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Road Trip Guide, Garden Rooms, Editing Tips By Cynthia Brian

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Empowerment
Road Trip Guide, Garden Rooms, Editing Tips By Cynthia Brian

If you are looking for upbeat, life-changing, and mind stretching information, you’ve 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.


Going on vacation in your car? Do you know how to pack for safety, fun, and flexibility. AAA has numerous helpful tips and we’ll glean the best ones to save you the effort. Happy Traveling.

You’ve heard of creating garden rooms. Take a stroll through an eclectic landscape with Cynthia Brian as she describes the various rooms created by a collector of all things cast off and cast iron, who converted salvaged junk into artistic architecture that transforms his garden into an alluring adventure of discovery.

What is editing and do you need it for your manuscript? People are often confused about the importance of editing, yet a clean, error free copy will reap benefits. Learn what the different types of editing are.

Listen at Voice America: https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/99368/road-trip-guide-garden-rooms-editing
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Summer Loving in the Garden by Cynthia Brian

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Empowerment
Summer Loving in the Garden by Cynthia Brian

Boot Basil

“It’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” Marilyn Monroe.

What a difference a week makes! Our weather went from cool, drizzly, and overcast to three digit temperatures in less than seven days.  Our emerald green hills metamorphosed into golden grasslands seemingly overnight. Mother Nature is preparing us for the forthcoming summer solstice. Pool parties, barbecues, and kids playing outside portend a pleasant June. How wonderful it is to sit in a comfortable chaise on the patio on a warm evening admiring the landscape and the stars. Welcome to blooms in June!

I was delighted to have my daughter, Heather (yes, named after the flower), spend a couple of weeks with me recently.  The first words out of her mouth as she walked into the garden were “Mom, your landscape looks like a scene from Alice in Wonderland. It’s so colorful, bold, beautiful.” Indeed, my garden is a riot of hues with roses, gladiolas, lilies, love in the mist, calendulas, clematis, petunias, dahlias, hibiscus, geraniums, pelargoniums, calla lilies, nasturtiums, butterfly bush, guavas, daisies,  poppies, osteospermum, chamomile, salvias, lavender, numerous herbs, and flowering succulents.  Many of the blooms are edible, gracing my salads, sauces, and stir-fry.
J. Berry New Social Butterfly
There is no mystery to incorporating some summer loving into your garden. My secret sauce is to plant a plethora of perennials and bulbs enhanced by color spots of annuals augmented by shrubs that bloom, trees that bear fruit, with edibles everywhere. Add your unique creative artistry to create your personalized haven and voila! Instant success, year after year.

The elements you must consider whenever you are planting perennials or any plant are soil, light, moisture needs, climate, colors, and plant qualities. Once you know what you like, you can layer your landscape to attract the pollinators, birds, and wildlife, all the while being water conscientious and employing practical earth stewardship.
flower arrangment roses-butterfly bush
Butterflies are everywhere and the hummingbirds are the happiest I’ve witnessed in years flitting from blossom to blossom with stops at the fountain for a quick drink.  Hummingbirds have long memories and when you feed them they will return year after year, even migrating over 4000 miles to get to their preferred gardens.  Favorite sources of food for hummingbirds include the bright colored blossoms of penstemon, columbine, agastache, monarda, salvia, fire poker, heuchera, rosemary, honeysuckle, fuchsia, and any throated vine.  Don’t forget to add a gurgling water source where they will entertain you with their bathing and sipping antics.

Before hitting store shelves, fruits, and vegetables travel an average of 1500 miles, reducing quality, nutrition, and taste. To increase flavor and boost the health of your family, introduce vegetables, herbs, and fruits into your organic gardening practice.  Buy four-inch pots to gallon containers of tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, eggplants, and whatever else you find at your local retailer to enhance your barbecues and patio parties.  You don’t need a formal vegetable garden. Just tuck plants between your perennials in a place that is easily accessible to your kitchen for easy plucking.  Be whimsical.  Have some fun.  Do as my daughter did and plant basil in a boot, thyme in a wine box, or green onions in a clear jam jar filled with water.
loquats ripe
Who doesn’t love walking barefoot in the grass on a warm summer day? Because of water restrictions, many people have allowed their lawns to die back or have replaced them with native and drought resistant plantings. If you don’t have a lawn, your barefooting may have to take place in one of the parks or golf links. The Pearl’s Premium grass seed that I sowed earlier in the spring is proving to be quite excellent. Although it is not the lush deep green it was during the rainy days, it has remained a lighter jade color with a watering schedule of every five days, albeit with a few brown spots where the sprinkler missed. To walk on it is heavenly as it is very thick and carpet-like. Weeds are minimal and mowing is currently once a week. As the hot weather increases, I’ll be watching closely for its drought resistant tendencies. Thus far, I am very pleased and will over-seed again in fall to enhance the lawn.  If your favorite retailer doesn’t carry the seed, Pearl’s Premium is available on-line at www.PearlsPremium.com. Lawns are the best places for children, cartwheels and croquet.

Summer is almost here and I am definitely in love with the season. Add summer loving to your garden and be anything but boring! Share the love. Be ridiculous!
bucket of cut f2
Cynthia Brian’s Mid Month Fresh Garden Tips

TRY something new.  How about growing blueberries? Find a spot with six hours of sunshine, amend the soil to make it more acidic (blueberries like a PH of 4.5 to 5.5), protect the bush from the hungry birds, harvest for your breakfast and snacks.
ASK questions from gardeners you admire or at your local nursery for tips you can implement.
HANG a hammock or two between trees or posts for a cozy place to relax, unwind, and read a good book. Pretend you are on a holiday.
PLANT a pollinator garden. It’s good for the birds, bees, butterflies, moths, and healthy flies as well as the garden and you.
OPEN your nature medicine cabinet this summer. Apply aloe on sunburns instead of buying a bottle of burn ointment. Spread honey on cuts and scrapes to reduce healing time. Honey boasts anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
CONCOCT a cocktail with fennel, mint, dill, cucumber, and edible flowers from your garden. Wow your friends with your unique creations.
PLAN ahead for bulbs for fall. Check out catalogs and garden magazines for new releases.
CUT an armful of flowers for beautiful bouquets or arrangements. Perennials will re-bloom.
GET creative with plant markers by using wooden clothespins, utensils, or other items headed for the trash.
PICK plums, apricots, cherries, mulberries, and loquats.
PULL out errant blackberry bushes you find growing in your garden. Blackberry plants multiply quickly and will overrun your garden. Buy a thorn-less variety and keep it contained.
PROTECT your plants from deer, rabbits, and gophers with wire, fencing, or organic sprays.
LOWER your stress level by sniffing citrus-oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and tangerines.
REPEL mosquitoes and other pesky bugs by placing sage and rosemary on the barbecue. The smoke keeps the insects away.
SOW sweet potato eyes and eat the greens while they are maturing.
DEADHEAD spent perennial blossoms and rose blooms weekly to encourage continuous blooms.

Happy Gardening and Happy Growing!
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bougainvilla

©2016
Cynthia Brian
The Goddess Gardener
Starstyle® Productions, llc
Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com
www.GoddessGardener.com
925-377-STAR
Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show at www.StarStyleRadio.com
Garden and plant consultations by appointment.

Your Garden is Your Canvas by Cynthia Brian

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Empowerment
Your Garden is Your Canvas by Cynthia Brian

jacobs coat rose

By Cynthia Brian

“The world is but a canvas to the imagination.” Henry David Thoreau

With summer approaching quickly, June is possibly one of the busiest months. Graduations, Father’s Day, weddings, birthdays, vacations, swim meets, pool parties…it seems that these thirty days offer the most opportunities for celebrations. It is time to fire up the barbeque, sweep the patio, freshen the flowerbeds, and get ready for some serious fun.  By growing your own food, you and your family will be healthier, happier, and enjoy more exercise. Get your children involved in the seed sowing, planting, and caring process to help them understand how food travels from the ground to the table.  Allow your garden to become your artistic canvas to showcase your imagination and creativity throughout the summer.
sweet peas climbing
SEED SOWING
This is a fun project to do with children providing pride in growing. Start with radishes, lettuces, kale, zinnias, marigolds, or beans as they germinate quickly.  An edible garden is especially popular with young kids.
⎫ RECYCLE plastic six-packs, flats, and pots to use to grow your own seedlings. Wash well before beginning the process and make sure the drainage holes are not plugged.
⎫ HANG a shoe organizer on a sunny wall with the pockets filled to ¾ full with soil for a fun vertical garden that is especially excellent for herbs, lettuces, and other compact plants.
⎫ BUY sterile seed-starting mix, which doesn’t have any soil in it when you want to plant seeds in a container.
⎫ READ seed packets carefully. It’s critical to know how to plant each variety of seed, what amount of water, sunshine, and care it will need. You also want to know how big the plant will become.
⎫ PLANT extra seeds as many will not germinate.
⎫ KEEP seedlings moist or they will shrivel and die as summer approaches. Don’t over water or seeds will drown.
⎫ THIN as necessary. Discards the remnants to the compost bin.
⎫ FERTILIZE with organic micronutrients once a plant has several leaves.
⎫ TRANSPLANT when each plant is big enough to outgrow its planter.
⎫ REWARD yourself and your children with the harvest of vegetables or flowers.
Nasturium wraps
SUN SAFE TIPS:
National Sun Safety Week is June 5-11th.
⎫ APPLY sunscreen daily and especially before going out into the garden.  Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer.
⎫ WEAR a hat to protect your head and sunglasses to protect your eyes.
⎫ CHECK your skin for any abnormalities and see a physician if you suspect problems.
peach roses
FIREPROOF YOUR GARDEN
It’s probably not possible to completely fire-proof any area, but follow guidelines issued by the fire protection districts to create defensible spaces no later than June 15th.
⎫ PREVENT embers from igniting your home in the event of a fire by clearing leaves, needles, and debris from gutters, eaves, porches, and decks.
⎫ REMOVE dead vegetation from under your deck and within ten feet of your home.
⎫ TRIM weeds and grasses to three inches.
⎫ PRUNE tree branches so that the lowest branches are between six-ten feet from the ground.
⎫ REDUCE “fire fuel laddering” by pruning to separate trees from bushes.
⎫ MAINTAIN your property and weed wack or pull any re-growth.

pink peony
Cynthia Brian’s Fresh Tips for Your June Garden

⎫ AVOID using pesticides and insecticides as they kill the beneficial insects along with the invasive. Bees, bats, and bugs that help our crops reproduce and flowers flourish can be destroyed.
⎫ DINE on nasturtium! For a stunning and delicious appetizer, roll curried egg salad into the peppery leaves of nasturtium. Add edible flowers to the platter. Delicious!
⎫ PACK your salads with nutritional vitamins A, C, K, iron, calcium, potassium, and folate by growing leafy greens such as frisee, mache, romaine, bok choy, arugula, and kale. Don’t forget to toss in radish and turnip tops, too, for an added crunch.
⎫ BUILD a raised bed for a low maintenance edible feast. Make sure to put mesh wire on the bottom to keep out the gophers, moles, and rats. Fill with clean soil for best results.
⎫ ADD a gently meandering dry creek with gravel and rocks to help with drainage, runoff, and provide a natural look to your landscaping.  For a shaded area, plant with hosta, ferns, and lamium.
⎫ INVITE butterflies into your garden by providing a sunny spot for them to land, shrubs for shelter, masses of flowers for nectar, and a saucer of water for a sweet drink. Make sure to change the water daily so as not to attract mosquito larvae.
⎫ DEADHEAD roses as soon as flowers are spent to encourage continual re-blooming. This is one of the best years ever for the prolific showcase of these prize winners.
⎫ RECYCLE brown and green waste, fruit, vegetable scraps, coffee, and tea into a natural fertilizer. Make your own compost all year round to feed your plants.
⎫ PICK bouquets of vibrant sweet peas and clematis for long lasting fragrant arrangements to brighten your interiors as well as your outdoor dining areas.
⎫ GROW cymbidium orchids in containers located in a north or northwest location to enjoy annual blooms. Cymbidiums bloom for months, and can be brought indoors for further pleasure. When the spires fade, return the pots to the coolness of outdoors.
⎫ FERTILIZE rhododendrons, azaleas, roses, and camellias.
⎫ ENJOY your special celebrations in your charmingly re-freshed garden.
⎫ REFLECT your unique personality with your plantings and artistry. Be creative in the outdoors.  It’s more fun!
columbine in riverbed
Congratulations to everyone who is graduating and commemorating a special occasion.  Happy Father’s Day to all the dedicated dads, especially those who share the respect for Mother Nature with their children.

Happy gardening. Happy growing!

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©2016
Cynthia Brian
The Goddess Gardener
Starstyle® Productions, llc
Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com
www.GoddessGardener.com
925-377-STAR
Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show at www.StarStyleRadio.com
Garden and plant consultations by appointment.

A Dad’s Dream

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Empowerment
A Dad’s Dream

cyn-dad's garden

Digging Deep-Gardening with Cynthia Brian

A Dad’s Dream, a Mom’s Desire

“The most beautiful view is the one I share with you.”
~ Source unknown
Two decades ago, a San Francisco family made their way across the bridge in search of a quiet neighborhood, warm weather, and good schools within easy access of the freeway. At the top of a private drive in Lamorinda, Pam’s instinct encouraged her to place a bid on the first house she saw-a stylish Cape Cod backed up to a hill of majestic oaks with plenty of privacy on ¾ of an acre. When Bob saw the property, though it was overgrown with poison oak, blackberry bushes, and brush, he could visualize the garden of his dreams. Together they envisioned a landscape that would look like it had always existed in nature, albeit, with a little help from a professional. The property was cleared of weeds and debris, deer fencing was erected, new topsoil was delivered, and the design was executed.

Pam's pond

The family wanted a babbling brook that cascaded into a pond. Forty tons of boulders were trucked in from a Napa quarry and lifted by crane over the house since there was no access to the backyard. The stream springs from the top of the hill property, flowing over river rocks surrounded by ferns, hellebores, trailing geraniums, grasses, and a plethora of lush specimens until it splashes into the pool where friendly koi gather and a turtle named Flash sleeps beneath the water lilies.
Off the master bedroom, they planted a formal rose garden in the French chateau style bordered by a clipped boxwood hedge. They kept the original brick patio and outdoor fireplace near the house while creating meandering paths that wind up and down the hill opening unto unexpected garden rooms. Three spectacular Japanese maples and three madrones anchor the design, offering year round form, structure, and color. Drifts of hydrangea, rhododendrons, azaleas, agapanthus, hostas, daisies, carnations, and various ground covers fill the background. The gardener in the family, Bob, enjoys experimenting with a variety of specimens. He has created a berry patch with raspberries, blueberries, boysenberries, and blackberries. Around another bend, he grows citrus, including a healthy kefir lime plus trees of apple, plum, and fig. At the top of the hill, beans, tomatoes, horseradish, herbs, pumpkins, potatoes, asparagus, and peppers thrive. An underground spring augments their watering system. Bob’s efficient home built compost bin resides outside the fence, ready to nourish the garden organically.

table-birds

A retired flight attendant currently enjoying a second career as an actor, I met Pam when she worked as an assistant on my TV series, StarStyle®-Live Your Dreams, and I’ve been privileged since to coach her as on-camera talent. An avid fan of flea markets, Pam taps into her artistic power discovering interesting tossed treasures that she creatively displays throughout the plot. Culminating at the end of the raspberry row, a 1950’s oven opens featuring plants in a pan. Around a turn, an old bicycle bears baskets of pink geraniums.  Walk up the path a bit further, and a rusted children’s pedal car is stranded on a boulder. Rock cairns are piled on an overhang at the pond.  Restful seating areas and sweet surprises delight the senses throughout the backyard.  My personal favorite is the mystical gravel and river rock topped table set with glasses and a bottle of wine reserved for two.  Behind the wire fence with twining vines and ivy, ceramic birds perch on a branch ready to break into song.

Sirah vines with shirly tractor

A few years ago, Bob decided to plant a vineyard. One hundred and twenty vines of Syrah grow on a side hill above the stacked stone retaining wall. Roses bloom at the end of each row, succulents and pots of cacti climb the stairway. Pam’s whimsical contribution to the vineyard includes an antique children’s tractor parked between the vines, and a collection of whirly birds to keep the flying birds from devouring the grapes. Sal Captain of Captain Vineyards helps with the management of the crops while Bob does his own bottling and labeling, winning awards in the process.
The gardens and vineyards are beautiful, bountiful, and bucolic. It’s obvious that Bob and Pam take great pride and joy in their voluptuous, unique garden. With all the stone, wood, water, and living greenery, this outdoor oasis claims a natural structure and feeling of security and protection. Although they both love “the City”, they are thrilled that they took that drive through the tunnel twenty years ago to discover their own personal nirvana.

turtle wine bottle

Their dream of a secret garden has been realized as they share the view together toasting Father’s Day with a glass of their private label Turtle Crossing wine.

Cynthia Brian’s Mid Month Reminders

ROTATE crops. Don’t plant vegetables in the same spot as last year.
BUY summer annuals for containers to add color to your patio.
PINCH petunias and dahlias to keep them blooming.
RAISE the blades on lawnmowers to offer more sun protection and moisture retention to your grass.
PROVIDE abodes for toads by placing broken clay pots throughout the garden. By inviting toads into your garden, you’ll be getting free insect control.
RESCUE thirsty bees and ladybugs that dive into your swimming pool during the heat. Use a net to capture and release to avoid unnecessary stings.
HELP reverse the decline of pollinating insects, honey bees, native bees, birds, bats, and monarch butterflies by joining the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. For information, visit http://millionpollinatorgardens.org.
BEWARE of ticks hitchhiking in your hair after hiking or working outside. If you get bit in the neck, call your physician or go to urgent care immediately. I know the dangers from recent experience!

antique car
A salute and thanks to all the Daddy’s of Lamorinda, especially the ones that garden and dream!

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing.

Read more: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue0908/Digging-Deep-Gardening-with-Cynthia-Brian.html

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

rock piles

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

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