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Spring into Solidarity

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Empowerment
Spring into Solidarity

Ceononthus-california lilac.jpeg

By Cynthia Brian 

“Lose yourself in nature and find peace.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Between the pandemic, the Russian-Ukrainian war, and, for me, a frightening family medical emergency, 2022 has been tumultuous and tough. Everyone is feeling the pain regardless of any city, county, or country residence. Anxiety and stress mount daily as news of the world become ever desperate, depressing, and diabolical.

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Increased research indicates that nature-based activities are an excellent therapeutic intervention to ease our mental and physical stress. Whether it is a walk in the park, forest-bathing, hugging a tree, smelling the jasmine, or weeding your garden, taking a break with the beauty of the natural environment is an essential element in keeping us well. Listening to bird songs, the croaking of frogs, the lapping of waves, or the trickling of a fountain all have positive effects on our health. We’ll lower our blood pressure and decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol as we awaken our senses outdoors.

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Standing in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, I continue to embrace the colors of blue and yellow. Perhaps because I’m looking for those colors, they seem to be everywhere, and I am shooting photos. This week I’m enjoying the tiny, starred cerulean of Blue-Eyed grass as well as the ubiquitous buttery blooms on freesia. Marsh rosemary (Limonium, sea lavender), nasturtiums, and sedum carpet hillsides and paths reminding me of the courage of the Ukrainians. I hiked a trail around an Emeryville harbor to soak in the water views and inhale the fresh sea air, while marveling at the spectacular cobalt plumes of Pride of Madeira (echium fastuosom) and the sky blues of California lilac (ceanothus). My mood instantly improved. 

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Being in nature fosters resilience as well as encourages awe and wonder. Nature is restorative to body, mind, and spirit. Spring is here and the ground is bursting with new life. Trees unfurl luxuriant leaves, bulbs bloom in a kaleidoscope of colors, and fruit trees, including apple, pear, crabapple, and cherry are bursting with buds. This is the perfect season to plant peace.

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I’ve planted three avocado trees that have been nurtured from a pit. A dwarf navel orange has been added to my citrus grove which is buzzing with bees sucking on the sweet nectar. Since I added new nutrient soil last season to my garden, there are numerous weeds. Pulling those weeds is time-consuming, yet it allows me to let my mind wander, relaxing enough to assist in solving challenges. Once my hillside is free of unwanted plants, I will begin to sow seeds of “pretties”, flowering annuals that will bring me joy and tranquility.

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If you are looking for seeds that will grow in our region, visit the Moraga Library where the Moraga Garden Club has installed a FREE seed library. The public is invited to take up to five packs of seeds and if you want to donate seeds to this marvelous outreach project, you are invited to do so.

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It’s not too late to plant roses and since peace is what everyone wants and deserves, consider planting the beautiful Peace Rose. It will brighten your garden and your heart.

As I lose myself in nature to find peace, I recall the words of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. 

“One day the people of the world will want peace

so much that the governments will have to get out

of their way and give it to them.”

Pride of Madeira (echium fastuosum).jpeg

I think that time is now! 

Peace be with you.

Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for April

 

ü  EMPTY vessels of standing water as mosquitoes are already breeding. For fountains and birdbaths, clean the water regularly or add drops of bleach or mosquito dunks.

ü  REMOVE deep-rooted weeds such as dandelions from your garden by hand. 

ü  DECREASE the spread of crabgrass by applying a pre-emergent that keeps seeds from germinating.

ü  HARVEST the tender leaves of wild mustard, arugula, purslane, and dandelion. Add to salads and sandwiches for a surprising snap.

ü  AERATE your lawn to improve the absorption of moisture and fertilizer before reseeding.

ü  PICK UP dropped camellia blooms to deter petal blight.

ü  REFRAIN from cutting back daffodils until they are as crisp as a cracker. They need to replenish the nutrients to the bulb for next year’s floral explosion.

ü  CUT small branches of crabapple or redbud to bloom in a vase on your nightstand. 

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Research indicates that individuals with the brightest outlook and happiest attitudes keep blooms bedside. 

ü  FERTILIZE lawns and shrubs.

ü  SCATTER snail bait to protect new shoots from the crawlers. 

ü  VISIT your local nursery to buy intriguing plants that will increase the attractiveness of your landscape and improve your temperament.

ü  LOSE yourself in nature and find peace.

ü  SUPPORT Ukraine.

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Happy Gardening. Happy Growing. Happy Spring!

Photos and more: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1603/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Plant-for-Peace.html

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Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, is available for hire to help you prepare for your spring garden. Raised in the vineyards of Napa County, Cynthia 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 copies of her books, including, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, and Be the Star You Are! www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. Receive a FREE inspirational music DVD and special savings.

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

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

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Overcoming Family Feuds, College GE’s, Transplanted By Cynthia Brian

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Empowerment
Overcoming Family Feuds, College GE’s, Transplanted 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. In this empowering book, Dr. Maisel shows how to stay sane when family isn’t, providing practical strategies that can be implemented immediately.  Overcoming Your Difficult Family is a “field guide” to common types of dysfunctional families, and a big helping of real life success stories that are dinner table tested and approved. Listeners will learn to maintain inner peace in the midst of family chaos and maybe even create a better life for the whole family.

When determining what college you want to attend, do you pay attention to the general education requirements?  Colleges want well-rounded students, but sometimes those GE’s seem to hold you back from your major. What to do? You have choices. When plants, trees, and shrubs are moved, they also go through an instance of distress. It doesn’t matter if they are being moved from one part of the garden to another or across the continent to a new home, as directors of our landscapes, we have a responsibility to give the transplants a good foundation for their new environs.  Tips for lessening plant stress.

Bio: Eric Maisel, PhD, is a retired family therapist, an active life coach, and the author of more than fifty books including his latest, Overcoming Your Difficult Family. He has been quoted or featured in a variety of publications, including Martha Stewart Living, Redbook, Glamour, Men’s Health, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Self. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit him online at www.EricMaisel.com.

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Ask Cynthia Brian-Let There Be Light!

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Ask Cynthia Brian-Let There Be Light!

radishes

Reader’s Request

Dear Cynthia
As I sit here planning my spring edible garden, I’m wondering if all vegetables need lots of sunshine to bear fruit. I have sun and shade but probably not enough sunshine for everything I want to grow. Any suggestions?

Dana, Orinda

Dear Dana:
This is a great question and one that every gardener grapples with during the planning stages. Here’s my unscientific rule of thumb that seems to work well. When determining where to position a plant, ask yourself what part of the plant you will eventually eat.

If you are eating the fruit such as tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, zucchinis, beans, apples, corn, etc., you will want to plant these specimens in an area that receives a minimum of eight hours of bright sunlight. Root vegetables like carrots, beets, potatoes, and radishes can be planted in shadier areas or as understory plants because they don’t need as much light as the plants that bear fruit on the branch. If what you eat is the leaf or stem such as Swiss Chard, lettuce, kale, sorrel, arugula, spinach, you can plant in semi-shade with dappled sunlight. Any fruiting vegetable planted in shade can survive but usually bears smaller fruit because these plants need sunlight to create the energy to thrive.

Keep in mind, anything planted in shade will be less colorful, but you may enjoy a longer growing season and slower bolting. Experiment with your site and the answers will be obvious.

Happy Gardening to you!
Cynthia Brian
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basket of greens, beets.,carrots - 2
©2015
Cynthia Brian
The Goddess Gardener
Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com
www.GoddessGardener.com
I am available as a speaker, designer, and consultant.
Cynthia will answer one or more questions every other issue as space allows. Email your comments or questions to Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

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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