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Dream Green

Posted by presspass on
Dream Green


“A dreamer dreams that everyone else in his dream must awaken before he can awaken.”

~ Ramana Maharshi

After my column, the Power of RE was published, I received numerous positive comments about how readers were implementing RE into their lives. It is gratifying to know that people read my articles, but I’ve always wondered what people do with the information they receive. 

Orinda resident, Kathy Boyle, showed me. She wrote: “I was intrigued by your ideas in your Lamorinda Weekly article about the Power of REhttp://lamorindanews.com/archive/issue1323/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-Garden-Trends-for-2020-Part-1-The-power-of-RE.html As I was reading your article, I was envisioning those ideas in the context of gardening and recycling in my everyday life.  But then that wonderful Cervantes quote inspired me to amplify the ideas to how I am trying to live my life, especially during these very odd times.” (“Take a deep breath of life and consider how it should be lived.” ~Miguel de Cervantes) 

An elementary school Resource Specialist for forty years, Kathy had learned the power and effectiveness of ideas being created as colorful bulletin boards for kids. Now in retirement, she uses doors, walls, windows, mirrors, and even the shower door as her special bulletin boards by designing colorful visual pages to inspire herself. She also crafts pocket cards to carry with her on her hikes in nature. Her innovations helped me re-imagine my dream for this 2nd part in the 2020 Trends series. Thanks, Kathy for sharing your talents and for reaching out. Your art has reinvigorated me.

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Green careers are on the rise. From Boomers to Generation Z, people are finally understanding the call of the wild. From watering vacation gardens to talking to struggling plants, jobs are waiting to be filled. Horticultural therapy and plant blogging can become full-time careers. As our climate warms and more natural disasters occur, it is time for everyone to wake up to dream green.

Growing up on our farm, to be “dirt poor” meant that we had plenty of land, but not enough money. I remember the first time I visited New York City when I was nineteen and witnessed tiny bags of “dirt” being sold for $5.00 and more. I telephoned home and told my Daddy that we could be rich if we packaged and sold our acres of dirt. He responded that there was a big difference between soil and dirt in our century. Healthy soil is rich in vitamins, minerals, and organic matter. Dirt doesn’t have any nutritional value and isn’t valuable for growing anything. Unfortunately, today soil has been stripped of its nutrients.  Erosion and deforestation have washed away one-third of the world’s topsoil. Crops are planted for yield, not for nutrition. According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, if this negative trend doesn’t retreat soon, organically rich soil will be eliminated by 2050.

We have to dream green.

By embracing regenerative gardening practices, changing methods of farming and forestry, we can mitigate carbon and reverse the damage. We need to rebuild soil with organic matter, restore degraded soil, and reduce runoff. By composting, cover cropping, and no-tilling practices we can conserve wildlife and return to native soil. People are waking up to sustainability and the importance of caring for our environment. Composting reduces household waste by 40%. By growing organically, we revitalize the soil naturally. Planting cover crops of alfalfa, clover, beans, and mustard will control weeds and add nutrients to the soil. When planted in lawns, clover adds nitrogen to the earth, eliminating the need for additional fertilizer. 

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What about the greening of indoor spaces? Houseplants are connecting people with nature while cleaning the indoor air. Many young people have less income and live in smaller spaces. Succulents, bromeliads, peace lilies, snake plants, aloes, and fiddleleaf fig are easy to grow and long-lasting. Taking a class, attending a seminar, or watching how-to videos on YouTube are all terrific ways to learn more about growing nature inside.


Pollution, pesticides, UV radiation, and climate change are all leading to the destruction of habitat for amphibians and wildlife. If your garden is silent, it is not healthy. We need the croaking of the frogs, singing of the birds, and the hooting of owls. They keep our gardens vital by dining on mosquitoes, beetles, snails, rats, gophers, and other pests. Plant ferns near water sources to protect frogs, toads, and turtles. Submerge water lilies to oxygenate the water while providing cover.


Mushrooms are the trendy super-food of 2020.  Some species of fungi eat plastic and could help with rapid plastic decomposition. Edible mushrooms can prevent or treat hundreds of conditions. Although you don’t want to forage unless you are certain that a mushroom is not poisonous, if you want to grow mushrooms, inoculated logs can be purchased.

Being “woke” is a popular refrain these days. If we are going to dream green, we have to wake up to smell the roses. 2020 is the year that we must conceive unique sustainable ideas so that we achieve a world where we can breathe, live, and enjoy.

Implement the power of RE and dream green.

water lily.jpghttps://www.CynthiaBrian.com


Happy Gardening. Happy Growing.

Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for January

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BE AWARE of coyotes. I have had numerous reports of coyotes jumping backyard fences or digging under them to grab cats, chickens, rabbits, and small dogs. Since the autumn fires, food is sparse. and the coyotes are roaming neighborhoods. 

READ this Asbestos and Natural Disasters Guide that covers the impact of wildfires on structures made with asbestos:

California-specific: https://www.asbestos.com/states/california

DRY branches from tree trimmings for kindling.

BRIGHTEN your landscape, porch, or balcony by planting primroses which come in a variety of colors. 

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REPAIR broken pipes and irrigation systems while you have time.

PLANT bare root roses and fruit trees. Follow instructions on the packaging. Soak roots for a full 24 hours and cut off broken roots.  Plant the bud union 3 inches above the ground.

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REPOT potted plants you received as gifts of the holiday.  Remove wrapping to allow for good drainage.  Trim spent blossoms, water, and fertilize regularly.

REEDUCATE yourself about mulch: https://www.akhomeshow.com/mulch-information-guide.php

REREAD The Power of RE and incorporate RE into your personal, business, and gardening goals and resolutions for the year. http://lamorindanews.com/archive/issue1323/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-Garden-Trends-for-2020-Part-1-The-power-of-RE.html

REST. It is winter and time for a break. Sit by the fire on non-Spare the Air days. Drink hot cocoa or hot mulled wine. Dream a green dream. 


Photos and more: http://lamorindanews.com/archive/issue1324/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-2020-Garden-Trends-Part-2-Dream-green.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 Are!® 501 c3. 

Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy a copy of her books, Growing with the Goddess Gardener and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers at https://www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-storecyntha brian with books.jpg. 


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




The Power of RE

Posted by presspass on
The Power of RE

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LAMORINDA WEEKLY | Digging Deep with Cynthia Brian Garden Trends for 2020, Part 1

Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-Garden-Trends-for-2020-Part-1-The-power-of-RE.pdf[1/6/2020 6:49:00 PM]


Cynthia Brian

Published January 8th, 2020

Digging Deep with Cynthia Brian

Garden Trends for

2020, Part 1

By Cynthia Brian

“Take a deep breath of life and consider how it should be


~Miguel de Cervantes


A new year, great cheer, time to eliminate the fear

of getting dirty and starting a garden. So many people

confide to me that they have “brown thumbs.” I don’t

believe it is possible. There are only those who have not

tried, tried again. There is no failure in the garden.

Failure is fertilizer. Every time I have a plant that does

not do well, I send it to the compost pile where it will

renew my garden. Pledge to get down in the dirt this

year and experiment with plants. Once you have

success, you’ll be hooked on gardening, and your

vivacity will soar.


To help you get into the swing of things, I’m

offering you the top trends that are predicted for 2020

that have been formulated by the Garden Media Group.

These trends help you choose plants, products, and

services that assist you to survive and thrive in the

outdoor world of Mother Nature. Who knows, with so much information you may become an influencer, or

even a trendsetter yourself.

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Dive in. Read the research and have some fun with regreening our Earth.

Currently, more than 50% of the world’s population resides in cities. By 2050, that number will grow

to 70%. With so much connectivity and urban living, people are hungry for nature. Because of urbanization,

it will become increasingly imperative for cities and businesses to design tranquil, plant-filled spaces for

people to refresh and enjoy. We live in the age of social media, and parks, forests, water elements and

sustainable edible gardens are critical not only for recreational purposes but to get away from the hustle and

bustle of urban living. People with knowledge of plants are in demand.

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More trees will be planted as a cost-saving strategy to improve the health of communities while

controlling stormwater runoff, reducing air pollution, and mitigating the heat. Green environments will

become the norm with green businesses assisting in the education of the public about the necessity of

becoming stewards of our planet.

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We currently live in a throw-away society of major consumption. Many of us remember the days when

appliances lasted 20 to 30 years. My mom’s washing machine lasted 45 years! Today, we are lucky to get

seven to 10 years before replacement. When I was a girl, I learned to sew and made all my clothes. Today I

mend torn clothing and alter my wardrobe to replicate current fashions. I don’t toss them. Since 1970,

global consumption tripled with only 9% of consumed materials reused. This material “mismanagement”

contributes to 67% of global greenhouse gas emissions. It’s easy to reuse, repurpose or re-engineer items

we already have to create new items we need.


Just today I was rereading a letter from my cousin who wrote to me about how he called my dad

“Superman” because he was one of those farmers who always stopped to help anyone in distress and could

fix anything and everything with baling wire and electrical tape. Daddy did more with less and he taught his

growing family to do the same. Repair, reuse, recycle, repurpose, remake, renew! We were all doing these

things before it was in vogue. Now the “re” everything is trending. It’s the power of RE.

When you buy a plant, either return the plastic container or reuse it. A major goal for 2020 is minimal


Are you looking for a great job or second career? Consider horticulture. Did you know that in 2018,

gardening in America grew to an industry of $40.6 billion according to Euro Monitor? By 2023, gardening is

expected to reach $49.3 billion, meaning that more labor will be necessary.


The next generations will need to learn to grow more food. Encourage children to seek an education

that will offer them expertise in urban agriculture, environmental sustainability, or garden installation. Start

on the job training now at home, in your backyard. Give your kids seeds to plant, weeds to pull, and areas

to irrigate. Allow them to grow a few vegetables to make a pizza. They’ll be happier, healthier, and will

become automatic stewards of our soils.


As we begin 2020, take a deep breath and walk around your neighborhood. Consider the importance

of the flora around you. What can you do personally to be more sustainable and regreen our planet?

I’ll have more information for you in my next column. Until then, remember that failure is fertilizer and

do your part to implement the power of RE.

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Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for January

RECYCLE unflocked Christmas trees without any stands by the curbside on your regular garbage service day. Remove all lights, ornaments, tinsel, and trimmings. For trees over 8 feet, the collection company requests that you cut them in half. 

RETURN grass clippings to your lawn. Grass mulching can fertilize the soil and minimize the amount of water needed to keep your yard green and healthy.

PRUNE roses and crape myrtles throughout this month.

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REVISIT the wonders of winter in the Sierras, in the vineyards, or public gardens. 

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RE-BOOST your vitamin C with fresh fruit from citrus trees. Ripening for the next two months you will enjoy sweet navel orange, lime, lemon, grapefruit, and Clementine.

REDEEM a planting offer from David Austin roses for 15% off with Offer code UKA or UKB before March 6 at www.davidaustinroses.com

PERUSE spring catalogs for ideas on planting then regift them to a fellow gardener. 

PROTECT plants from frost or freezing by covering with burlap or tarps.

HARVEST potatoes and beets.

REPLENISH bird feeders with nutritious seeds keeping our avian visitors nearby while supplementing their dietary requirements during the cold season.

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REFRESH your vitamin D requirement by spending 15 minutes outdoors daily.

RESOLVE to utilize the power of RE in 2020.

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Happy Gardening. Happy Growing. Happy New Year!

Photos at: http://lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1323/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-Garden-Trends-for-2020-Part-1-The-power-of-RE.html

Cynthia Brian.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 Are!® 501 c3. 

Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy a copy of her books, Growing with the Goddess Gardener and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. 

Cynthia Brian books banner.jpg

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



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