Tag Archives

5 Articles

Where there is smoke…

Posted by Editor on
0
Empowerment
Where there is smoke…

fire-napa.jpg

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.

russian sage.jpg

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.

6-07 pm sunset in smokey sky.jpg

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.

angel trumpet peach.jpg

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.
  • mulch in garden.jpg
  • 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.
  • banana close up.jpg
  • 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.
  • clivia, roses, euphorbia.jpg
  • GROW chrysanthemums. These long blooming flowers are available in a variety of colors and textures adding a smile to any visitor.
  • White Mum-Fall.jpg
  • 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.
  • cauliflower, beets.jpg
  • 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.
  • Pistache tree day 2.jpg.jpg
  • CHECK out the glorious bark of the eucalyptus tree and the hanging trumpets of the Angel trumpet vine.
  • angel trumpet peach.jpg
  • CUT a few branches from grapevines to use as table décor for an autumn gathering.
  • grapevines in fall.jpg
  • 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.
  • mandavilla.jpg
  • 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.
  • pumpkin fall dislay.jpg

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

cynthi brian-smile – Version 2.jpg

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, is a New York Times best selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are1® 501 c3. 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.

front cover-Growing with the goddess gardener book copy.jpg

Available for hire for any gardening project.  

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

Pet Grooming, Body Detox, Greener Grass

Posted by Editor on
0
Empowerment
Pet Grooming, Body Detox, Greener Grass

apes grooming.jpg.jpg

Do you love it when you dog or pet licks your face? As sweet as those kisses are, they could be exposing you to feces-borne parasites or other diseases. We’ll offer a few simple ways to keep your dog and cats clean and healthy.

bearcu.jpgcynthia-donkey.jpg.jpg

Is the grass greener on the other side? If you have let your lawn die because of the drought, you’ll want to tune in to find out how you can reseed and restore your grass as a benefit to your health, well-being, and enjoyment.

clover (1).jpg

What are the best ways to detox your body? It is NOT colonics, cleanses, and juice diets.  Learn to boost your natural filtration system by limiting the junk that goes into your body and eliminating toxins and irritants. Cynthia Brian will show you how.

figs-seedless (1).jpg

Listen at the Voice America Network: https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/103213/greener-grass-pet-clean-body-detox

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.

2017-brian-banner-radio alone.jpg

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

Read our BTSYA October Newsletter: http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/672296/b72526875f/288055965/bbd34d3431/

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

Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUNDhttps://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/search-cause?charityId=1504&s=3

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

Cyn books 2.jpg

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 . http://www.bethestaryouare.org/donate.htm

BTSYA PRECIOUS.jpg.jpg

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

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

About Us: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/about_us

Programs: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/programs

How to Help: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/how-to-help

Blog:http://www.bethestaryouare.org/blog

Events:http://www.bethestaryouare.org/events

Contact us: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/contact

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

2017 TOP RATD NONPROFIT.jpgbtsya..jpg

The Grass is Always Greener…

Posted by Editor on
0
Empowerment
The Grass is Always Greener…

Green lawn lawn2.jpg

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.

coleus-begonias-fall.jpg

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.

Baby Tears.jpg

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.

pearl's Premium -cut.jpg

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.

clover (1).jpg

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.

isotoma, blue star creeper - 1.jpg

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.

fox glove-osteospernum.jpg

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.
  • fire in vineyards.jpg
  • 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.
  • figs-seedless (1).jpg
  • 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.
  • mulch in garden.jpg
  • SWIM a few laps in a garden pool before the cold weather begins.
  • pool-scape.jpg
  • 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

firefighter.jpg

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.  

BTSYA cuff Bracelets.jpg

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

2017-brian-banner-radio alone.jpg

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

Grow Grass! By Cynthia Brian

Posted by Editor on
0
Empowerment
Grow Grass! By Cynthia Brian

“Now every field is clothed with grass, and every tree with leaves; now the woods put forth their blossoms, and the year assumes its gay attire.” ~Virgil


Yes, California passed Proposition 64 last November, however, this column is not about cultivating marijuana, although I am writing about the glories of grass.

Spring is spectacular with its wardrobe of rainbow blooms. Trees are covered with blossoms, the fragrance of freesia engages our nostrils, and the ubiquitous beauty surrounding us is awe-inspiring. We are so blessed that Mother Nature celebrates the re-birth of the seasons with a grand April entrance.

Because of the warmer soil, fall is the best time to plant or re-seed a lawn, yet spring runs a close second in popularity. If you haven’t torn out your swath of grass in the past few years during our dreadful drought, no doubt you are now looking at a runway of green in your yard thanks to the months of rain. To manage your efforts maintaining the health, beauty, and benefits of your lawn for the remainder of the year, get started this month with simple best practices.

Tips to Growing a Lush, Green, Sustainable Turf

⎫ Decide if you want to seed, sod, or re-seed. Seeding for the first time is best done in autumn when the soil is warm as germination is swifter. You can successfully re-seed, over-seed, and sod in spring, including those irksome bare patches.

⎫ Whichever you choose, your first consideration is to properly prepare your soil.  Check the PH level. Ideally lawns should be in the 6-7 range. If lower than six, add lime, if higher than seven, add sulfur to bring the PH down.

⎫ Pull the weeds. If you have lots of weeds, keep in mind that weeds mean that the soil conditions are imbalanced. Weeds provide homes and food for microbes but your soil must be improved before your new sod or grass seeds will thrive. Many “weeds” are actually gourmet dinner or tea ingredients including plantain, dandelion, creeping Charlie, mint, mustard, lambs quarter, and more.

⎫ Order several yards of enriched soil and compost to be delivered.  Ask the yard experts what is their best soil for improving your lawn. Soil is the foundation.

⎫ Add organic fertilizer to accelerate deeper rooting.

⎫ Aerate to loosen the soil. A core aerator will punch holes in the ground to bring air and water to the roots.  The finger plugs are to be left on the surface to naturally decompose.  Less compaction equals better drainage and absorption.

⎫ Consult your favorite nursery professional for a recommendation on the best seed combinations for you. I’m a huge fan of mixed growth lawns for year around enjoyment. I re-seed with Pearl’s Premium (www.PearlsPremium.com) interspersed with plugs of isotoma (blue star creeper) and white and red clover. Together they make a very attractive natural rug and the clover is a natural nitrogen supplier. Some people enjoy lawns laced with wild strawberry, violets, mint, or even planted with bulbs.

⎫ You may have to cover re-seeded areas with netting to keep the birds away. For small areas, discarded window or door screens work well.

⎫ Let the rainfall do the watering to get your grass established. If it’s later in the season when the rain has stopped, water deeply in the morning twice a week or as needed.

⎫ Mow your lawns with a sharp blade on a high setting without the bag allowing the cut grass to remain on the lawn. This is called grasscycling and is the most beneficial component of cultivating a lush, deep green, thick healthy lawn. If you are buying a new mower, buy a mulch mower, which will chop the grass. Grasscycling allows the clippings to be the fertilizer that provides nutrients to your grass. Scientific research indicates that the content of typical grass clippings by weight is Nitrogen (N) 4%, Potassium (P) 2%, and Phosphorous (K) .5%.  By recycling your grass clippings back to your lawn, you use 25% less additional fertilizer.

⎫ Mulch the re-seeded areas to create a strong turf.

⎫ Stay off the grass while it’s growing!

⎫ For those of you who are “Ex Lawn Rangers”, you can create an inviting mosaic with massed groundcovers and low growers including dicondra, ajuga, creeping thyme, golden creeping Jenny, dwarf cinquefoil, or even sedum.  You’ll need to clip, snip, and maintain.  Most groundcovers are not foot-traffic friendly.

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 when viewing a landscape, offering a resting space between the color explosions of flowers and shrubs. Lawns offer a buffer zone in fire prevention. Several years ago when one of the biggest wild fires in our national history hit the forests of Northern California, our family cabin’s grassy meadow became the safe zone for dozens of firefighters from around the country. That lawn literally saved lives and the forest from the raging blaze.

Prepare your grass for healthy growing this spring, and get ready for the fun-filled days of croquet, ball games, picnics, sprinkler baths, or just staring up at the clouds.

Remember that maintaining your lawn enhances the environment, improves your health, and optimizes your enjoyment of the great outdoors. And that’s great grass!

Cynthia Brian’s Goddess Gardener Tips for April

BEWARE of ticks.  Check your body, hair, and clothing after gardening. On a rainy day in mid March when I was covered head to toe in clothing, a tick bit me on my neck. The golf ball size lump is still painful.

TURN houseplants a quarter round every week to give adequate amount of sunlight to all parts.

BAIT for snails and slugs.

VISIT the Wagner Ranch Wildlife Festival on Sunday, April 23 for FREE family fun. Honeybees, goats, turtles, birds, garden activities, food, music, nature tours, arts, and crafts.  350 Camino Pablo Rd at Bear Creek Road in Orinda.  https://fwrna.org/wildlifefest/

Peruse Flower Photography: Award winning photographer Anne Morrison Rabe’s Spring Flowers exhibit is showcased now at Homemade Kitchen, 337 Rheem Boulevard, in Moraga.  Almost all of Anne’s photographs were shot with an iphone. Eat, drink, and enjoy the art.www.Amr-Photogrpahy.com

PRE-ORDER my forthcoming garden book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, Book I in the Garden Shorts Series. All pre-orders will receive extra goodies such as heirloom seeds, bookmarks, and more. Email me for details, Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com. 25% of the proceeds benefit the 501c3 Be the Star You Are!® charity.

Win $50,000 for your Garden:  As a judge in America’s Best Gardener Contest. I encourage you to enter to win $50,000.  Show the world that your thumb is the greenest by showing the world pictures of your garden today! http://www.americasbestgardener.com

Happy Gardening! Happy Growing!

Read More

©2017
Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, 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 at www.StarStyleRadio.com
Available for hire for any project.
Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com
www.GoddessGardener.com
925-377-STAR

Summer Loving in the Garden by Cynthia Brian

Posted by Editor on
0
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!
Read More

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.

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

RSS
Follow by Email