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Empowerment Host, Cynthia Brian, Publishes 8th Book

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Empowerment
Empowerment Host, Cynthia Brian, Publishes 8th Book

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“I must be crazy to have published two books in 2018” giggles Cynthia Brian.

 

But that is exactly what she did.

 

In February, the first book in her new Garden Shorts series, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, hit the bookshelves, and in August, the third book in the Be the Star You Are!® series, Be the Star You Are!® Millennials to Boomers Celebrating Gifts of Positive Voices in a Changing Digital World was published. The Millennials to Boomersbook marks her 8thbook thus far.

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Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers Celebrating Gifts of Positive Voices in a Changing Digital Worldis a must-read for everyone—regardless of your age. It’s an important read that will lift your spirits and renew your faith in the future of humankind,” writes Diana S. Zimmerman, Author, Entertainer, Entrepreneur, World’s Foremost Lady Magician.Devon Harris, Author, Speaker, Three-time Jamaican bobsled Olympian said “This book dispels the myth that Millennials are entitled. They are empowered and the insights and wisdom they share from their personal experiences will inspire you.”

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In this eye-opening third installment in the Be the Star You Are!®series, Be the Star You Are!Millennials to BoomersCelebrating Gifts of Positive Voices in a Changing Digital World, you will discover 55 true stories about life’s greatest gifts as told by 31 incredible individuals. Each chapter ends with an inspirational quote and a simple, fun exercise to help you embrace your inner star qualities to live a fuller, meaningful life. No matter which generation you were born into, you will gain a better understanding to bridge the gap between Boomers and Millennials while being empowered to join their ranks of greatness.

 

Contributors to this book herald from many races, religions, regions, and political viewpoints yet each share a common value–­–a deep desire to help readers understand that every challenge can be an opportunity for growth and change.

 

Each short, poignant chapter titled The Gift of…offers a true personal story, a lesson learned, a simple exercise to help implement the ideas of the story for application in life, and an uplifting quote. Each contributor (the youngest is thirteen) agreed to abide by a stringent set of guidelines with the hope that their personal insights will propel readers to live fully and tell their own stories.

 

Cynthia Brian’s purpose in creating the Be the Star You Are!®series is to illuminate a simple fact––we were not created equal. We are far better. We are unique. We are individuals. We each have the ability and the responsibility to use our talents, genius, and strengths to sparkle, shine, and make a positive impact in this small galaxy we call Earth. We must strive to be the stars we were born to be.

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This is an opportunity to get inside the heads of Millennials and Boomers to discover the faith, joy, loss, fear, and countless other emotions that living in a digital world has hurled onto our horizon. What may surprise readers of any age is how similar perspectives have transpired throughout history. While much has changed, much remains the same. We are humans in training. Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers Celebrating Gifts of Positive Voices is a book with a perennial view into the diversity, differences, and determination that comprise the indomitable spirit of our leaders of today and tomorrow.

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Cynthia Brian has been producing and hosting the live radio broadcast, StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® since 1999 when she began on terrestrial radio in San Francisco. In 2002 she and her daughter, Heather Brittany launched the show on World Talk Radio broadcasting from the studios in San Diego. Ever since the Voice America Network acquired World Talk Radio, StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® has been a live fixture every Wednesday at 4pm Pacific on the Empowerment Channel.  Tune in to this uplifting lifestyle program at http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2206/be-the-star-you-are

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In 2011, Cynthia created and began producing the young adult program, Express Yourself! training teens to be hosts and reporters. Express Yourself! airs on Tuesdays at NOON Pacific on Voice America Kids Network (http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2206/be-the-star-you-are) with many of these young people contributing to the new book.

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“Be the Star You Are! Millennials to BoomersCelebrating Gifts of Positive Voices in a Changing Digital World is especially poignant because so many of our young radio reporters are part of the book,” says Cynthia, “and they appreciate the value that being part of the Voice America Kids Network has brought to their lives.”

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“I believe that StarStyle® is the longest running weekly broadcast on the network and I absolutely love our talented Voice America crew. It is such a pleasure working with everyone and I truly appreciate the consideration, consistency, and care that everyone at the network provides to us.  In both of my new books, I salute and acknowledge my gratitude to my amazing Voice America radio family,” declares Cynthia Brian.

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Cynthia Brian is available for speaking engagements, book signings, and events. Visit her website for more information at http://www.CynthiaBrian.comand also the radio site at http://www.StarStyleRadio.com

 

Perhaps Libby Gill, Executive Coach, Leadership Expert, and Bestselling Author summed it up best. “Cynthia Brian continues to shine the spotlight on the great work of other people. In this beautiful compilation, she not only gives a voice to Millennials, she champions their sense of purpose, commitment, and contribution. I can’t think of a better role model than Cynthia to demonstrate how to be a servant leader. I highly recommend this book!”

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100% of the proceeds from the sale of the books purchased via http://www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-storewill be donated to Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 literacy and positive media charity.http://www.BetheStarYouAre.org

 

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Be the Star You Are!Millennials to Boomers

Celebrating Gifts of Positive Voices in a Changing Digital World

by Cynthia Brian and 31 Stellar Contributors

 

ISBN: 978-1-947637-91-7 print book

ISBN: 978-1-939116-05-5 ebook

SELF-HELP / Personal Growth / Success

 

 

 

 

Growing with the Goddess Gardener

ISBN 1978-1-945949968  print book, color interior

ISBN978-1-945949-60-9 ebook

 

 

About Cynthia Brian

Cynthia Brian created her first Fairy Tale Workshop in the mid-1980’s in an effort to teach simple acting techniques to the children of boomers. Since that time she has specialized in coaching thousands of millennials and boomers for acting, speaking, writing, and life skills.  In 1999, Cynthia founded and became Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 charity with a mission to empower women, families, and youth through increased literacy and positive media messages. New York Times best-selling co-author of Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, author of Be the Star You Are!®, 99 Gifts for Living, Loving, Laughing, and Learning to Make a Difference, Be the Star You Are!® for TEENS, Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers Celebrating Gifts of Positive Voices Growing with The Goddess Gardener, The Business of Show Business,The Blessing of Love and Relationships,and Miracle Moments®,Cynthia Brian is an internationally acclaimed keynote speaker, personal growth consultant, actor, producer and host of radio and tv shows, newspaper columnist, designer, gardener, and lifestyle coach. As an empowerment architect, Ms. Brian is dedicated to helping others achieve their dreams, recognize the possibilities, and utilize their potential by implementing their unique gifts. 100% of the proceeds from Be the Star You Are! Millennials to BoomersCelebrating Gifts of Positive Voices will be donated to Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3. Cynthia is the proud Momma to two millennials and when she’s not writing, producing, hosting, speaking, traveling, or coaching, you’ll find her in her garden with her adopted barnyard menagerie. www.CynthiaBrian.com; www.BetheStarYouAre.org; www.StarStyleRadio.com

 

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Video Clip: https://youtu.be/1Ru354Mhvu0

Mother Knows Best

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Empowerment
Mother Knows Best

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My mother said to me,

“If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general;

if you become a monk, you’ll end up as the Pope. 

Instead, I became a painter & wound up as Picasso.”

~Pablo Picasso

Aren’t Moms the greatest? 

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a world-famous ball bouncer because I thought I was fairly great at bouncing balls and catching them. My mother told me to go for it. 

Then, of course, I added to my “want to be” numerous times while both of my parents applauded my bravado. My hands were either always writing or digging in the dirt and I wound up as The Goddess Gardener!

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When I lived in France I had the opportunity to investigate the majestic gardens of the charming chateaus. The elegant gardens mesmerized me, especially Château de Chenonceau spanning the River Cher in the Loire Valley where females ruled the designs. But it was the gardens of Impressionist artist Monet that influenced me most. The first time I visited his Giverny masterpiece, a profusion of magenta, pink, and purple tulips augmented by white bearded iris greeted me. It reminded me of my time living in the Netherlands where fields of tulips thrived amongst the windmills. The color scheme was enchanting.

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After returning stateside, I determined to model my landscapes after Monet’s painter’s palette with plants that only reflected a variety of shades and hues of purple, pink, blue, and white. My Mother warned against such folly. “Gardens are filled with the colors of the rainbow. Just wait. Mother Nature will decide what’s best for your garden.” 

 

Of course,cynthia brian-books-events.jpg I didn’t listen because I had my mind set on a specific plan. I planted a variety of species that boasted my favorite colors including iris, gazania, lilac, wisteria, tulip, anemone, periwinkle, jasmine, ice plant, freesia, candytuft, azalea, camellia, fuchsia, rose, rhododendron, and more. For the first two years, my landscape did resemble an Impressionist painting. It was spectacular. azaleas.jpg

Then a seventeen-day freeze occurred killing most of my plantings. When spring arrived, many of the plants sprouted once again but this time they were yellow, orange, white, or red. The hybrids had reverted to their native colors after the freeze. Mother Nature was teaching me who was in charge.

I embraced my Mother’s approach to gardening to allow all the colors of the rainbow to shine in my garden. Soon the burgundy grew next to the orange gazania, and yellow daffodils sang along with the fluorescent pink ice plant. The effect has been stunning.

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My Mom also warned against invasive plants that mask as attractive: ivy, mint, Mexican primrose, vinca, jasmine, and the worst of which is Euphorbia esula, also known as leafy spurge.  All of these grow in my garden and I am constantly pulling, prodding, and attempting to keep these handsome, yet insidious species in check. 

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Although lovely mixed with flowers cascading from a container, in the ground, ivy climbs and chokes trees, killing them. Ivy is also a favorite habitat for rats. Mint is delicious muddled in mojitos and chopped into salads, but not so exciting when it spreads to your lawn. Mexican primrose with its dainty pretty pink flowers spreads quickly jumping into spaces where other plants are preferred. It looks dreadful when it develops powdery mildew towards fall. Vinca major (big leaf periwinkle) may take years to become invasive but with conditions of deep shade, it can smother the diversity of other plants with its very dense vegetation. Cut it back or pull out the stragglers. Jasmine has the most beautiful fragrance, especially in the evening. A few cut blossoms perfumes entire rooms, however, this vine twines around bushes and flora smothering the entire plant. It is critical to contain these plants and keep them in check by pruning and pulling out the ones growing in places you don’t desire.

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Which leads me to the worst invasive in my landscape––euphorbia esula, commonly known as green spurge or leafy spurge. A single pot of euphorbia is charming with its magnetic chartreuse leaves and yellowish green bracts. The problem begins when the seed capsules explode sending seeds fifteen or more feet in the distance. If allowed in bare soil, the complex root system spreads rapidly both horizontally and vertically for many yards. In spring the plants grow three or four feet high, blocking sunlight, stealing the water and nutrients from other plants. Toxins in Euphorbia esula prevent other plants to thrive. Deer and rabbits won’t eat it, although goats and sheep tolerate it. The milky sap is a skin irritant to humans. If left unchecked, this invader will take over hills, dales, and neighborhoods.  The striking euphorbia esula encompasses a hillside, yet I am not willing to let trespassers into my formal beds. Daily I patrol and pull out the intruders. 

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A cavalcade of color delights me in my spring garden. Currently boasting beautiful blooms are bergenia, lavender, ranunculus, Dutch iris, bearded iris, rose, forget-me-not, daffodil, tulip, calla lily, California poppy, snowball, snowdrop, blue star, geranium, calendula, citronella, hyacinth, ice plant, wisteria, lilac, snapdragon, cyclamen, oleander, Jupiter’s beard, azalea, fuchsia, breath of heaven, camellia, hellebore, nasturtium, sweet alyssum, osteospermum, cornflag, clematis, mock orange, petunia, wood hyacinth, alpine strawberry, fava beans, and a plethora of other splendid multicolored species.

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My gardener Mom was right about being inclusive with garden color and watchful for the expansion of invasive vigorous vegetation. It is always good to have a guide on the side. Mother Nature will always have the final say.

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I recently visited my daughter to help with her landscaping needs. When I asked her what she wanted me to plant, she responded, “Mom, you always know best!” 

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A Mother ‘s Gardening Guide for May from Cynthia Brian 

  • WARNING! Don’t buy Euphorbia esula no matter how much it captivates you, as it is not containable. 
  • BUY your Mother the perfect garden gift for Mother’s Day, Growing with the Goddess Gardener and receive a plethora of extra goodies that she’ll love. Visit http://www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store
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  • EMPTY standing water from any receptacle as mosquitoes are breeding including birdbaths and animal water bowls. Check rain gutters and storm drains. Stock ponds with mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis) which are free from vector control,
  • WEED while the soil is still moist, digging up the roots. The smaller the weed, the easier it is to pull out. Don’t allow the plant to go to seed.
  • REPLENISH mulch as it decomposes. Mulch deprives weeds and seeds of sunlight while enriching the soil. Add three inches to beds and keep a few inches away from tree trunks.
  • FERTILIZE roses with alfalfa meal to add acid to the soil. 
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  • PREVENT ants from protecting aphids around bushes and trees by using sticky barriers.
  • LEAVE grass clippings on lawns to provide nutrients and don’t mow when the lawn is wet.
  • VISIT the Be the Star You Are! booth at the Moraga Faire to pick up complimentary potpourri to celebrate Mother’s Day and buy raffle tickets for the opportunity to go to an A’s batting practice to meet the players. http://www.BetheStarYouAre.org/events
  • PATROL for invasive species and eradicate them from your yard.
  • ATTRACT beneficial insects and pollinators to your garden by planting swaths of aster calendula, California poppy, fennel, and Queen Anne’s lace.
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  • PREPARE your vegetable garden. Check your local nursery to buy edibles you enjoy, specifically tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant.
  • PLANT color spots of petunia, begonia, cosmos, and marigolds.

Wishing every Mother a month of peace, joy, health, and love. Thank you for being and knowing best!

Read more: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1205/Cynthia-Brians-Gardening-guide-for-May-Mother-Nature-knows-best.html

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Cynthia Brian

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, 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 Are1® 501 c3. 

Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show and order her books at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy a copy of the new book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. 

Available for hire for projects and lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

Weed, Feed, Seed

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Empowerment
Weed, Feed, Seed

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“Nothing is so beautiful as spring when weeds, in wheels, shoot long, and lovely, and lush…” Gerard Manley Hopkins

While cleaning out our parent’s ranch home I found a book published in 1918 belonging to my grandfather. The title is The Herbalist by Joseph E. Meyer, 1878-1950.  The cover showcased a line drawing of an apothecary’s garden. The first page warns in big bold letters “Special Attention: The botanical materials, medications, and recipes of this book are not intended to replace the services of physicians.”

Being the major gardener and herbalist that I am, I was thrilled to discover this tiny tome filled with information that is pertinent over a hundred years after publication to those of us who love to grow our own food. After reading about the anatomy of plants, the epitome of botany, and the medicinal uses of plants, I excitedly went into the garden to find weeds to feed me. Then of course, it was time to throw seeds to beautify what will become my late spring landscape.

Since the rain and hail we experienced in March, weeds are ubiquitous. Before seeding, weeding is essential. If you like to be adventurous while consuming a nutritional boost, separate the dandelions from other discarded weeds. Dandelions originated in Greece and have been enjoyed as greens in salads or sautés for centuries. Dandelions provide calcium, vitamin K, vitamin A, E. riboflavin, and iron. The dried root is a beneficial home remedy as a diuretic plus dandelions inhibit inflammation.  Consider adding this food to your menu.

After a thorough weeding, it’s time to seed the garden with beautiful flowers and delicious vegetables. Always choose quality seeds. Plant seeds in the correct light situations. Refer to seed packets for information when the most auspicious planting window is and where the plants will thrive. Make sure to prepare the soil properly by weeding and composting or buy good soil.

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When planting indoors, choose a south or west-facing window to provide adequate light and warmth. Natural light is always best for helping seeds to sprout but you can always purchase grow lamps. Fluorescent tubes will work when placed two to four inches above the seedlings and left on for eighteen hours per day. If you are planting on a porch, be mindful of frosty evenings where you’ll need to provide heat.  Speed seed germination with a heat mat that you place under trays or containers and remove the heat mat once the seeds have sprouted.

A container for planting seeds can be anything that is at least two-three inches deep with a drainage hole. You can use milk cartons, cell packs, recycled plastic, or clay pots. Even old coffee mugs can be re-purposed as long as you add gravel to the bottom.  Get creative, re-purpose, and re-cycle.  

Keep the soil moist but not soggy. When a plant has two sets of leaves it’s time to feed them with a half-strength fertilizer and get them to sunny locations outdoors as often as possible.

I prefer to sow directly in the ground and have experimented with seeding as early as March. However, my experience has instructed me to spread seeds when the soil is warm in late April, thinning as necessary. Follow instructions on seed packets for best results. Keep in mind that you will not have 100% germination. Sow an amount of seeds that is several times the amount you wish for best results. For small seeds like arugula and greens, I carefully scatter attempting not to have the seeds clumped in one area. All plants need room to spread. For plants growing in cells or trays, I usually transplant in May and have found that these plants tend to do better than those that were planted in early spring. Planting in sets of odd numbers, three, five, seven, nine, or more provides a cohesiveness and richness of texture.

Growing a beautiful garden from seeds is easy and inexpensive. You may have to provide netting to keep hungry birds, roaming rabbits, and ravenous deer out of your yard. 

Spring is a time to weed, seed, and feed, both metaphorically and literally. I love experimenting in my garden and hope that a hundred years from now my books will be as relevant to readers as The Herbalist is.

Seeds to start indoors or in a greenhouse:

Broccoli

Brussels Sprouts

Cabbage

Cauliflower

Eggplants

Peppers

Tomatoes

Perennial Flowers

Seeds to sow in containers or directly in the garden:

Arugula

Basil

Beans

Beets 

Carrots

Cilantro

Corn

Cucumbers

Greens

Herbs

Kale

Melons

Nasturtiums

Parsley

Parsnips

Peas

Penstemon

Radishes

Spinach

Swiss Chard

Squash

Sunflowers

Zinnias

Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for April

  • CONTROL snails with organic treatments. You can hand pick them, put out bowls of beer, add copper tape to ornamentals, throw egg shells in affected areas, or scatter Sluggo. Eliminate watering at night when snails feed. They multiply and flourish in the wet and damp. In dry weather they will retract into their shells sealing off the opening with mucus. Snails can be dormant for four years.
  • RAKE lawns to remove debris and aerate. If fertilizer is needed, this is the time to apply.
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  • DON’T eat the mushrooms growing in your yard unless you are certain they are edible. Consult a mycologist as many mushrooms are toxic and potentially fatal if ingested.mushroons growing in garden (1).jpg
  • VISIT Wildlife Earth Day at Wagner Ranch in Orinda on Sunday, April 22 from 11:30-4pm. Several community organizations will also present earth-friendly endeavors. I will be autographing my newest book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener as well as talking about botanicals.  For more information on this nature-lover’s event organized by the naturalist guru, Toris Jaeger, visit https://fwrna.org/wildlifefest/
  • PLANT agastache, columbine, penstemon, salvia, and trumpet vine to attract hummingbirds. When the threat of frost is finished, hibiscus, bougainvillea, and citrus can planted. 
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  • BUY discounted tickets to the June 15th Oakland A’s versus Los Angeles Angeles Baseball Game with a portion of proceeds benefitting the 501 c3 charity, Be the Star You Are® http://www.BetheStarYouAre.org or go find your seats to buy directly at https://groupmatics.events/event/Bestar
  • EAT your dandelions for a wealth of nutritional and medicinal benefits. And Italian proverb instructs ““He who wants to eat a good supper should eat a weed of every kind.”
  • WALK in the woods, a park or hug a tree to get your dose of forest bathing known as the Japanese tradition of shinrin-yoku.
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  • SAVOR springtime. It’s the bugle baby for beauty, fragrance, and new life.cynthia brian.jpg

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing.

Read more: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1203/Cynthia-Brians-April-Gardening-Guide-Weed-seed-feed.html

Cynthia Brian

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, 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 Are1® 501 c3. 

Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show and order her books at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy a copy of the new book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. 

Available for hire for projects and lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

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The Language of Trees

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Empowerment
The Language of Trees

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“The ax forgets, the tree remembers.” African Proverb

Do trees have feelings? Do they communicate with one another? As I watch the leaves unfurl and the blossoms bursting on the trees in my landscape, I have a sense that my trees are talking and communing with one another. With the celebration of Earth Day on the horizon, this was an opportune moment to research the language of trees.

At the insistence of his wife, German forester, Peter Wohleben, authored an accidental best seller, The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate. The two of them live in a cabin in the remote village of Hummel where Peter manages a nature reserve.  He has become a spokesman of sorts for protecting and respecting the rights of trees.

Although trees don’t form words as humans do, they do communicate, and are more alert, sophisticated, and social that we expected. Trees form alliances with other trees of both their own species and others to survive and thrive.  They connect via underground fungal mycorrhizal networks, a symbiotic relationship between tree roots and fungi. As they scavenge for nitrogen, phosphorus, and other nutrients, the fungi consume thirty percent of the sugar photosynthesized from sunlight then feed the trees. This fungal internet of thin threads known as mycelium also can also transport toxins to keep competing plants from establishing nearby. Eucalyptus and sycamore commonly exhibit this behavior. Biologists have termed fungi to tree communication the “wood wide web” showcasing how interconnected and interdependent nature is.

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Using pheromones and scent signals, trees also talk through the air. Research was done several years ago with acacias on the savannas of Africa. When giraffes began chewing on the leaves of the thorny acacia, the tree sensed the wound sending a distress signal in the form of ethylene gas to neighboring acacias. The trees receiving the message of imminent danger pumped quantities of tannins into their leaves, which can kill an herbivore.

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Trees differentiate between an animal attack and a human cutting a limb. When a branch breaks or is sawed off, the tree sends chemicals to heal the wound. And trees remember.

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Trees also have a sense of smell and taste. When  an elm or pine is attacked by leaf-eating caterpillars, the affected trees detect the saliva. Pheromones are released to attract parasitic wasps. The wasps lay eggs inside the caterpillars, and the wasp larvae eat the caterpillars from the inside out. 

Dr. Suzanne Simard, a forest ecologist with the University of British Columbia is renowned for her extensive scientific research into mycorrhizal networks and “hub trees” or “mother trees” as she prefers to call the biggest, oldest forest trees. Mother trees are not necessarily female but they do have the most fungal connections to nurture and support the saplings.  Their deep roots suck up water and send it to fellow trees along with other nutrients and distress warnings. Her lab studies found that defense signals traveled between a diversity of trees within six hours. Not all scientists agree with Simard and Wohleben that trees are sentient beings. Several scientists have countered that plants and trees do not possess intelligence and are instead genetically programmed by natural selection to do a job automatically. 

Being the nature aficionado that I am, I vote for team Simard and Wohleben. Over the past few years I’ve been carefully studying my hillside pine trees as they twist to be closer to each other. Although each tree was originally planted to give a wide berth for each canopy to grow straight and tall in an effort to reach optimum sunlight, as the trees matured they tended to gravitate towards one another, mingling their branches. The pine that was planted furthest away from its siblings actually lurched sideways forming an arch until its branches touched the closest pine. I can’t help but think that this small group considers itself a forest family or at least very dear friends. When my “mother” Japanese maples leafs out, the other two develop their leaves within two days. My fruit trees of the same species always bloom together as if on orchestral cue. The willows in the creek appear to be supporting the oaks and bays with a communal sharing of resources.

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Simard detects a spiritual expression in the forest and Wohleben has been accused of being a tree hugger, although he states that he doesn’t believe trees respond to human hugs. We do know for certain that trees provide beauty while cleaning the air, combating climate change, and absorbing CO2. They provide oxygen, keep us cool, prevent erosion, supply us with food, offer playtime for kids, and help us heal faster. Trees furnish us with wood for homes, furniture, and warmth while allowing wildlife to flourish and reside in their branches.  An area without trees feels arid, vulnerable, and ugly. 

Trees are our allies and they are definitely talking to us. Clear cutting and climate change will kill our trees and our forests. We need to plant trees to capture carbon and encourage kids of all ages to climb big trees. We need to acknowledge that global warming is real and that our trees are desperately warning us of the disasters to come if we don’t create a movement for change. We need to listen to our vegetation as their memories are living, long, and lasting. 

We are all one interdependent, interconnected community. Stop. Look. Listen. Learn the language of trees and celebrate Earth Day with me. 

Cynthia Brian’s Mid Month Gardening Guide for April

  • VISIT Wildlife Earth Day at Wagner Ranch in Orinda on Sunday, April 22 from 11:30-4pm. Several community organizations will also present earth-friendly endeavors. I will be autographing my newest book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener as well as talking about trees, flowers, and other botanicals.  For more information on this nature-lover’s event organized by the naturalist guru, Toris Jaeger, visit https://fwrna.org/wildlifefest/, https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1204/Red-legged-frogs-and-friendly-goats-welcome-visitors-to-Wagner-Ranch-Wildlife-Festival.html
  • ENJOY the lilacs and wisteria in full bloom.
  • WATCH the leaves unfurl on your deciduous trees and become more aware of how different species of trees support one another. 
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  • REMOVE old foliage around the new growth of perennials.
  • PREVENT disease and rotting by keeping mulch several inches away from stems of plants and shrubs.
  • CREATE a habitat for birds that prefer staying close to the ground by making a small pile of twigs and clippings in your side yard. You’ll attract white-throated sparrows and dark-eyed juncos. 
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  • ADD a clean birdhouse to your landscape for bird to make their nests. You’ll be the beneficiary of joyful tweets and twerps. 
  • UTILIZE the monthly gardening tips in the book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener available with free seeds, herbs, and more from http://www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store.
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  • FERTILIZE fruit trees with a high nitrogen organic fertilizer. Best time is right before the bud break, although trees that need food can be fertilized through June. Don’t fertilize in summer or fall.
  • PICK tulips for indoor vases.
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  • BUY discounted baseball tickets to the June 15th Oakland A’s versus Los Angeles Angels directly at https://groupmatics.events/event/Bestar with a portion of proceeds benefitting the 501 c3 charity, Be the Star You Are® http://www.BetheStarYouAre.org 
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  • SCATTER pollinator friendly wild flower seeds to celebrate Earth Day.

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing.

Read more: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1204/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-The-language-of-trees.html

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Cynthia Brian

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, 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 Are1® 501 c3. 

Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show and order her books at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy a copy of the new book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. 

Available for hire for projects and lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

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Ready, Set, Grow!

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Empowerment
Ready, Set, Grow!

Cynthia Brian'Growing with the Goddess Gardener book.jpg

“All through the long winter I dream of my garden. On the first warm day of Spring I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth. I can feel its energy, and my spirits soar.” Helen Hayes

Spring is finally here and with it comes the best little gift book to fill Easter baskets and give as Passover presents for anyone who loves nature.

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Whether you consider yourself a brown thumb or a green thumb, Growing with The Goddess Gardener, will enchant, inspire, and motivate you to get up off the couch, power down your gadgets, and go outside to smell the roses. This book is a brilliant bouquet of twelve months of heartfelt true short stories celebrating living, loving, laughing, and learning in the garden. A calendar years worth of tips, tricks, and to-do lists guides you in your quest of mindfully cultivating your own fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers in following chapters. Filled with gorgeous photos of plants, gardens, and accessories, you’ll be inspired to start digging. In your hands is the power to make this world a more beautiful place while you connect and collaborate with Mother Nature on your terms. Back cover-Growiung 6 x 6 – Version 3.jpgThe Goddess Gardener invites you to a personalized garden party. Get going and start sowing with Growing!

 

Ready, Set, Grow!

Buy autographed copies at discounted prices with lots of extras included.

Available with color or black and white interiors.

Published by Waterside Press

http://www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store

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ISBN 13: 978-1-945949-59-3 (black and white interior)

ISBN 13: 978-1-945949968 (color interior)

25% of each sale benefits the literacy charity Be the Star You Are!® www.BetheStarYouAre.org

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Check out Cynthia Brian’s other great books, including the New York Time best seller, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul!

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For bulk or premium sales, contact Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

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Read More:
http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/672296/7dea0ebbfe/288055965/bbd34d3431/

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Sow Spring

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Empowerment
Sow Spring

 

freezias succulents.jpgBy Cynthia Brian

“All through the long winter I dream of my garden. On the first warm day of Spring I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth. I can feel its energy, and my spirits soar.” Helen Hayes

My cell rang as I juggled to open the front door, arms filled with books. I pressed the speaker button and in the few seconds it took me to say “hello” my daughter’s excited voice chimed, “Mom, I hear the frogs singing. It’s springtime!”

As winter bids farewell, the male troubadours “de printemps”, fill the early evening mist with their mating croaks to entice the females. Their call is joyous, raucous, and a welcome harbinger of new life. My garden has erupted in a cavalcade of color as one blossom after another unfurls its beauty. Cherries, chestnut, plum, crabapple, Asian pear, Western red bud, and tulip magnolia are magnificent with their new wardrobes of rose, white, pink, and purple. The feathery fronds of fennel glisten in the sunlight. The fragrance of freesia, narcissi, and stock perfume the atmosphere. Periwinkle, also known as vinca, enhances garden beds with its tiny blue flowers. Even my roses are blooming earlier than normal. Hellebores, more commonly called Lenten roses, inject the earthy colors of browns and grays into the landscape. As their spring sepals emerge, vibrant hues of purple, green, blue, lavender, red, and pink brighten shady gardens, eventually fading in color variation. It seems that all of nature has been holding its breath until the frogs returned cueing the melodic symphony of nature.

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On the first seventy-degree weather day, I was outside in my bikini and shorts digging in the dirt.  Thickets of weeds sprouted after the recent rains. The good news is that they are easy to pull with the dampness of the soil.  If you planted cover crops, it is time to turn them under. Once weeds are eradicated, rake the ground before scattering seeds. I’m a fan of California poppies, not only for their shimmering range of sherbet colors, but also because they tolerate extremes in weather, are resistant to deer munchies, and reseed easily. Even the recent hailstorm won’t adversely affect poppies. As soon as you can work the ground, sow seeds directly into well-drained beds and plant in full sun. Even if the weather is cool, poppies can handle light frost, so sow now!  If you haven’t amended your soil with compost, you may need to fertilize.  Keep the soil moist then thin seedlings to about six inches apart to allow for the plants to flourish.

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Sow Spring Seeds

For a succession of blooms, scatter seeds from any of your favorite annuals. These plants are pollinator attractors, enjoy plentiful sunshine, and most are excellent as cut flowers.

Alyssum

Aster

Baby Blue Eyes

Baby’s Breath

Bachelor Buttons

Black Eyed Susan

Bluebell

Calendula

Candytuft

Cornflower

Clarkia

Coreopsis

Cosmos

Forget-Me-Not

Gaillardia

Hollyhock

Lavatara

Marigold

Poppy

Stock

Strawflower

Sunflower

Zinnia

My preferred time to spread seeds is right before a shower. Keep an eye on the forthcoming weather and plan accordingly. The rain will give your seeds a deep drink and you won’t have to water immediately.

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Grab your hat, gloves, a spade, and packets of seeds to enjoy the renaissance of nature. Dig your fingers into the soft earth and watch your spirits soar. As the renowned horticulturist, author, artist, and garden designer, Gertrude Jekyll wrote, “The love of gardening is a seed that once sown never dies.”  Be reborn this spring.

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Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for March

  • PLANT rhubarb for a pretty perennial that will supply you with plenty of ruby red stalks for pies and tarts this summer. Cut off and discard all rhubarb leaves as they contain poisonous oxalic acid.
  • INVEST in roots of asparagus. Asparagus can take up to five years to produce spears but will continue to offer a bountiful harvest for twenty years. Experiment with Purple Passion (purple is the color of the year!) for a sweet, tender, and mild flavor.
  • PULL weeds as soon as you see them sprout while the ground is still moist.
  • CHOP down cover crops and hoe into the soil.
  • FERTILIZE lawns to give them a good boost of nitrogen and nutrients for the forthcoming season.
  • PICK established kale and other greens before they go to seed.
  • CHECK irrigation system for breaks or leaks.
  • BUILD raised beds for your vegetables and herbs. Your back will thank you throughout the year,.
  • ADD fresh compost to all garden beds.
  • SEED or re-seed lawns. I recommend Pearl’s Premium for its durability, deep roots, and need for minimal water. http://www.PearlsPremium.com.
  • PRUNE privets into hedges and bushes unless you want tall trees.
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  • LOOSEN compacted soil by turning amendments into the soil with a garden fork.
  • CLIP boxwoods and shape as needed.
  • HARVEST beets that were planted in fall.
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  • BUY discounted tickets to the June 15th Oakland A’s versus Los Angeles Angeles Baseball Game with a portion of proceeds benefitting the 501 c3 charity, Be the Star You Are® http://www.BetheStarYouAre.org
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  • START seeds of tomatoes indoors or a in a greenhouse.
  • CONTINUE to pick up all fallen camellia blossoms until there are none left on your bush or tree. My tree had thousands of blooms this year. My daily regimen includes collecting at least 100 or more spent blooms.
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  • CHECK the weather forecasts to know when it’s going to sprinkle or rain. It’s best to sow and fertilize at this time.
  • SUPPORT eco-therapy and walk in the woods. Forest bathing or shinrin-yoku has been scientifically proven to improve our immune systems.
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  • FOR more spring landscaping tips, buy Growing with the Goddess Gardener, www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store.

Read more at https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1202/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Sow-spring.html

Cynthia Brian's Growing with the Goddess Gardener book.jpg

Happy Gardening and Happy Growing!

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, 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 Are1® 501 c3. 

Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show and order her books at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Available for hire.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

cynthia-hat n garden.jpg

 

 

March On and Spring Forward

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Empowerment
March On and Spring Forward

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“Truth is rarely written in ink. It lives in nature.” Martin H. Fischer

It all started with a box of toothpicks.

My siblings and I finally had the heart and the stamina to begin cleaning out our Mother’s farmhouse that was built before 1900. We made the mandatory four piles––garbage, donation, share, and keep as we meticulously emptied and cleaned each drawer and cabinet. When we came upon several brand new boxes of toothpicks, we kept a few and shared the rest.

When I returned home, I opened my drawer where I kept my toothpicks to discover that I already had six boxes of 500 picks. Horrified, I emptied that drawer; created four piles, and what began as a simple task of putting away a small box of toothpicks resulted in a full day of purging and organizing.

Which gets me to our garden marching orders for the month. It is time to clean out the potting shack, clear the storage sheds, organize the garage, and tidy up our cluttered gardens. Prune the hedges, edge the lawn, sharpen tools, wash the lawn mower blades, and pull the sprouting weeds.

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Spring forward by cleaning our houses and removing the debris from our gardens.

There is something about the pre-spring season that revs up our systems and begs us to dust off the old to make way for the new. We yearn to get rid of the mess that has been gathering. My storage area was filled with odd pieces of wire, broken light fixtures, string lights, patio pads, tiki torches, oil, glass, lawn seed, fertilizer, soil mixes, Christmas tree stands, old toys from kids long gone, punctured hoses, and a multitude of under utilized machines and gadgets geared to make gardening simpler but in reality were just too burdensome. It took me a full seven days to bring order to the chaos.

As overwhelming as this project sounds, the best way to start is to just start!

Don’t be paralyzed by the enormity of the task. Do it bit by bit but take everything out of the spaces you are going to clean. Don’t try to “wipe” around anything. Everything out! Once the space is empty, sweep it, mop it, brush out the cobwebs, and disinfect it. Next, designate four areas for de-cluttering: Keep, Donate, Trash, Recycle/Sell. You will be amazed at how much junk you have. Anything you are keeping, donating, giving away, or selling must be cleaned. Dump the trash unless you have chemicals, insecticides, pesticides, paints, or contaminates. Take those items to a special facility for disposal. Contact your garbage collection agency for drop off locations. Box your donations and donate immediately lest you be tempted to reclaim items. Do the same with your recyclables or sale items. Organize what’s left to store in a manner that is easily and safely accessible.

Walk around your garden and really look at your landscape. What needs a tune up? Are the hinges on your gate squeaking?  Do you have broken fence slats? Do your hedges need a haircut? When was the last time you painted or stained your deck? Is it time for a patio power wash?

Pick up the dog bones, clean out the litter boxes, and get a storage container for all of the unused children’s or pet toys. Check your irrigation system. Turn on the sprinklers to determine if you have any broken heads or pipes. What about your nightscaping? Do you have bulbs that are burned out? Are the batteries run down on your solar lights?

Your front entrance and sidewalk are the first greeting areas for yourself and guests. Give your porch a thorough cleaning and sweeping. Add a blooming plant in a pretty container. Buy a new “Welcome” mat. Polish the hardware on your door.

After weeding your flowerbeds, add a fresh layer of mulch not only to beautify your landscape, but also to retain moisture and keep the soil temperatures constant while deterring erosion. Turn the compost pile.

As you march around your yard you’ll discover a plethora of chores that are begging for your attention. Make a list, check it twice or three times, and get to the most important items first.

Garden Happenings

The bare branches of the trees tell us that it is still winter, but the buzzing of the bees coupled with the sweet melodies of songbirds indicate that spring is right around the corner.

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My garden seems to have awakened from its slumber a full month early. Until the last few days of the month, February had been bone dry and exceptionally sunny forcing numerous plants to bloom early. Daffodils and narcissi have been blooming for two months and will continue for another two. The Italian white peach that normally forecasts a St. Patrick’s Day celebration burst into full bloom on Valentine’s Day. My shamrocks, also known as oxalis, are in their cheery yellow glory. Colorful freesias, tulips, Dutch iris, calla lilies, and hyacinths announce the stirrings of spring.

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The precipitation was welcome news, but the cold front that accompanied the rain dropping temperatures into the twenties caused tender plants to freeze. The morning after the first frigid night, the shriveled shapes of lamium, sage, and nasturtium greeted me on my daily meditation walk. Part of tidying the garden is to understand what to prune back and what to leave until all danger of frost has past. The sage and lamium are best cut immediately, while the pruning of the nasturtium will wait until later in the month.

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Viburnum, with its tiny white flowers, does well in cold weather and accentuates the beauty of a four-season garden.

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If you properly pruned your roses towards the end of January or beginning of February, you will see that they are now sprouting leaves. Within a month, buds will open. A few of my David Austen roses are already blooming.

David austin -Olivia Rose Austin (Ausmixture) 15A3982.jpgI am still planting bare root roses. World renowned rosarian, Michael Marriott joined me on my radio broadcast on March 7th . Get more information at https://www.starstyleradio.com/starstyle-radio. Michael discussed the latest trends and techniques in cultivating a beautiful rose garden.  Tune in at https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/105598/david-austin-roses-with-michael-marriott-and-jungle-jauntMicahel Marriott-cynthia brian, David Austin Roses 2.jpg My Mother used to instruct us with the words “cleanliness is next to Godliness”.  That truth wasn’t written in ink, but it did help me toss that extra box of toothpicks. I know for certain that everything looks so much better and more attractive when it’s clean and clutter-free.

Live in truth. Live in nature.

Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for March

  • BRING branches of forsythia or quince inside to allow the blooms to open in a vase.
  • PICK up fallen camellias.
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  • FERTILIZE the entire garden, if possible right before it rains.
  • BUY discounted tickets to the A’s versus Angels baseball game for June 15 with proceeds benefitting local charity, Be the Star You Are!®. www.BetheStarYouAre.org/events
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  • HARVEST wild mustard for salads and soups. Delicious and nutritious.
  • DIG up beets and make sure to eat the tops.
  • COME to LaGaelrinda event at St. Mary’s College between 9-1pm on March 17th  to visit the Be the Star You Are!® booth where I’ll be selling and autographing my newest book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener. Buy it online at www.CynthiaBrian.com/on-line store and get FREE seeds, potpourri and other goodies.
  • Cynthia Brian's Growing with the Goddess Gardener book.jpg
  • WANT an instant privacy screen in your yard? For immediate large hedges, a new product will ship this spring from a company called Instant Hedge offering thirteen varieties of ready-to-plant hedges that have been growing for five years with heights up to six feet. Inspired by plantscapes in Holland, the panel of four trees with dense foliage will ship in a biodegradable cardboard box. Visit http://instanthedge.com.
  • POT a clump of oxalis shamrocks for your St Patrick’s Day dinner.

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Read more at : https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1201/Cynthia-Brians-Gardening-Guide-for-March.html

Wishing you the luck of the Irish and the wind at your back. March on and spring forward!

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing.

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, 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 Are1® 501 c3. 

Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show and order her books at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Her new book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, is available at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store

Available for hire.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

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And the Winner Is

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Empowerment
And the Winner Is

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“People are always in good company when they are doing what they really enjoy.”

~Samuel Butler

In the first three months of the year, we get to be bystanders at numerous red carpet events!  Hello awards season!  The Golden Globes, People’s Choice, Screen Actors Guild Awards, the Grammy’s, and the Oscars are all highlights. Add the Olympics to this year’s line-up and we have a full roster of gold, silver, and bronze. Over the years I’ve been privileged to enjoy my share of walking the red carpet in the entertainment industry and in the plant world, we have our winners, too.

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The Perennial Plant Association Plant awarded Allium Millenium the plant of the year. It boasts glossy green leaves with a profusion of large, rosy-purple clusters of flowers that bloom in mid-summer. As a butterfly magnet, alliums are beautiful as well as being deer and rabbit resistant. The Perennial Plant of the Year program showcases outstanding perennials that grow in a variety of climates, are disease free, and are low maintenance.  A few of the past winners over the years have included lavender, which deer and rabbits won’t eat as well as Dianthus, Phlox, Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia), Echinacea, Salvia, Catmint, Sage, and Coreopsis.

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The National Garden Bureau also designates award winners annually. For 2018, the winning bulb is the Tulip, the vegetable is the Beet, the perennial is the Coreopsis, and the star of containers and hanging baskets is the Calibrachoa. Calibrachoa_CallieBurgundy_Syngenta.jpg

With the unusually warm weather we’ve experienced this February, gardens have exploded into blooms more than a month earlier than in previous years. With the slightest breeze, the sky rains white petals from pear and plum trees while hillsides and paths are lined with dancing daffodils.

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The vivid, paint-box colors of tulips are filling our souls with joy. Part of the lily family and relatives of alliums, tulips comprises 150 species with over 3,000 varieties. Although we plant them in fall after four to six weeks of cooling for spring sprouting, they can be forced to bloom in winter. People often ask me why tulip bulbs need to be refrigerated before planting. The answer is that in their native habitats where winters are colder, they would go dormant allowing for the bulbs to sprout roots while the development of the embryonic leaves and flowers inside the bulb occur. I lived in Holland for eighteen months where “tulpen” were the pride of every household, even tough tulips originated in Asia. Did you know that the Netherlands produce most of the world’s annual tulip crop exceeding four billion bulbs annually?  Tulip mania  (tulpenmanie) reached its crescendo in 1637 when the bubble collapsed, and overnight, many rich traders became paupers. One bulb could buy a house on the Amsterdam canal. Folly! According to the Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center, the United States is the biggest importer of Dutch bulbs to the tune of $130,000,000 in wholesale prices annually. The colors of the tulip have significant meaning: red equals love, purple represents loyalty, and white whispers, “I’m sorry!”

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The winning edible of the year is the beet and I am so thrilled as this is probably my favorite of all of the root vegetables. I planted my seeds directly in the soil last spring and am still harvesting. When I thin, I eat the seedlings. Beets like acidic soil and they withstand cooler temperatures before harvest. Colors are typically red, purple, yellow, or red with white ring stripes. They are consumed in salads, soups, and pickled.  Rich in fiber, potassium, calcium, folic acid, and phosphorus, high in fiber, vitamin A and C, beets have more iron than most other vegetables. The red color comes from the antioxidant betalain, an excellent source of color pigment for natural dyes and coloring agents.

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The beauty, resilience, and popularity of Coreopsis was a natural fit for the National Garden Bureau to add this glorious flower to its red carpet line-up.  In the language of flowers, Coreopsis means “always cheerful,” and these delightful natives of the Americas live up to this designation. Equally, at home in naturalized prairie settings or manicured landscapes, Coreopsis provides a lovely sunny presence wherever they make their home. Although typically seen in colors of yellow and gold, many species also contain red, bronze and burgundy colors and have been commonly used as dyes in native fabrics. Before the introduction of coffee to America, Native Americans boiled the flowers into a warming tea.

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The newest star in the garden line up is Calibrachoa, with its twenty-eight different varieties. A relative of the petunia, (although now recognized as it’s own genus) Calibrachoa hit the marketplace arriving from Brazil via Japan via Europe in the 1980’s but were considered difficult to cultivate. They are beautiful plants that do well in containers and hanging baskets and this specialized treatment has turned out to be their niche market. They aren’t really mini petunias, yet they are drought tolerant. Plant in well-drained acidic soil and provide six hours of direct sunlight per day. You will be rewarded with brilliant colors, fascinating streaks and stripes, eye-catching stars, and patterns that resemble the strokes of a brush. Your patio will be a floral artwork with Calibrachoa in the honored line-up.

With all of these award winners, my supreme favorite still lies with the exquisite lotus flowers that I enjoyed in Southeast Asia. The deep, rich colors, their versatile expressions, I am deeply, madly in love with lotus.  Alas, I can’t grow it here in my backyard pond.

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Speaking of winners, gigantic congratulations to Sal and Susan Captain of Captain Vineyards for being honored as the Moraga Business Persons of the Year! I am personally thrilled to see two stewards of the earth, farmers, gardeners, wine makers, and all around great individuals inducted into this hall of fame. Bravo!

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Savor a respite in your landscape for the next few weeks before I offer you a plethora of chores that need attention. Enjoy your own company.

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Keep doing what you love and you’ll be a winner too. Roll out the red carpet for your favorite plants and get ready for a rowdy and rousing spring. camellias.jpg

Happy Gardening and Happy Growing!

Read at Lamorinda Weekly: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1126/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-And-the-winner-is.htmlCynthia Brian's Growing with the Goddess Gardener book.jpg

 

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, 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 Are1® 501 c3. 

Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show and order her books at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Her new book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, is available at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store

Available for hire.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

Art and Playing at Carnegie Hall

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Kids
Art and Playing at Carnegie Hall

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“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” —Thomas Merton

    • • Host of Express Yourself! and uber volunteer, Brigitte Jia, was selected to play in an orchestra at Carnegie Hall. How did she get there? Yes, it is the old saying, “Practice, practice, practice,” Tune in to find out about art, ideas, and more.
    • What is art? Do you think of paintings, sculptures, animation, or museums? What about music, dance, acting, cooking, voice, gardening, speaking, writing, or martial arts?  Culinary arts and performing arts are definitely forms of art. Hosts Brigitte Jia and Joven Hundal notice the small things influence what we all consider as art. Brigitte also reads from her chapter, The Gift of Art, from the forthcoming book, Be the Star You Are!® for Boomers and Millennials.  Joven finds that history and art are connected.  Brigitte recounts her phenomenal and unique experiences playing violin with Davies Symphony, touring in the UK and Chicago, playing alongside Ariel Horowitz and Amos Yang, recording for Torchlight, playing at Carnegie Hall, and more exciting artistic adventures.

Appreciate art for what it is: creativity, skill, and expression.  Yes, Express Yourself!

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Read more about host Brigitte Jia performing at Carnegie Hall: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1126/Local-students-perform-at-Carnegie-Hall.html

Listen at Voice America Network: https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/105433/the-gift-of-art

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6 Years of Broadcasting: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/3532062

 

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Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND and PAYPAL with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:  https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

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Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash back at 1800+ popular online stores, then donate a percentage to BTSYA: https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc

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Express Yourself! Teen Radio is produced by Cynthia Brian of Starstyle Productions, llc as an outreach program of Be the Star You Are! charity. To make a tax-deductible donation to keep this positive youth programming broadcasting weekly to international audiences, visit http://www.bethestaryouare.org. Dare to care!

For all the latest news on what teens are talking about on Express Yourself! Teen Radio embed this code into your blogs and web sites <Iframe src=”http://www.voiceamerica.com/jwplayer/HostPlayer.html?showid=2014″ frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”auto” width=”420″ height=”380″></Iframe>

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Jungle Fever

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Empowerment
Jungle Fever

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The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.

~Source Unknown

Completely covered by tangles of roots and vines, it is only in recent years that many ancient grandiose brick and sandstone temples were re-discovered in Cambodia. These monumental structures, built on top of one another for over seven centuries as capitals of the Khmer Empire, have survived the passage of time. The jungle swallowed cities and palaces constructed of wood leaving only skeletal remains and inquisitive monkeys. The bustling, colorful life of the Angkor civilization was left to the imagination and research of historians, explorers, archaeologists, and me.

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If you ever watched the 1991 film, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, you glimpsed the unexcavated and un-restored temple of Ta Prohm completely reclaimed by the jungle. Immense trees grow like magic out of stonewalls and through roofs. Our guide told us that visitors were allowed to explore the ruins only in the past few years because this area was occupied by cobras, many as long as twenty feet. To deter these venomous serpents from continuing to nest here, lemon grass was planted, and it is keeping the poisonous snakes away.

monkeys.jpgSoutheast Asia is uncomfortably hot and humid. The jungles are wild and untamed. The flora is bright, beautiful, and bizarre.  Palm, coconut, banana, mango, papaya, jackfruit, passion fruit, and breadfruit plantations fill the landscape alongside the never-ending fields of rice. Most villagers don’t have running water or indoor plumbing, the banana groves serve as their toilets.  Nothing is wasted. Every part of a plant is used for food, shelter, fire, clothing, furniture, and other life necessities.

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Both in Vietnam and Cambodia, water lilies and lotus flowers grow magnificently in the waterways. Although the two are often confused, water lilies have pads and flowers that float on the surface of the water while the lotus flowers and leaves rise a foot to several feet above water. The various colors of the lotus flower retell tales culturally revered.

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Because lotus flowers grow in murky water, an unfurled white lotus refers to purity of body, mind, and spirit. A red lotus boasts of love and compassion. The favorite pink lotus tells the story of Buddha and the many legends surrounding him. Purple represents mysticism, royality, and spirituality.  Lotus flowers are gathered and made into spectacular art pieces delivering the spirit of enlightenment and good fortune to those who embrace their grace and beauty.

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Betel leaves and the areca nut are important symbols of love and marriage in Vietnam.  A groom’s parents will begin the conversation with the potential bride’s parents by offering areca nut chewing. In Vietnamese weddings the leaves and juices are used in the ceremony. Betelnut is a stimulant and mind-altering substance. It is also known as “the scourge of Asia” because it causes oral cancer.

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Rich in protein, calcium, potassium, iron, and other nutrients, the leathery, prickly Jackfruit is considered to be a miracle food with the potential to supply an entire family a complete meal. Grown in every garden, mangoes are a main staple of daily diets, considered one of the most important fruits for improved wellness. They are low in calories, filled with vitamin C, A, B6, and beta-carotene, important elements to fighting cancer, regulating diabetes, aiding in better eye sight, digestion, and clear skin.

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Golden Shower trees were laden with buttery yellow flowers bringing light and cheerfulness to pathways, hills, and cemeteries. One of the most beautiful, yet prickly plants I witnessed was the Crown of Thorns, an evergreen cactus (Euphorbia Milii) that blooms year round in hot and sunny locations. It requires very little water, has spectacular scarlet, pink, yellow, white, or salmon colored bracts, grows to three feet or more, and is covered in one-inch spiky thorns. We can grow it outdoors or as a houseplant, however, as gorgeous as it is, definitely keep it away from children.

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In the Mekong Delta, floating villages and traditional houses on stilts line the banks with residents laboring and living the way they have for centuries, harvesting what the great waters provide to survive and earn a living. Baskets and mats are created from river reeds and water hyacinth, ancient boats advertise their crops for sale with the fruit or vegetable speared on top of a high pole, floating fish farms supply fresh seafood while floating markets sell just picked produce. Sampans are made by hand from felled “Sao” wood, a very water resistant variety of oak.

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Discovering the smiling, resilient people and the tranquil lush landscapes untouched by the hands of humans in Southeast Asia, inspired me to pause, breathe deeply, and appreciate this wild, environment once a hotbed of warfare and genocide. Without interruptions from phones and internet, I calmly disconnected from “civilized” chaos to welcome the wonders of essential nature. Spending time meditating in solitude and having a water blessing by monks awakened my sense of gratitude for the gardens of life.

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Although I never encountered a tiger, I was consumed by jungle fever.

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Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for February

The hills are beginning to turn green, the narcissi and camellias are in full bloom, and daffodils are budding. Trees of magnolia and pear are blossoming with bees busily buzzing. Winter is waning. Here are a few things to check off your garden to-do list.

  • ⎫ GATHER up all fallen camellia blossoms to prevent disease in your soil.
  • ⎫ FORCE bulbs of amaryllis or lily of the valley by adding water to a jar with the bulbs and placing near a sunny window.
  • ⎫ PLACE a stem of Daphne by your bedside to sweeten your dreams.
  • ⎫ Add ferns, hostas, and caladiums to a shady spot as companion fillers.
  • ⎫ APPLY final application of dormant spray to fruit trees.
  • ⎫ PLANT anemone, ranunculus, and freesia for late spring blooming. If you already have freesia growing, blooms will appear in late February.
  • ⎫ BUY copies of my newest garden book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, from www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store for best prices and loads of extra freebies. now what to do in your garden every month! Contact me for fees and scheduling to come speak at your event. Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com
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  • ⎫ SHARPEN tools for spring spading.
  • ⎫ BRING the jungle flavor indoors by purchasing cymbidiums with several spikes of flowers.
  • ⎫ GIVE yourself some moments of silence. Use your outdoors as your contemplation and meditation room.
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  • ⎫ REMEMBER Valentine’s Days with a potted plant or beautiful bouquet for your sweetie.

Happy Love Day! Happy Gardening! Happy Growing!

Read more at https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1125/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-Jungle-fever.htmlCambodian dancers.jpg

 

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, 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 Are1® 501 c3. 

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Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show and order her books at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Her new book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, is available at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store

Available for hire.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

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