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Growing with the Goddess Gardener

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Empowerment
Growing with the Goddess Gardener

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Cynthia Brian’s Newest Garden Book is Published!

Just in time to banish the the winter blues, Cynthia Brian’s first book in the Garden Shorts Series,  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 or dance in the rain. Tap into your inner green thumb and order your autographed copy today!   

PURCHASE DIRECT

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25% of proceeds from Growing with the Goddess Gardener benefit the 501 c3 charity, Be the Star You Are! empowering women, families, and youth through increased literacy and positive media messages. www.BetheStarYouAre.org

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About Cynthia Brian

Cynthia Brian, a New York Times best selling author, grew up on a farm in Northern California where she drove tractor, raised chickens, and worked in the fields to finance her college education. Known as The Goddess Gardener, Cynthia is a TV/Radio personality, newspaper columnist, lecturer, lifestyle coach, and Executive Director of the 501 (c) (3) literacy charity, Be the Star You Are!®. When she’s not writing, performing, or coaching, you’ll find her in her garden with her menagerie of adopted barnyard animals. www.CynthiaBrian.com

Book Cynthia!
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If you are looking for a spokesperson, garden consultant, speaker, or talent, hire Cynthia Brian

READY!

SET!

GROW!

BUY BOOKS

Growing with the Goddess Gardener

Life began in the garden. A garden is where nature and nurture converge, a calming oasis where we can listen to the call of the wild and sometimes tame the shrew. Growing with the Goddess Gardener 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.  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.  The Goddess Gardener invites you to a personalized garden party.  Get going and start sowing with Growing!

 

ISBN: 9781945949968 (Color Interior)

ISBN: 9781945949593 (Black and White Interior)

Purchase: www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store

This beautiful  6″ x 6″ garden guide of 165 pages published by Waterfront Press is the perfect size for gift giving in baskets, stockings, and as a hostess treat for anyone who appreciates nature, the outdoors, and growing. Growing with the Goddess Gardener is available with color photos inside or black and white interior photographs. 

Discounts available for premium case sales on all of Cynthia Brian’s books. 

Get Extra Goodies by Purchasing Directly

Buy books directly from our store, to receive the BEST prices and lots of extra goodies. For each book purchased you will receive:

1. Personalized Autograph Copy

2. Special Seeds to Plant

3. Fragrant Potpourri

4. Bookmark

5. Inspirational Information

PLUS 25% of every sale will go to Be the Star You Are!® literacy and positive message charity.

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

Want to Buy from Amazon?

Shopping on line? #StartWithaSmile at https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882 

  1. Enter “https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882 ” in your browser address bar
  2. Pull down BOOKS & enter 9781945949968 for color
  3. Pull down BOOKS & enter 9781945949593 for black/white
  4. For Kindle or Ebook, click on Kindle Edition
  5. Continue shopping for anything and everything
  6. Amazon donates .05% to Be the Star You Are!®

Please note that books purchased through Amazon will be delivered directly from Amazon and will not include any autographs or extra goodies.

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Praise

This is a wonderful book, very inspirational and just the thing we all need to get us out of our chairs and into the garden, getting some exercise and reaping the rewards in so many different ways from simply enjoying nature to savouring the produce. Michael Marriott, Senior Rosarian, David Austin Roses, www.DavidAustinRoses.com

“So much of gardening is about love and peace as well as practical advice. Cynthia Brian’s Growing with the Goddess Gardener offers both, with caring and wisdom.” Pat Stone, Editor, GreenPrints, “The Weeder’s Digest” www.GreenPrints.com

“Cynthia simply exudes love for nature, and the beauty that surrounds us in our daily lives.” Jim Berry-Lifetime Nurseryman & Owner of J. Berry Nursery, www.jberrynursery.com/home

Cynthia is a sparkling personality!  As an inspirational writer, she overflows with insightful suggestions and a positive view of the world that is contagious – a great anecdote for the trials of the world.  I can’t speak higher about her vision of life and the things she covers so eloquently in her writing and on the radio.

Jackson Madnick, Pearl’s Premium Ultra Low Maintenance Lawn Seed, www.PearlsPremium.com

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Wishing You a Happy, Healthy Year!

Dig a little. Dream a lot. 

Here’s to Green 2018!

Cynthia Brian

The Goddess Gardener

StarStyle® Productions, LLC

PO Box 422 

Moraga, California 94556

925-377-STAR (7827)

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

Back cover-Growiung 6 x 6 – Version 3.jpg The Long Garden_of roses.jpgBUY Growing with the Goddess Gardener TODAY!

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

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Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3
PO Box 376
Moraga, California 94556
US

Roses Are for Everyone

Posted by Editor on
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Empowerment
Roses Are for Everyone

Hedge of pink roses.jpg

“That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet.” William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Roses are red and pink, salmon, yellow, orange, purple, white, mauve, and are available in a plethora of color combinations and variety choices. With a bit of knowledge, roses are one of the easiest plants to grow providing ten to eleven months of beautiful blossoms.  Because of our warmer California weather, my roses are still blooming profusely even though I am in the process of performing my annual winter pruning. (Of course I am gathering the flowers to use in my indoor arrangements and potpourri). Many gardeners shy away from roses assuming they are just to “fussy” and demanding to be sustainable, yet, in my experience, I have always found roses to be the bedrock of my multi-purpose gardens.

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February is the perfect month to plant bare root roses.  Whether you are planning to purchase bare root or containerized roses, follow these simple instructions for success.

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  1. 1. Always buy healthy specimens.  Choose your plants carefully. A damaged, diseased, or dried rose will not recover and may cause problems for your other specimens.
  2. 2. Choose a sunny site where your rose will get at least six hours of sunshine daily,
  3. 3. Enrich the soil with a rich humus organic matter that will allow for good drainage. Roses like acidic soil with a PH of 6.5.
  4. 4. For container roses, soak the roses for at least half an hour and allow all the water to drain. Bare root roses need their root systems soaked overnight. Do not allow roots to dry out.
  5. 5. Space at least two feet apart to allow for air circulation.
  6. 6. After digging your hole, add compost or rotted material, permitting the bud union to be two to three inches below ground.
  7. 7. Add three inches of coarse mulch around the roses. The mulch keeps splashing water from spreading fungal disease on the foliage. Blackspot spores may germinate whenever leaves are wet. Fungus must be killed with a fungicide before it enters the leaf tissue. Dust or spray before a rain.
  8. 8. Water deeply directly to the soil and keep the soil moist but not soggy. Overhead sprinklers are not recommended.
  9. 9. Fertilize in the spring.  I add a cup of alfalfa pellets to each plant, which I buy at the feed store, combined with diatomaceous earth. Work it well into the soil.  Alfalfa supplies nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus, and plenty of other nutrients. Throughout the year, I swirl my used coffee grounds in a quart of water and throw them on the plants. Plus, whenever I eat a banana, the peel flies into the rose garden. The potassium and phosphorus aid in blooming.
  10. 10. Encourage beneficial insects to visit your roses to keep diseases away. By mixing lavender, bulbs, and other pollinator attracting plants with your roses, you will have fewer pests to fight.
  11. 11. Prune in January or February and cut off faded blooms throughout the year to insure continuous flowering.BrassBand-Oprah's rose.jpg

Although I have a collection of types and varieties of roses in my garden, since meeting senior rosarian of David Austin English Roses, Michael Marriott, English roses have become a favorite staple because of their resistance to disease, their beautiful shapes, varied foliage, and unrivaled fragrance.  On January 24th listen to a program about rose care and pruning on my internationally broadcast radio show, StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!®.  Tune in live or to the archives at www.voiceamerica.com/episode/104744/david-austin-roses-with-michael-marriott-and-growing-with-the-goddess-gardener

Description, links, and photos will be at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

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These are abbreviated pruning instructions that Michael Marriott shared with me for the best outcomes for your rose garden.

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Pruning Roses

Why Prune: It is imperative to prune roses annually to maintain the shape and blooming qualities of the rose. You’ll keep your plant healthy and stimulate growth by removing any weak, dead, or diseased canes.

Tools:  Loppers, shears, secateurs, saw, and gloves. Sterilize tools with alcohol before using and make sure tools are sharp so as not to damage the plant.

When to Prune:  Pruning needs to be done during the dormant months of January and February. Later pruning can be detrimental as the plant’s energy will be depleted and plants could be susceptible to frost.

How to Prune: If possible, cut above a bud on a slight angle.  For a large group of shrub roses, a hedge trimmer is useful.

How Much to Prune:  Different roses require different pruning techniques. A good rule of thumb is to prune down to 1/2 or 1/3 of the original height of the plant and thin out any spindly stems.

  1. 1. Climbing and Rambling Roses: require less pruning as the goal is to get them to climb and ramble along fences, arbors, or other structures.
  2. 2. Repeat Flowering Shrub Roses (English roses, some old roses): The shape of the plant is the most important. You can be flexible according to your wishes, but reducing the height to 1/3 to 2/3 is normal.
  3. 3. Once Flowering Shrub Roses (old roses such as Albas, Gallicas, Damasks): Do not hard prune as flowering shoots are only produced on stems that are at least one year old.
  4. 4. Bush Roses (hybrid teas, floribundas, patio, polyanthas, and miniatures): Hard pruning the height by 2/3 to ¾ and thinning is recommended.
  5. 5. Species Roses (originals): No pruning necessary as they are close to wild plants and thrive on neglect.
  6. 6. Standard Roses: Standard roses are formed by budding any of the above roses on a special stem.  Pruning to 1/3 will be sufficient with thinning and light pruning throughout the year. Michael Marriott cottage.rose garden .jpeg

Clean up: Rake all leaves, stems, and canes. If your roses are not patented, you can share healthy canes with friends or plant in other areas of your garden. Add mulch to the rose bush.

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Every year I add a few more roses to my landscape to increase colors, scents, and shapes. This season I will be planting these selections from the glorious David Austin collection:

Comte de Chambord

Strawberry Hill

Crown Princess Margareta

Olivia Rose Austin

Huntington Rose

Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Lady of Shalott

Spirit of Freedom

The Wedgwood Rose

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Investigate the choices of David Austin Roses at your favorite nursery and garden center or save 15% on your order through February 28 at www.DavidAustinRoses.com

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Roses are red, pink, salmon, yellow, orange, purple, white, mauve, and a multitude of other hues. I encourage you to put on your rose-colored glasses, gloves, hat, and enjoy pruning and planting the rose that by any other word would smell as sweet.

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing.

Read more at https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1124/Cynthia-Brians-Gardening-Guide-for-February-Roses-are-red.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

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

Available for hire for projects and lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

Cynthia Brian’s NEW Book-Growing with the Goddess Gardener is Published!

Posted by Editor on
0
Empowerment
Cynthia Brian’s NEW Book-Growing with the Goddess Gardener is Published!

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

Life began in the garden. A garden is where nature and nurture converge, a calming oasis where we can listen to the call of the wild and sometimes tame the shrew. Growing with the Goddess Gardener 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.  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.  The Goddess Gardener invites you to a personalized garden party.  Get going and start sowing with Growing!

 

ISBN: 9781945949968 (Color Interior)

ISBN: 9781945949593 (Black and White Interior)

Purchase: www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store

This beautiful  6″ x 6″ garden guide of 165 pages published by Waterfront Press is the perfect size for gift giving in baskets, stockings, and as a hostess treat for anyone who appreciates nature, the outdoors, and growing. Growing with the Goddess Gardener is available with color photos inside or black and white interior photographs.

Discounts available for premium case sales on all of Cynthia Brian’s books.

Back cover-Growiung 6 x 6 – Version 3.jpg

Cynthia Brian’s Newest Garden Book is Published!

Just in time to banish the the winter blues, Cynthia Brian’s first book in the Garden Shorts Series,  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 or dance in the rain. Tap into your inner green thumb and order your autographed copy today!

PURCHASE DIRECT

Hedge of pink roses.jpg

25% of proceeds from Growing with the Goddess Gardener benefit the 501 c3 charity, Be the Star You Are! empowering women, families, and youth through increased literacy and positive media messages. www.BetheStarYouAre.org

BTSYA Button.jpg

Get Extra Goodies by Purchasing Directly

 
Buy books directly from our store, to receive the BEST prices and lots of extra goodies. For each book purchased you will receive:
1. Personalized Autograph Copy
2. Special Seeds to Plant
3. Fragrant Potpourri
4. Bookmark
5. Inspirational Information
PLUS 25% of every sale will go to Be the Star You Are!® literacy and positive message charity.
Cynthia Brian books 2017.jpg
Want to Buy from Amazon?
Shopping on line? #StartWithaSmile at https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882 
  1. Enter “https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882 ” in your browser address bar
  2. Pull down BOOKS & enter 9781945949968 for color
  3. Pull down BOOKS & enter 9781945949593 for black/white
  4. For Kindle or Ebook, click on Kindle Edition
  5. Continue shopping for anything and everything
  6. Amazon donates .05% to Be the Star You Are!®
  7. Amazon Smile klogo.jpg

Please note that books purchased through Amazon will be delivered directly from Amazon and will not include any autographs or extra goodies.

cyn- garden.jpg

About Cynthia Brian

Cynthia Brian, a New York Times best selling author, grew up on a farm in Northern California where she drove tractor, raised chickens, and worked in the fields to finance her college education. Known as The Goddess Gardener, Cynthia is a TV/Radio personality, newspaper columnist, lecturer, lifestyle coach, and Executive Director of the 501 (c) (3) literacy charity, Be the Star You Are!®. When she’s not writing, performing, or coaching, you’ll find her in her garden with her menagerie of adopted barnyard animals. www.CynthiaBrian.com

If you are looking for a spokesperson, garden consultant, speaker, or talent, hire Cynthia Brian.

 

PRAISE:

This is a wonderful book, very inspirational and just the thing we all need to get us out of our chairs and into the garden, getting some exercise and reaping the rewards in so many different ways from simply enjoying nature to savouring the produce. Michael Marriott, Senior Rosarian, David Austin Roses, www.DavidAustinRoses.com

cynthia brian Michael Marriott, David Austin Roses 2.jpg 

“So much of gardening is about love and peace as well as practical advice. Cynthia Brian’s Growing with the Goddess Gardener offers both, with caring and wisdom.” Pat Stone, Editor, GreenPrints, “The Weeder’s Digest” www.GreenPrints.com

cynthia-PAt STone Patstone at GWA.jpg

“Cynthia simply exudes love for nature, and the beauty that surrounds us in our daily lives.” Jim Berry-Lifetime Nurseryman & Owner of J. Berry Nursery, www.jberrynursery.com/home

 cynthia-tamara-pasadena GWA.jpg

Cynthia is a sparkling personality!  As an inspirational writer, she overflows with insightful suggestions and a positive view of the world that is contagious – a great anecdote for the trials of the world.  I can’t speak higher about her vision of life and the things she covers so eloquently in her writing and on the radio.

jackson Madnick, Zoe, Cynthia.jpgJackson Madnick, Pearl’s Premium Ultra Low Maintenance Lawn Seed, www.PearlsPremium.com

 

READY!
SET!
GROW!
Brian-congrats 19 years.jpg

Rosairan Michael Marriott & Growing with the Goddess Gardener

Posted by Editor on
0
Empowerment
Rosairan Michael Marriott & Growing with the Goddess Gardener

The Long Garden_of roses.jpg

Have you ever stuck your nose into the petals of a rose and inhaled in ecstasy? David Austin’s English Roses are some of the most fragrant, adaptable, and glorious roses on the planet. Cynthia Brian has the privilege of interviewing senior rosarian and respected global rose guru, Michael Marriott live on StarStyle®. They will discuss planting, pruning, and choosing roses as well as learn about his personal favorites and his future plans as a garden artist. Roses rock!  www.davidaustinroses.com

Micahel Marriott, David Austin Roses 2.jpg

Life began in the garden. A garden is where nature and nurture converge, a calming oasis where we can listen to the call of the wild and sometimes tame the shrew. 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. Author and GoddeMss Gardener Cynthia Brian will discuss her newest garden book. www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store

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

BIO: Michael Marriott

Michael Marriott is technical manager and senior rosarian of David Austin Roses and is one of the world’s most-respected rose experts. He is also well-known for his rose garden design and his common sense approach to gardening. In his work he travels the globe, often sharing his expertise in lively radio, TV, newspaper and magazine interviews.

Rose Border in Lion Garden .jpg

He has been an integral part of David Austin Roses for over 30 years and at the firm’s headquarters in Albrighton he is the font of all matters relating to roses. His enthusiasm is infectious and his knowledge of roses is encyclopaedic, including the species roses, the old roses, climbers and ramblers, the best modern roses and of course David Austin’s English Roses. Michael has played an important part in the development and popularization of English Roses and therefore has intimate knowledge of  David Austin Roses website: www.davidaustinroses.com

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Michael Marriott website: www.michaelmarriottrosarian.wordpress.com

www.instagram.com/michaelrosarian

Michael Marriott cottage.rose garden .jpeg

Listen at Voice America: https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/104744/david-austin-roses-with-michael-marriott-and-growing-with-the-goddess-gardener

Michael Marriott cottage.jpeg

StarStyle® is celebrating 19 years of continuous weekly broadcasting. Find out more at www.StarStyleRadio.com

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Shopping on line? #StartWithaSmile at https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882 . Amazon donates to Be The Star You Are, Inc..

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Read our BTSYA January Newsletter: 

http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/672296/8417ebf8e3/288055965/329f30721c/

 

Queen of Sweden at Bodnant Gardens.jpgWhen you are looking for upbeat, life-changing, and mind stretching information, you have come to the right place. Host Cynthia Brian takes you on a journey of exploration that will encourage, inspire, and motivate you to make positive changes that offer life enhancing results. It’s party time on StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!®. And YOU are invited! Join us LIVE 4-5pm Pt on Wednesdays or tune in to the archives at your leisure. Come play in StarStyle Country.

 Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND and PAYPAL with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:  https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/search-cause?charityId=1504&s=3

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Catch up with all broadcasts on ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/starstyle-be-the-star-you-are!/id669630180?mt=2

Buy books by Cynthia Brian at http://www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store

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For photos, descriptions, links, archives, and more, visit http://www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Get inspired, motivated, and informed with StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!®

Lend us Your Ears!!!

Embed StarStyle® Be the Star You Are!® Radio

If you are a fan of the authors, experts, celebrities, and guests that appear regularly on StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® radio, you can now be sure to never miss an episode. Embed this code into your WordPress site or any site and you’ll always have Cynthia Brian and all of your favorite pioneers on the planet at your fingertips.  Upbeat, positive, life-changing talk radio broadcasting live each week since 1998. Lend us Your Ears. We are Starstyle®-Be the Star You Are!®

http://www.voiceamerica.com/jwplayer/HostPlayer.html?showid=2206

Be the Star You Are!® charity. Every Season is for Giving . https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

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Links you can use for Be the Star You Are!®

Positive Results: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/positive-results

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Starstyle, Be the Star You Are, and Miracle Moments are registered trademarks of Cynthia Brian

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RX for Health

Posted by Editor on
0
Empowerment
RX for Health

“Hope and faith flower from the cheerful seeds of the old year to the sprouting garden of the New Year’s dawn.”
~Terri Guillemets

For the past few weeks it seems that everyone I encounter has been sick with a cold or flu or has been nursing a loved one who is suffering from such malaise. The drastic change in weather conditions plus the excitement and multiple engagements of the holiday season have exacerbated this season of illnesses. To help aid in the symptoms that are bothering you, the closest pharmacy may be your garden.

Food has always been the best medicine. What we eat and how we eat it determines our vitality and our health. Culinary herbs and spices such as basil, mustard, oregano, and thyme enjoy both flavor enhancing and digestive benefits. Using echinacea or goldenseal, both bitter herbs, can be helpful in clearing congestion and boosting your immune system. Chamomile or passionflower tea helps you relax and unwind, quieting your body and your mind.

A natural remedy to soothe a sore throat and still a cough that I have been using for decades in my work as an actor is a hot tea brewed with a combination of grated ginger, torn mint leaves, the juice, rind, and leaves of a Meyer lemon mixed with honey. (If you are fortunate to be a beekeeper as our Lamorinda Weekly publishers are, the most valuable honey in the world is derived from the bees in your garden!) This herbal tea tastes delicious and really helps with clearing my sinuses. For an extra boost of vitamin C, add the juice and rind of a naval orange to the concoction. Pair almost any herb with ginger and lemon for an extra healing enhancer. If you have an upset stomach, motion sickness, or feel nauseous, chewing on a slice of ginger root relieves the symptoms rapidly.

Herbal medicine, herbalism, or phytotherapy has been utilized for centuries around the globe in many cultures for the prevention and treatment of illness. Contained in many plants are powerful chemicals that can assist with natural healing. However, before ingesting or using any plant as a medication, make sure you are certain of its identity and be aware that allergic reactions can occur. If in doubt, leave it out. Always consult your physician for any ailments that worsen. Pregnant and breast feeding women need to err on the side of caution by always discussing any new remedies or herbal concoctions with their doctor before using,

Here are a few of the botanical medicinal plants that many people already grow in their gardens that I have safely used as a natural prescription for illness.

Basil: Besides being extraordinarily flavorful in just about everything, adding basil leaves or flowers to your salads, sauces, and stews aids digestion, alleviates anxiety, and reduces gas.
As an annual herb, basil grows vigorously in the warm weather and is slowly dying back at this time of the year. Harvest the leaves now to freeze or dry.

Bee Balm is a bergamot with edible flowers. The leaves are spicy and the shoots can be made into a pesto just like mint or basil. Dry the bergamot leaves and flowers to use in a steam bath to loosen phlegm and coughing. Make an herbal compress of the plant to treat bacterial or fungal infections. Bee balm spreads vigorously by runners just like mint. It is a pollinator attractor and can be harvested all year long.

Calendula has been used for centuries to heal burns, wounds, and rashes. It can be used topically or ingested. The edible flowers are filled with antioxidants and I love adding them to salads and frittatas. Dried flowers can be added to stews and soups to enhance your immune system. Calendula spreads by seeds and in my garden, it flourishes year around because as a plant dies I scatter the seeds elsewhere and within a short time new plants emerge that flower quickly.

Lemongrass is not a very pretty plant but it is popular in Asian dishes and is used throughout the world as a tea to soothe many health issues including headaches, indigestion, anxiety, coughs, colds, flu, and insomnia. For motion sickness or flu, make a tea of lemon juice, catnip or mint, ginger, and basil. Like many herbal teas, lemongrass is best combined with ginger for swifter results.

Passionflower is used in teas to alleviate pain such as headaches, earaches, or cramps. It also promotes better sleep. In winter this vibrant vine dies back but will return in the spring, preferring a full sunshine location. It is a short-lived perennial, producing flowers for a few years before dying. The Cherokee Native Americans were known to use passionflowers to decrease inflammation from thorn wounds, although I haven’t used passionflower for this purpose…yet.

Mint is a beautiful and functional botanical herb. Mint leaves will root in a glass of water so when you find a mint that delights you, take a snip and start growing your mint garden. All mints are invasive and will take over your landscape. It’s best to keep mint in a container. Spearmint, peppermint, pineapple mint, and catnip all make excellent teas that will help ease the effects of the common cold, comfort a queasy stomach, and promote sounder sleep. As a culinary herb, it is stimulating chopped into a salad, soup, or made into a jelly.

May you benefit with wellness by visiting your garden pharmacy, Wishing you a very healthy and happy 2018.

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing,

Cynthia Brian

Not To Be Missed:
⎫ Tune in to my live radio broadcast on Wednesday, January 24 from 4-5pm PT when I’ll be interviewing renowned rosarian, Michael Marriott of David Austin Roses in England. He’ll give us the tips we need to prune as well as how to plant bare root heirlooms. http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2206/be-the-star-you-are

Read more, see photos: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1123/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-Garden-pharmacy.html

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

Wonders of Cambodia and Vietnam

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Empowerment
Wonders of Cambodia and Vietnam

 

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A fascinating, rewarding, and multilayered adventure as Cynthia Brian travels to two of the most beautiful, historic and friendly places in all of Asia–dynamic Vietnam and pastoral Cambodia

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Intriguing studies in contrast, each country possesses its own unique charm and social traditions, its own tragic history and complex past.

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From Hanoi, to Siem Riep, Angkor Wat, the Mekong Delta, and Ho Chi Minh City, Cynthia Brian provides a colorful tale of adventure, surprises, sadness, genocide, forgiveness, and recovery as she meets the people and visits the places where the past and present collide in the heat and humidity of jungles, both tropical and concrete.

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Welcome to the 19th radio broadcasting anniversary of StarStyle-Be the Star You Are! with producer and host, Cynthia Brian.

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Listen at https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/104019/19th-anniversary-of-btsya-special-with-the-timeless-wonders-of-cambodia

#StartWithaSmile at smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882 . Amazon donates to Be The Star You Are, Inc..

Read our BTSYA November Newsletter: http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/672296/162802256b/288055965/bbd34d3431/

When you are looking for upbeat, life-changing, and mind stretching information, you have come to the right place. Host Cynthia Brian takes you on a journey of exploration that will encourage, inspire, and motivate you to make positive changes that offer life enhancing results. It’s party time on StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!®. And YOU are invited! Join us LIVE 4-5pm Pt on Wednesdays or tune in to the archives at your leisure. Come play in StarStyle Country.

Help with Hurricane & Fire Relief: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/copy-of-operation-hurricane-disaste 

 

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Buy books by Cynthia Brian at http://www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store

 

For photos, descriptions, links, archives, and more, visit front cover-Growing with the goddess gardener book copy 2.jpg http://www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store

Light the Night

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Empowerment
Light the Night

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“Moon and stars are giving light.

With gifts of nature’s giving, we complete the cycle of living.

Let us give from our mind, hands, and heart to the world.” Chitrabhanu

It was a holiday tradition for our family of seven to pile into our old station wagon to head to the hills of San Francisco to experience the beauty of the decorated homes in Pacific Heights. We called our favorite street, Teddy Bear Lane, and, since we were so young we didn’t know it’s real name. (And I still don’t know where it was!) It was spectacular with a full block of beautiful Victorians lit up with teddy bears flanked by  flickering candles in every window. Another street boasted sparkling reindeer, glistening snowmen, serene nativity scenes, and some even showcased Santa and his sleigh on the steep rooftops. Gardens twinkled with illumination making the night merry and bright.

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After all the “oohing and ahhing”, we’d head to Fisherman’s Wharf to pick up fresh crabs for our Christmas Eve meal, then wander down to Ghiradelli for a cup of hot cocoa.  The coins we had been saving all year to help children enjoy a festive celebration were deposited into the bucket of the man ringing the bell from the Salvation Army. We kids dreamt of sugarplums, teddy bears, star-studded skies, and busy elves on the two-hour drive back to the ranch as we anxiously anticipated the excitement of the season.  It was a deeply satisfying annual excursion, the kind that etches itself into one’s memory forever.

Since we lived in the middle of nowhere, down a mile long lane with no street lamps to light the night, our fear was that Santa wouldn’t be able to find our farmhouse, much less our chimney. To ease our worries, our parents lit two acres of our fields, orchards, and gardens, creating a virtual runway as a navigational guide to steer Rudolph to the right place. We pulled carrots from the vegetable garden to nourish the tired reindeer.  Naturally we baked gingerbread cookies as a treat for Jolly St Nick accompanied by a big glass of milk and a note of gratitude for his generosity. We hoped his list had checked us off as “nice” instead of “naughty”.

This December as I drive around local neighborhoods, I am reliving the joyfulness of my youth without having to drive to Teddy Bear Lane in San Francisco. Residents who celebrate Christmas adorn their houses, trees, shrubs, and gardens with garlands, wreaths, ornaments, and twinkling lights of every color.  The décor is rich, festive, and fun.  It takes time and patience to unravel a string of lights, especially if they are from a previous year, but the rewards are worth the trouble.

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Aside from raking leaves, mulching, planting cover crops, and transplanting cuttings, there isn’t too much work to do in a December garden. Across the country, most landscapes are setting in for their winter slumber. With less chores to accomplish, I champion a different decorating challenge every day with the final goal of having the crape myrtle trees on my driveway shimmer under the glinting moonlight.  I’ll be snipping fresh redwood, cypress, and pine boughs for their fresh forest scent to add to doors and windows adorned with holly and pistache berries. Poinsettias are already on the porch and vases of blooming narcissci perfume the bathrooms.  Amaryllis is budding in anticipation of a December 25th appearance.

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This is an enchanted time of year. Take time to savor the seconds with family and friends as you watch the lights of the nights.  Offer your heart.  Bequeth your soul. Gift suggestions that cost you nothing include forgiving someone who has inured you, being a role model to young people, providing kindness to all, while respecting and loving yourself.

As Norman Vincent Peale wrote, “Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”  May the magic of this blessed time shine a light on you and your loved ones. Merry Christmas from my home to yours.

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Cynthia Brian’s Mid Month Garden Guide

CLEAN the dead leaves from bearded iris to prevent rot and insect hideouts.

CUT boughs of evergreens to mold into wreaths and garlands.

PLANT a cover crop to increase nitrogen and protect again winter erosion. Fava beans, clover, vetch, and mustard are excellent choices. To find seeds visit www.rareseeds.com or www.sowtrueseed.com.

GIVE the gift of my new book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, twelve months of inspiration and gardening tips to sustain your inner gardener with a full year of kindness and happiness in nature. Buy directly from www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store and 25% is a donation to Be the Star You Are!® charity PLUS you’ll receive extra goodies and an autographed copy.

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FEED the birds. Baby, it’s cold outside and our birds need food and shelter. Make sure to clean your birdhouses and feeders regularly.

WATCH for rats and mice. As the cold weather begins, vermin seek a warm bed and easy to find food.

CHECK plants that you’ve brought inside for the winter for any insect infestation.

WATER your Christmas trees. If you purchased a cut tree, make sure it has plenty of water throughout the month as indoor heat will quickly dry out any conifer.

COVER frost tender plants with burlap, sheets, newspaper, or straw. Be on the alert for swift temperature swings.

REMOVE the longer canes from wisteria.

PRUNE crape myrtles and fruit trees once all the leaves have dropped.

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RAKE leaves as they fall and add to compost pile. Allow ½ inch to an inch of leaves to remain on the soil.  Compost the rest.

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PERUSE garden catalogues and read books about landscaping as you curl up with s cup of hot chocolate or licorice cinnamon tea.

PREVENT snails and slugs from devouring your plants by adding copper strips or bowls of stale beer to the perimeter of your garden.

PICK UP guavas that fall and use for jams or juices.

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ADD a bow of freshly picked Meyer lemons to your countertop as a useful culinary display.

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FILL your Christmas tree or Hannukah bush with every family ornament that you’ve been saving for years! Nostalgia reigns supreme.

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BUY a small living cypress tree to use as an inexpensive Christmas tree in lieu of a cut fir. Some stores have been selling three-four feet specimens for less than $8.00.

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VISIT an Asian market to buy the delicious exotic Dragon fruit.

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SELECT colorful and easy to grow crotons or ginger plants to add a fantasy island fling to your festivities.

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WATCH for snow plants to sprout in the Sierras.

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MAKE a tax-deductible donation to help with hurricanes & California fires disaster relief at www.BetheStarYouAre.org.  Every dollar counts. Be the Star You Are!® cares.

It is the season of giving and sharing. Have yourselves a very Merry Christmas.

Read more: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1121/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-Light-the-night.html

Happy Gardening and Happy Growing!

Cynthia Brian

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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.

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

Available for hire.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

Garden Holly Jolly

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Empowerment
Garden Holly Jolly

“As the rain falls equally on the just and the unjust, do not burden your heart with judgments but rain your kindness equally on all.” Gautama Buddha

The month of December ushers in a time of joyfulness and giving with gardeners being the most generous givers of all! Harvests of persimmons, walnuts, and pomegranates make for baskets of nutritious and delicious gifts. Root cuttings, potted plants, and arrangements made from bark, branches, and pinecones are natural reminders of the wonders of a pre-winter season. The final flush of rose blooms mixed with orchids create a lush yet simple table display when a few glittering candles are added. With the colder weather, trees are ablaze with their final cloak of autumn hues as an array of colorful leaves litters the ground.
Chrysanthemums are thick with blossoms adding a brightness and lightness to the darkening sky.

We encourage the rain and the intermittent sunshine.

Soon our landscapes will boast sparkling lights and festive decorations to welcome family and friends to enjoy holiday treats. Children of all ages are excited for the surprises that await them for Hanukkah and Christmas.

I’m excited to announce that my much anticipated garden book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, Book I in the Garden Shorts series is now available in both color and black and white. Buy directly from www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store for the best price and autographed copies. 25% of your purchase is a donation to Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 charity (www.BetheStarYouAre.org). With every order placed directly at our store, you’ll receive seeds and extra goodies. This book is a great gift for all the gardeners and nature lovers on your holiday list.

Have a holly jolly December and remember to give yourself the gift of rest and relaxation as there are only minimal garden gardening tasks while Nature takes her annual nap.

Cynthia Brian’s December Gardening Guide

DISCOVER a living conifer at your favorite nursery that can remain in a container for a few years of Christmas decorating.

RAKE fallen leaves to add to the compost pile. Leave a layer of leaves on the ground, however, too many leaves remaining in the garden encourage disease and block the sunshine.

APPLY dormant spray to deciduous fruit trees and roses to smother insects and eggs.

REMOVE dead or dying branches from trees, bushes, and shrubs.

APPLY a layer of mulch (about three inches) to your landscape to keep the heat in and prevent soil erosion.

CONTROL peach blight and peach curl by spraying trees on a windless day with sulfur mixed with dormant oil. Two other applications will be necessary in January and February.

WRAP frost tender plants such as bougainvillea, banana, and bird of paradise in burlap to prevent damage.

GATHER an array of fresh vegetables as you design your holiday menus.

GIVE the gift of my new book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, twelve months of inspiration and gardening tips to sustain your inner gardener with a full year of kindness and happiness in nature. Buy directly from www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store and 25% is a donation to Be the Star You Are!® charity PLUS you’ll receive extra goodies and an autographed copy.

CONTINUE planting spring blooming bulbs through the end of January. You’ll enjoy a long lasting parade of flowers throughout the spring.

HANG a spray of magnolia leaves sprayed gold and silver on your front door or mailbox.

ADD merry pink berries to garlands of redwood branches to decorate a mantel or staircase.

FILL a bowl with grapes for nibbling.

SLICE orange Fuyu persimmons or seeds of bright red pomegranates into a salad for a delicious and nutritious treat drizzled with olive oil and homemade vinaigrette.

TIE a gossamer ribbon around a cyclamen, geranium, orchid, or rose to give as a festive hostess gift.

USE the bark of eucalyptus or a lichen covered branch in your holiday décor.

RAIN kindness and gentleness on everyone you encounter.

VISIT with Santa at 5A Rent-A-Space on Saturday, December 2nd from 11-4pm. Be the Star You Are!® volunteers will be present to help kids write letters to Santa. Free event with refreshments and a photo with Santa. 455 Moraga Rd. #F, Moraga. www.bethestaryouare.org/events

REST, relax, and enjoy this season of holly jolly!

Happy Gardening and Happy Growing!

READ MORE AT: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1120/Cynthia-Brians-Gardening-Guide-for-December-A-holly-jolly-garden.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. Please make a donation to help with hurricane & fire disaster relief at www.BetheStarYouAre.org.
Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show and order her books at www.StarStyleRadio.com.
My new book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, is available at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store.
Available for hire for any gardening project.
Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com
www.GoddessGardener.com

Where there is smoke…

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Empowerment
Where there is smoke…

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By Cynthia Brian

“Count the fires by glowing flames, never by the ashes that fall.

Count your days by the golden hours, don’t remember clouds at all.

Count the nights by stars, not shadows.

Count your life by smiles, not tears.

And with joy on every day, count your age by friends, not years.” 

Hello November!  We are grateful to welcome you.

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With the devastating fires of the past month throughout California, our atmosphere has been filled with smoke and ash.  The air quality has been so poor that we have been warned to stay indoors or wear N-95 rated masks when walking outside.  Wildfire smoke and soot irritates eyes, skin, throat, nose, and lungs, and is especially dangerous for anyone with asthma or other respiratory illnesses.

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But what effect does the smoke and debris have on our gardens?

Surprisingly, healthy plants have the ability to absorb the dangerous carbon dioxide and turn it into oxygen. Some landscapes may actually benefit from smoke as it diffuses the light allowing the shadows to be less intense under the top leaves of plants.  The lower leaves then produce more food for the plant. Plants use carbon dioxide as a fertilizer, cleaning the chemicals and toxic particles in the air while restoring and cleansing our atmosphere.

Houseplants are extremely beneficial in cleaning our indoor air quality. They have the ability to reduce the effects of mold, dust, microbes, and VOC’s (volatile organic compounds).  Spider plants, pothos, snake plant, spathiphyllum, philodendron, palms, and ficus benjamina are all easy to grow and work overtime to keep us breathing clean, fresh air.

Scientists are discovering the dire consequences of climate change not only on our physical well-being but on our mental fitness. Disasters such as the catastrophic hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and fires have a dramatic negative impact on our health. We can help the environment as well as our families by maintaining a positive outlook and putting a smile on our face while we work together diligently to reduce our carbon footprint.

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Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for November

Want to protect your valuable plants from any negative effects from the smoke?

Here are a few simple tasks to undertake.

  1. 1. Any vegetable or fruit still in the orchard or garden needs to be washed thoroughly before consuming.  A solution of vinegar and water is a time- tested cleanser.
  2. 2. Compost any damaged bush, flower, fruit, or vegetable.
  3. 3. Spray your plants with a hose to remove any clogged particles. Continue to do this until you see a difference.
  4. 4. Fertilize the landscape now, including your grass and lawn.
  5. 5. Add three inches of mulch to your garden if you didn’t already do it last month.
  6. 6. Any bare earth needs a cover crop. Clover, alfalfa, wildflowers, fava beans, vetch, and mustard will add nitrogen to the soil.
  7. 7. Remove any dead or dying trees or shrubs. When planting new trees, space them at least 10 feet apart.
  8. 8. Be fire-wise by clearing your roof, gutters, eaves, decks, and patios of debris.
  9. 9. Mow your lawns and keep them green. Lawns clean the air we breathe, absorb smoke and pollutants, and change sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide into oxygen. A swath of green offers a healthy filtration system while being a flame retardant safety zone. Green lawn lawn2.jpg

Make fire prevention a top priority by creating a defensible space around your home and garden. Fires burn only when fuel is present and a dry landscape is fuel for the fire.

Other Tips for your November To-Do List:

  • WINTERIZE your garden. Cover frost prone plants and shrubs with blankets or burlap. Wash patio furniture before storing or covering. Move fragile container plants under an eave or away from harsh winds.
  • PRUNE your fruit trees and crape myrtles once all the leaves have fallen. Keep branches a minimum of 6 feet from the ground.
  • RAKE leaves to add to the compost pile. It is especially important to rake redwood and pine needles as they tend to blanket an area suffocating any other living things.
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  • PLANT bulbs for spring blooms. (You have been refrigerating your tulips and crocuses, right?)
  • CLEAN gutters of all debris to prevent clogging when the rains come.
  • SOW lawn seed and keep the seed watered until it sprouts.
  • PICK guavas and bananas as they ripen.
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  • WAIT another month before harvesting persimmons. If you are having problems with the birds and squirrels eating your unripe fruit, pick early, and refrigerate.
  • PLANT garlic and shallots before the weather turns cold. Easy to grow, they will over-winter to supply you with big savory bulbs for a summer harvest.
  • ARRANGE roses, clivia, euphorbia, and branches for a beautiful fall display.
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  • GROW chrysanthemums. These long blooming flowers are available in a variety of colors and textures adding a smile to any visitor.
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  • PROVIDE food and water for the birds, especially since many are migrating.
  • HARVEST cruciferous vegetables including cauliflower, broccoli, kale, carrots, beets, Swiss Chard, Brussels  Sprouts as well as arugula and nasturtiums for your healthy meals. These foods are high in antioxidants which support the body’s ability to fight off toxins and reduce chronic inflammation.
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  • AERATE your lawns. For more information on grass selections and the benefits of planting grass see www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1117/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-The-grass-is-always-greener.html
  • MARVEL at the changing colors of the leaves on trees, specifically Japanese maple, pistache, liquid amber, and crape myrtle.
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  • CHECK out the glorious bark of the eucalyptus tree and the hanging trumpets of the Angel trumpet vine.
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  • CUT a few branches from grapevines to use as table décor for an autumn gathering.
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  • BRING houseplants outside for a shower and day in the cooler sunshine. They’ll be ready for a winter of air freshening back inside.
  • ADD a peaceful, quiet element to a container by planting a white mandevilla. If you protect it from frost, you’ll get an annual display of florets.
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  • PACK  “To Go emergency bags” and keep one in your home and in your car. In case of a disaster, every second counts.
  • TAKE a break and head to the beach. The sea air will refresh and reawaken your joyful spirit. (It works every time for me!)
  • GET ready for Thanksgiving with a garden display of mixed pumpkins, gourds, and scarecrows.
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Gratitude is the theme for November. The days are short. The soil is warm. The nights are cool. We pray for rain and for peace on our planet. Our thoughts and prayers go to all of those who have suffered in the recent natural disasters.  It’s been a challenging few months for our country and our world, yet despite the tragedies, let us all count our star blessings and keep on smiling.

Happy Gardening and Happy Growing!

Read more at Lamorinda Weekly: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1118/Cynthia-Brians-Gardening-Guide-for-November-Where-there-is-smoke.html

Cynthia Brian

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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. Please make a donation to help with hurricane & fire disaster relief at www.BetheStarYouAre.org.  

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

My new book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, is available at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. Will ship end of November.

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Available for hire for any gardening project.  

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

The Grass is Always Greener…

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Empowerment
The Grass is Always Greener…

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By Cynthia Brian

“Society is like a lawn where every roughness is smoothed, every bramble eradicated, and where the eye is delighted by the smiling verdure of a velvet surface.” Washington Irving

The cool evenings, warm days, and majestic orange sunsets signal the season of fall. While children will be preparing for the festivities of Halloween, gardeners need to be thinking about greening their lawn costumes. Much to my dismay, throughout the drought our water company encouraged homeowners to dispense with growing grass and either let lawns die or replant with succulents and other drought resistant species. In my humble opinion, this was terrible advice as a healthy lawn offers so many benefits not only to the environment but also to our health and wellbeing. It is also much more expensive to revamp a landscape than it is to maintain it, even minimally. With the drought in our rearview mirror, my email has been blowing up with requests on how to re-install a green lawn.

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Thankfully all is not lost as autumn is the perfect time to plant a new lawn or reseed an existing one. Most grass seeds that you scatter in late October or early November will thicken and be well established by spring. Over-seeding a healthy existing lawn works wonders but if you have multiple bare spots, using a grass patch is a super alternative.

“What type of grass should I plant?” you may be thinking. Several readers have asked about UC Verde buffalograss. Although I have never set out plugs of this buffalograss, it is my understanding that this particular grass must be planted in the spring as it goes dormant in the winter, allowing for more weeds to take hold. It is also work intensive as you cannot just toss seeds or plant sod.  Plugs need to be planted on a twelve-inch center. Once established, it is resistant to most turf damaging insects and diseases and requires less water than other grasses.  Since it is seedless, it produces less seed heads resulting in less pollen, which may be of interest to allergy sufferers.

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My personal preferences to obtaining a greener grass is to use seeds from Pearl’s Premium (www.PearlsPremium.com), red or white clover, or plant plugs of isotoma, also known as blue star creeper. Full disclosure, I do not work for, nor have I any affiliation with any of these three favorite lawn alternatives. I recommend them because they work. You can plant just one species for a clean, fresh, green blanket of tactile grass, or you can mix and match as long as you realize that your lawn will resemble a patchwork quilt.

Here’s a run down on my three preferred lawns:

Pearl’s Premium: www.PearlsPremium.com

Although you can start from scratch, I really appreciate being able to over seed my existing lawn with grass seed that grows roots to 20 inches deep, starves out the weeds, and is easy to maintain. Pearl’s Premium is constantly upgrading its seed to be the most effective for creating a beautiful lawn. This past year it added a thin white coating to the seed to help gardeners know where exactly the seed has been tossed. The coating also thwarts our feathered diners, although I suggest putting screens over areas with new lawn seed if you witness birds pecking at the ground. Spread the lawn seed at a rate of 10 pounds per 1000 square feet right over your existing lawn. Add organic fertilizer and top dress with ¼ inch of organic compost.  I like to spread the seed right before a rain, but otherwise water twice a day until the grass sprouts then, be attentive to watering needs. In our warmer climate, to maintain the greenest color, you may have to water deeply twice a week, but it will be less than using other grass seeds. Once established, the lawn gets so lush and thick that you may need to adjust your sprinkler heads. Although many people have indicated that they mow once a month, I have found that for the most manicured look, it is necessary to mow at least twice a month, or ideally, once a week at a mower height of 3.5 inches.

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Clover

At one time clover was systematically eradicated from lawns using pesticides. But as gardeners now realize the importance of organic living, more homeowners are including clover in their grass. As a legume, clover has ability to turn nitrogen into fertilizer using the bacteria in its root system. It stays green all year, even when it is not watered on a regular basis. I love it because it thrives in conditions where other grass seeds struggle. It does fine in the sun or the shade and even in poorly drained soil. My favorite parts of growing clover besides its self-fertilizing system, are the beautiful pink or white flowers that crown the tops of the clover when it is left uncut. Butterflies, bees, and beneficial insects flock to clover. Don’t be afraid of the honeybees as they usually don’t sting when away from their hives. Clover does best when it is mixed with grass seed. I mix mine with Pearl’s Premium. Try incorporating 2 ounces of clover for 1000 square feet of lawn.

By planting the two together, you’ll have a minimum care green lawn.

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Isotoma—Blue Star Creeper

This lawn substitute is best used in small areas or between stepping stones. I like it for its tiny blue star flowers that surface and shine brightly spring through summer.  I would only use it in combination with clover and Pearl’s Premium because I have found that in the cold months it has a tendency to look brown and ragged. It likes full sunshine, doesn’t require much water, and sustains immense foot traffic, both human and animal, without damage. It sends out runners and creeps along and is especially good as a ground cover. If you like the idea of a patchwork lawn, buy a flat or two of isotoma and plant the plugs randomly throughout your existing grass as a filler and thriller.

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For homeowners who want instant gratification, sod is the answer. The caveat with planting sod is that the roots don’t grow deeply enough and sod has a shorter lifespan. You can lengthen the longevity by over-seeding when bare spots begin appearing. By throwing seed on top of the sod, keeping the grass watered and fed, you’ll be able to have a long lasting green oasis.

Benefits of Maintaining a Lawn

Although many people tend to discourage lawns in landscapes as a water conservation method, I am a firm believer that the humble grass shoot offers benefits to our health and wellbeing.  Besides the fact that children and animals enjoy a safe, comfortable place to tumble and toss, lawns contribute to better air quality by trapping dust and smoke particles while cooling the air from the ground up. Our environments are made more habitable by the generation of oxygen absorbing the pollutants of carbon and sulfur dioxide. Lawns clean the air we breathe. Erosion is controlled because water can’t carve deep recesses in a thickly planted lawn. Water filters through turf grass making our ground waters safer and cleaner for the environment. A patch of green soothes the eye in viewing a landscape, offering a resting space between the color explosions of flowers and shrubs. And a huge plus in our fire prone communities, lawns offer a buffer zone for fire prevention.

The grass will only be greener if you maintain it. You’ll be rewarded with better health for you and the environment. Your green grass is your safety zone. May all your roughness be smoothed as you delight in your velvet verdure.

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Cynthia Brian’s Mid Month Garden Guide

  • FIRE danger is at a high point this month. Be alert. Remove brush, wood, dry grass, and all other flammable materials from around the perimeter of your home.  Clear your roof and gutters of leaves. Create 100 feet of defensible space around your home and structures.
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  • SIGN up for emergency notifications at www.nixle.us. The easiest way is to do it through text messaging on your smart phone. Text 888777.  In the message area, type in your zip code. You will get an alert in case of any impending emergency.
  • APPLY deer repellent to young trees and shrubs. As winter nears the deer are hungrier and will do damage to saplings causing branch injury and even inviting diseases.
  • EAT fresh locally grown figs and grapes.
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  • CHECK for decay or damage to trees to thwart injury or downing of trees when storms arrive.
  • MULCH your landscape to prevent erosion in winter and protect plants from a freeze.
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  • SWIM a few laps in a garden pool before the cold weather begins.
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  • ORDER my new gardening book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, from my on-line store and receive extra goodies. 25 % of the sales will benefit Be the Star You Are!® 501c3 helping in disaster relief. http://www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store

PRAY for the firefighters, first responders, evacuees, shelter volunteers and everyone that is affected by this most disastrous fire in California history. Napa County is my birthplace and the home of my family, our ranch, and vineyards. We will rise again! front cover-Growing with the goddess gardener book copy.jpg

Happy Gardening and Happy Growing!

Read more in the Lamorinda Weekly:https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1117/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-The-grass-is-always-greener.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. Please make a donation to help with hurricane disaster relief at www.BetheStarYouAre.org.  

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

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

Available for hire for any gardening project.  

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

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