle their tendrils up tree trunks, along wires, and onto fences. Tulip, rose, lavender, iris, azaleas geranium, pelargonium, cyclamen, vinca, bird of paradise, and a plethora of other plants are a parade of festivity. Drifts of daffodils and mounds of grape hyacinth continue to add color and liveliness. Herbs and leafy greens are harvested daily to add nutrition and zest to meals. Freshly picked as needed, oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes, and tangelos provide plenty of vitamin C to keep my family well. My spirits are soaring with gratitude for my garden. I am healthy and happy as I witness spring unfurl in all its glory. I may not be interacting with people, but I am intensely involved with living beings in every moment I spend outdoors. Hopefully, with people ensconced at home, our planet is healing and rebuilding its strength. 

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The natural world is wild and free. Humans have the power and the responsibility to save our planet. In this beautiful month, be grateful for everything we are and everything we have. Refocus and reclaim your positivity. Reduce stress and anxiety by going where the wild things are…hills, fields, and your garden. Grow yourself!

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Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for May

PROVIDE security for birds by building a nest box for the birds you want to attract. Place it in the shade with a clear flight path to the entrance. 

SOW for succession to provide pollinators a buffet throughout the growing season.

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SAVE your back and build a raised bed. It’s easy if you enjoy DIY projects. When you wire the bottom, you won’t have gophers or other diggers eating your crops.

INVOLVE your kids in gardening by allowing them to grow seeds that feature a rainbow of colors to fill their plates. Red radishes, orange carrots, green peppers, purple beets, and an array of lettuces will sprout quickly.

PLANT aromatic herbs and nutritious vegetables that will ensure the health of your family. Beans, peas, eggplant, broccoli, potatoes, cabbage, and turnips. Towards the end of the month, add tomatoes to your plot.

TRELLIS your vining plants such as wisteria, jasmine, and bower plants.

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TOWER gardens are a great alternative if you have a small space. Find ready-made options online.

CHECK sprinklers and irrigation systems for leaks. 

FERTILIZE containers as needed. Plants in pots lose nutrients more quickly than those planted in the ground.

SPRUCE up your patio to prepare for entertaining. Power wash hard surfaces and get ready to celebrate a Mother’s Day picnic at home.

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SOW annuals now in a rich soil mixture.  Marigolds, cosmos, zinnias, and bachelor buttons are excellent choices for a showy summer.

MULCH your garden with grass clippings, chopped leaves, and other organic composts to reduce weeds.

ELIMINATE any standing water from gutters, pot saucers, old tires, or puddles to reduce the breeding of mosquitoes.

DEADHEAD spent blossoms from any annuals or perennials to encourage continuous blooming.

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PRUNE back daffodil leaves only when they are yellow and crispy. 

THROW bait to eradicate snails and slugs from devouring new sprouts.

READ my books available from https://www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store. To avoid shipping charges, I will leave your enhanced package outside my office door for you. There will be no personal contact.

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MOW your lawn without the bag at least every other week. This allows the nitrogen and nutrients that are in the grass to nurture the growing blades. 

EAT the flowers from nasturtiums, roses, arugula, cilantro, thyme, roses, basil, and sage. They add flavor and beauty to many dishes.

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CUT a branch from a flowering tree, like cherry, for a striking indoor statement.

CREATE stunning aromatic bouquets with blooming lilacs, wisteria, jasmine, and roses,

REGISTER your yard or garden as a Certified Wildlife Habitat at https://www.nwf.org/CertifiedWildlifeHabitat. The $20 fee supports wildlife.

FOLLOW up ground fertilizing of flowers, perennials, vegetables, and fruits with foliar and micro-nutrients at appropriate times during the growing season.

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EAT fresh fruits and veggies, especially those you grow yourself.

SLEEP seven to eight hours every day to keep your immune system strong.

BREATHE and know that the sun is going to shine tomorrow.

It may take some months before we are social gathering again. For those of us who usually shake hands or hug, we may be wise to take the advice of the World Health Organization and begin bowing. Or do as I learned in India last year: clasp hands in prayer, bow, and whisper Namaste. Although we are apart, we are together, and we can view this time as a learning experience. Get thee into thy garden. Grow thyself! Be wild and free.

Stay healthy. Stay safe. Stay home.

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing. 

Photos and more at http://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1405/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Wild-and-free.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 best-selling books, including, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. 

Cynthia is available for virtual writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures. www.CynthiaBrian.com

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

 

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Gardening is NOT Canceled!

Posted by presspass on
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Empowerment
Gardening is NOT Canceled!

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By Cynthia Brian 

“We have it in our power to begin the world again.”

Thomas Paine

What a difference a day makes! Who could have ever predicted that as the vernal equinox approached in the Northern Hemisphere the entire world would be mandated to stay home, pause, and practice social distancing?

Are you in compliance? As adults, we have the ability and the responsibility to be role models in keeping ourselves and our families safe and healthy whilst we are housebound. Thankfully, spring has sprung and our garden can be our protective sanctuary and our personal oasis. Although we can’t share our gardens personally with others, we can go outside to exercise, dig in the dirt, and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us.  It’s time to develop our green thumbs as gardening is open and we have the time.

In the weeks since I’ve closed my StarStyle® Productions LLC office to shelter-in-place, my garden has been my refuge and my workplace. Although I won’t be consulting or coaching in person, I am working for hire via SKYPE, ZOOM, and phone to offer assistance when needed. I’ve decided to reframe this crisis as a positive time-out to rebalance, readjust, rejuvenate, and rest. Instead of rushing to cross items off my to-do list, I can pace myself and enjoy the process of weeding, sowing, planting, pruning, cleaning, and repairing. The fruit trees in my orchard are gloriously full of blooms, while spring-flowering trees and shrubs are triumphant in their abundance of pretty petals. It’s been a joy to stroll through the landscape shooting photos of the emerging rebirth. Every day something new sprouts and I am so grateful to be able to witness Mother Nature in action. Taking snips of branches in bloom and flowers unfurling, I am filling my indoor spaces with hope for a healthy future.

When one of my girlfriends, Nancy Roetzer, retired from school teaching, she began taking flower arranging classes through the adult center. Her bouquets and arrangements are inspired by her hikes in the woods, and especially by the many waterfalls, she has experienced. Her waterfall style floral design shows movement, flow, and layering. Featured in this issue is a spectacular showstopper using tulips, roses, carnations, cushion spray chrysanthemums (Dendranthema), cone bush (Leucadendron), ferns, vines, and moss. 

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What a terrific idea to experiment with creating floral displays during these dark days! Whether we cut a few stems and add them to a whimsical vessel or decide to be more formal with our innovations, this is an opportune moment to get our ingenuity fueled and fired. 

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We do have it in our power to begin the world anew. Listen to and abide by the mandates of the experts. We may not be able to predict the course of the virus, but we do have agency over our actions and reactions. My April Gardening Guide provides a plethora of ideas to keep you occupied, safe, happy, and healthy as we navigate the next month together and apart. 

Enjoy the blossoms, bouquets, and the colorful photos of our developing spring, a reminder that life goes on. Gardening is NOT canceled.

Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for April

  • SOW seeds that will attract birds to your garden. Suggestions include coneflower, anise hyssop, bachelor’s button, Mexican sunflower, cosmos, and black-eyed Susan.
  • SHOOT photos of the abundant flowering trees including tulip magnolia, crabapple, peach, plum, prune, cherry, pear, and apple.
  • cu-tulip tree.jpg.jpghttps://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1403/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Blossoms-and-bouquets-gardening-is-not-canceled.html
  • CLEAN debris from berms and drainage ditches to prevent flooding. The soil and leaves can be added to your compost pile.
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  • PULL weeds while the ground is soft.
  • PLAN your vegetable garden for the foods you love the most. 
  • PLANT seeds of greens, beets, carrots, and turnips now.
  • CUT a branch or two from your favorite flowering trees or shrubs. Redbuds, crabapple, plum, and peach are glorious in vases.
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  • INTRODUCE plants that will make you smile. I planted sunflowers, sweet peas, nasturtiums, and purple hyacinth bean. 
  • TAKE a garden class on-line or watch YouTube videos with gardening tips. 
  • MAKE teas and cocktails from herbs you grow including mint, rosemary, sage, and fennel.
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  • REPOT houseplants.
  • BOOST your immune system with a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, and fatty fish. Adopt a Mediterranean style of eating.  
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  • WALK around your garden to admire the spring growth.
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  • BUILD a planter box.
  • ORDER gardening books to read. Be inspired and motivated by Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers available at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. 
  • Cynthia Brian'Growing with the Goddess Gardener book copy.jpg BE StarYouAre_Millennials to Boomers Cover.jpeg Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul.jpg
  • INHALE the perfume of fragrant plants. Roses are blooming and fruit blossoms are delightful.
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  • LOWER your stress by strolling alone in the outdoors amongst trees and on trails.
  • MEDITATE in your garden, or on your balcony, patio, or porch.
  • LISTEN to the birds, frogs, and insects as they begin their spring songs.
  • NOURISH your spirit by sitting by a fountain or pond. 
  • EAT plenty of fresh citruses, especially homegrown, to increase your vitamin C intake. Oranges, tangelos, tangerines, grapefruit, and lemons are ripe and ready for picking.
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  • EXERCISE includes all gardening chores: raking sweeping, weeding, lifting, pruning, planting, digging, fertilizing, and chopping wood. Workout outside.
  • TAKE a nap and on a warm day, get your z’s outside in the fresh air.
  • SHARE your garden skills with your children. Let them plant seeds of vegetables and herbs they want to eat. 
  • FERTILIZE lawns. Lawn food is available at your local hardware store.
  • GROW your own bouquets. Create a stunning arrangement with a variety of roses, stock, tulips, iris, calla lilies, and mock orange. 
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  • BEE friendly by planting three or four types of native wildflowers to attract the honey gatherers as well as pest-resistant varieties of flowers, shrubs, trees, and vegetables, thus eliminating pesticides. I’ve sown California poppies, lupines, bee balm, and morning glories.
  • WATCH the blossoms in the breeze float to the ground like snowflakes. 
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  • PREPARE your garden patches to sow seeds of potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant by rotating these crops. For best production, do not plant these in the same place every year.
  • ENJOY a peaceful Passover and Easter without an in-person gathering.
  • STAY informed about Covid-19 depending only on reliable information. Visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov; 

The World Health Organization at  https://www.who.int; 

State Department: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-19-information.html; 

Contra Costa County Health Department at https://www.coronavirus.cchealth.org; 

Contra Costa County Office at https://www.contracosta.ca.gov/

  • STAY POSITIVE!
  • STAY SAFE! 
  • STAY HEALTHY!
  • STAY HOME! 
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Happy Gardening. Happy Growing. 

Photos and more: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1403/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Blossoms-and-bouquets-gardening-is-not-canceled.html

Raised in the vineyards of Napa County, Cynthia Brian 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 upbeat StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy copies of her best-selling books, including, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-storeCynthia Brian books banner.jpg. 

 

Hire Cynthia for writing projects and virtual garden consults or lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

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BFF’s

Posted by Editor on
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Empowerment
BFF’s

Digging Deep for May
By Cynthia Brian

B.F.F.’s (Best Friends Forever)

“Be careful the environment you choose for it will shape you; be careful the friends
you choose for you will become like them.”
W. Clement Stone

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People have acquaintances, friends, and best friends. We may like or dislike our acquaintances, get along with our friends, and really love our best friends. In fact, when it comes to our best friends, we sometimes feel that we couldn’t live without them. Most of the time, we discover that we are different than our B.F.F.’s, yet complementary. In the world of nature, plants have favorite companions as well as ones that they wish they’d never encounter. By planting our gardens in potagers that include herbs, fruits, and flowers instead of rows, we gain destructive insect –repellent properties, beneficial insect attractors with benefits of higher yields and healthier plants.
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As we start digging in our enriched earth this spring to plant our veggies, it is useful to know what specimens are compatible and which ones repel one another. Like humans, plants encounter plants that they don’t like and when planted near one another, neither thrives. The idea behind companion planting is to mix flowers and herbs in a patch together. Herbs have high concentrations of aromatic oils that protect vulnerable plants from insect attacks and many gardeners find that growing certain plants together actually increases flavor in fruits or vegetables and fragrance in blossoms.
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Some of the helpful herbs are rue, tansy, lavender, chamomile, Artemisia, savory, dill, rosemary, catnip, sage, thyme, and pennyroyal.  Supportive flowers are marigold, nasturtium, and nicotiana. Garlic and chives are happy bedfellows with roses and several other plants, giving off an odor that deters aphids and blackspot. A brew of garlic tea sprayed on plants keeps pests at bay. Chamomile has often been called “the plant’s physician” because it has a reputation for improving the health of surrounding flowers and herbs. Pennyroyal keeps ants away and marigolds deter beetles, white flies, and maybe even rabbits. Nicotiana works on a trap principle where it will attract a predator, which are then caught in the sticky stems and leaves. Nasturtium is repulsive to many bugs, beetles, moths and improves flavors while providing a cascade of edible flowers with long blooming times.
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It is fascinating that while one plant may be beneficial to many plants, it could be harmful to some. Experiment companion planting with some of these popular home-grown vegetables and see if you experience a difference in quality, quantity, flavor, and pest resistance.
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BEANS: Friends of beans include eggplant, beets, potatoes, peas, radish, chard, cucumber, everything in the cabbage family, and marigolds. Enemies of beans are garlic, onions, and chives as they stunt growth.

KALE: Kale is currently the most hailed of the cabbage family. It’s B.F.F.’s include beets, celery, spinach, lettuce, and chard. Plant garlic nearby for improved growth and flavor.

CARROTS: Tomatoes, peppers, peas, radishes, and beans all are happy around carrots. Chives will increase flavor, rosemary and sage will keep the carrot flies from destroying the crop but keep the dill in a galaxy far, far away or you’ll have stunted growth.

CORN: Don’t plant corn next to tomatoes as the same worm munches on both. Instead, corn enjoys companionship from parsley, melon, pumpkin, and beans. Plant marigolds to fend off Japanese beetles.

EGGPLANT: One of my most favorite vegetables to plant, it thrives with peppers and beans. Again, marigolds are friends with eggplant.

LETTUCE: So easy to grow in a home garden, throw some seeds nearby strawberries, radishes and beets. Boost flavor and aphid control with garlic and chives.

POTATOES: Allies are my favorite eggplant, corn, cabbages, and beans. Keep tomatoes and potatoes away from one another or you’ll attract blight. For protection from beetles, plant marigolds.

PUMPKINS: Every kid wants to grow his/her own Halloween Jack O’Lantern. Squash and melons are good buddies with pumpkins. Nasturtium and oregano provide the pest protection.

STRAWBERRIES: Thyme serves as border patrol. Lettuce, bean, onion, and spinach all like to party with strawberries but don’t invite cabbage.

TOMATOES: We already know that potatoes and corn are not to be planted with tomatoes, but you need to know that dill and kohlrabi will stunt growth. Friends include basil, chives, mint, celery, cucumber, onion, parsley, and pepper-all the delicious ingredients of a summer salad!

When you go out into your garden this spring, think about building a community of symbiotic friends. Don’t forget the Iroquois threesome called “The Three Sisters”–corn, squash, and beans, inseparable sisters that grow and thrive together.
It’s great to have a B. F. F. , especially in the garden.

Cynthia-bouganinvilla

“Good friends are like stars….
You don’t always see them,
but you know they are always there.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Happy Gardening and Happy Growing!

Cynthia Brian’s Mid Month Reminders

CLEAR debris from your home and garden perimeter. Dried limbs, leaves, and weeds need to be removed. Fire season is upon us.
WATER deeply once or twice a week rather in short spurts. You’ll encourage stronger roots and save on your water bill too.
DOWNLOAD a new FREE App: “GrowIt!”. The app combines user-uploaded photos and GPS utilization with the ability to rate plants to help people find specific plants and inspiration for your locale available at both the Apple App and Google Play stores.
CUT twining stems of clematis for arrangements that will be colorful and full for three weeks or longer.

Happy Gardening, Happy Growing.
Read more HERE

©2015
Cynthia Brian
The Goddess Gardener
Starstyle® Productions, llc
Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com
www.GoddessGardener.com
925-377-STAR
I am available as a speaker, designer, and consultant.

Cynthia Brian is a New York Times best selling author, speaker, coach, and host of the radio show, StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® broadcasting live every Wednesday from 4-5pm PT on the Voice America Network.. She also is the creator and producer of Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501c3 charity.

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