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Love is a Rose!

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Empowerment
Love is a Rose!

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“Everything is coming up roses!” Ethel Merman

When Cupid shoots his arrow of amour on February 14th, more than 51% of the flowers bestowed upon the lovers will be roses.  The allure of roses dates back more than 5,000 years when rose cultivation began in China. Evidence in fossils indicates that the wild rose is as ancient as 35 million years. No wonder that the rose has symbolized beauty, love, politics, and war for the past five centuries in our modern world.

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Roses possess a classic beauty with an unrivaled diversity of shapes, sizes, colors, and fragrances. Blooms may be solitary and delicate, semi-double, open cupped, rosette, pompon, peony-like, buttoned, and ruffled. They may be single stemmed or present a bouquet of several blossoms on a stalk.  Newer disease-resistant varieties brag continuous flowering from the first bud in spring to the final pruning in winter. 

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Best of all, with a little know-how, roses are one of the easiest plants to grow in our gardens offering perennial joy.  Plant them in a formal garden bordered by boxwoods, or add varying heights of roses to a casual mixed backyard bed. Pop them in containers to add elegance to a porch, patio, or balcony. Train climbers and ramblers to grow on arches, gates, trellises, fences, and walls adding vertical appeal.

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February is an excellent month to plant bare root roses. 

How to plant bare root roses

1.    Decide where you want to plant roses. Although some varieties will tolerate a reasonable amount of shade, most roses require at least four hours of daily sunshine.

2.    Once you know the “where”, you can decide the “which”. Peruse rose catalogs and visit your nursery.  You want to purchase the right rose for the right purpose. Make sure that the bare-root roses you select are healthy and sturdy. If planting more than one, it is best to purchase the same color and type of rose in uneven numbers. For example, buy three or five of the same rose for preferable impact.

3.    Soak your roses overnight in a bucket of water to rehydrate them.

4.    Dig a hole large enough to allow the roots to spread.

5.    Spade the soil well and add compost.

6.    After removing each rose from the bucket, place the bare roots of each rose in a separate hole. The bottom of the stems needs to be two to three inches below the top of the hole.

7.    Replace the soil and tap around the rose with your foot until the ground is firm.

8.    Water slowly and deeply.

9.    Mulch with bark, shredded wood, or pine needles to three inches of thickness.  This prevents erosion, controls temperature variations, suppresses weeds, and makes for a prettier presentation.

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Maintenance of your rose garden

1.    Watering properly is key to healthy roses. Water deeply without flooding and be cognizant of your sprinkler system to assure that your roses are not over or under irrigated. 

2.    Fertilize in March, then approximately eight weeks apart starting in May through September. For my first feeding, I like to use alfalfa pellets mixed with diatomaceous earth.

3.    Although the new varieties of roses are more disease resistant, black spot, rust, and powdery mildew remain the culprits to control. Destroy any diseased, fallen leaves.

4.    If you have a plethora of other flowers, your garden will have developed a more natural eco-system, keeping most pests away. Aphids can be sprayed with soapy water, or introduce ladybugs. 

5.    Deadhead as flowers wilt and prune stems back one and a half feet after flushes of flowers to shape your plant.

6.    Once a year, usually towards the end of January, heavy prune roses removing any dead, diseased, or damaged stems. Old wood can be cut from older roses to encourage fresh growth. Shrub roses can be pruned 1/3 to 2/3. Hybrid teas and floribundas should be pruned to ¾. Leave ramblers alone or shape them according to your wishes. Remove the dead wood on climbers and cut the year’s flowering stems back to ¾.

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Whether you decide to cultivate shrub roses, old roses, rambling roses, climbing roses, hybrid teas, tree roses, or floribundas, you will be rewarded with beauty, fragrance, and the ability to create sweet-scented arrangements throughout the year. 

For Valentine’s Day, consider giving your loved one a bouquet of roses and a bare root plant! Double the pleasure! Everything is coming up roses!

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Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for February

  IDENTIFY: With the rains, fungi are at their edible best. If you don’t know how to identify mushrooms that grow in your garden, do not eat them. Buy from a reputable source and enjoy the impressive nutritional benefits of this humble fungus. Whether you eat shitake white, oyster, hen-of-the-woods, Portobello, or others, mushrooms are brimming with phytochemicals, antioxidants, and fiber, all which are packed with anti-inflammatory properties that can protect you from numerous diseases. 

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  APPRECIATE: Daffodils and narcissi have unfurled their blooms suggesting the promise of Printemps.

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  BUY: Growing with the Goddess Gardener is a gift that will give perennially. Order copies with extra freebies at http://www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store.

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    PERUSE catalogs to create your plan for spring planting.

    FIND a rose with the same name of your partner. If you have the dollars, there are companies that will allow you to name a rose. 

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    ENJOY this final month of garden rest before the busy spring season arrives.

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing. Happy Love Day!

Read more and see photos at https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1225/Cynthia-Brians-Gardening-Guide-for-February-Love-is-a-rose.html

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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. 

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

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

Hire Cynthia for projects, consults, and lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

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Donate to Fire Disaster Relief via Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 at www.BethestarYouAre.org

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Hammock Time

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Empowerment
Hammock Time

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“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful,

we must carry it with us or we find it not. “

                                             ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

While I was traveling in Southeast Asia, I was enthralled with the multitude of hammocks hung everywhere…on balconies, under eaves of storefronts, under houses built on stilts on the Mekong River, between trees in a field, in marketplace stalls, even on rickety boats. Because of the intense heat and humidity that assaults life between noon and four in the afternoon, workdays begin in the early morning, then continue until nine or ten at night, while in between everyone cools off with a swinging siesta.

In the Amazon rainforest, my husband and I slept in hammocks covered by mosquito netting. The first hammocks date back to over a thousand years ago and were made from the bark of the Hamak tree. Christopher Columbus is credited with bringing hammocks back to Europe after his encounter with the Taino tribes who tied these nets between trees for their slumber and protection. Because hammocks were off the ground, there was less chance of bites from insects, snakes, rats, or other creatures.

My favorite hammock experiences have always been at beaches in tropical locales where hammocks are attached to swaying palm trees.  In Hawaii, Tahiti, Bermuda, the many islands of the Caribbean, and throughout the coastlines of Central and South America, I have always scouted the sand for the perfect rocking repose where I can read a book, take a nap, or just listen to the pounding waves while the birds chirp in paradise.

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Summer is the perfect time to lounge in a hammock under the shade, especially after a few hours of strenuous gardening, Swiss researchers published a scientific explanation why hammocks are loved the world over.  The gentle rocking motion of a hammock synchronizes brain waves allowing us to get to sleep quicker while attaining a deeper state of relaxation.  No wonder babies quiet when being rocked! 

Between my Japanese maples and my magnolia trees, I secured two double hammocks so that two to four people could enjoy the benefits of a summertime break.  It is restful to sway in these hammocks with the fragrance of my roses and lavender wafting around me.  I watch the butterflies and bees darting throughout my flowers while I listen to the sound of the breeze and the crooning songbirds. 

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Hammocks are versatile because they are affordable super space savers, flexible, and are easily moved and stored.  They are perfect camping trip companions.  The net hammocks purchased in Vietnam pack into a small ball, while the heavier cloth hammocks I bought stateside roll into a cloth bag for storage.  

If traveling is not on your agenda for this summer, consider a staycation with the potential to transport your dreams to exotic distant lands by installing a hammock in your backyard.  Undulating in my hammock, I can be anywhere my imagination takes me. 

It’s hammock time.  You can’t touch this!

Cynthia Brian’s Mid Month Gardening Tips:

VISIT gorgeous gardens while you travel. For the best private gardens in America that are open to visitors visit www.opendaysprogram.org .

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SHAKE out boots or shoes that you leave outside before putting them on your feet. A visitor may have taken up residence inside and give your toes a nibble. (I’ve had lizards, frogs, spiders, and more in my gardening boots!)

PERUSE bulb catalogues to see what new bulbs are emerging for fall planting. Orders will need to be placed before the end of the month for autumn shipping.

JOIN internationally acclaimed speakers, exhibitors, and chefs at America’s largest celebration of pure food with heirloom and organic displays, heritage livestock, poultry, and more at The National Heirloom Exposition September 11-13 in Santa Rosa. Mark your calendars now. Visit www,TheHeirloomExpo.com

EAT more watermelon! A standard slice provides 1/3 of your daily vitamins A and C, plus you’ll get lots of potassium and lycopene with only a 90-calorie bump.

REPAIR broken irrigation pipes immediately. If you notice that your sprinklers have little pressure, look for leaks. Besides wasting water, and the cost incurred, your garden could suffer without proper amounts of H2O. 

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CALL your electric company (PGE in our area) if you are planning to dig deep holes so that they can make sure you are digging in a safe place. 

SUCCESSION planting is in order if you like a continual crop of lettuces, carrots, beets, radishes, and corn. 

PREPARE a refreshing Jell-O salad that looks like fresh flowers with an online video tutelage. 

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GROW sunflowers to attract bees and pollinators to help terminate the “bee-apocalypse”.

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IMPRESS friends by growing adenium desert rose, an appealing succulent with deep red or pink blossoms that truly shouts, “It’s summer!”

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ROOT cuttings from hydrangeas to expand your collection. 

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PLANT lamium pink pom pom in a rock wall to create a crack garden. 

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CUT pixie roses for a simple indoor arrangement. If you love roses but have a small area, try planting miniature roses that pack a punch. 

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RELAX this summer with a hammock tied between two trees or poles. 

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Read more at https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1210/Cynthia-Brians-Digging-Deep-for-July-Hammock-Time.html

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing.

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'Growing with the Goddess Gardener book.jpg

Available for hire for projects and lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

Tea For Two…or Three, Four, or More!

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Empowerment
Tea For Two…or Three, Four, or More!

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“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” Henry James

From the time my daughter, Heather, was three years old, we enjoyed a ritual of drinking tea. Of course, it all began with Teddy Bear picnics and pretend doll teas. One day it escalated to brewing “real” herbal teas from the garden until it became our signature sacred Mother/Daughter sacrament where we would solve the woes of the world, and our own challenges, over an exotic potion crafted from what we grew. 

Although we had consumed tea as children in my family, the formal tradition of afternoon tea began for me when I was a teen ambassador to Holland where I lived for 18 months. Every afternoon at 4:00 p.m. sharp, families, shopkeepers, professionals, and everyone else would stop to have a cup of tea.  Tea bags were never used.  All teas were brewed from loose leaves, and mixing up various concoctions was an honored ritual.  Having tea and a “sweet”, usually a homemade shortbread or perhaps a slice of cake, was the perfect remedy for the midday drags.  At exactly 4:30, it was back to work, school, and obligations. 

Creating your own organic tea garden is easy and incredibly rewarding.  Fruits, flowers, stems, and leaves can all be used to create luscious hot or cold beverages that can relax, revitalize, energize, and calm.  I am a huge fan of citrus. Lemons, limes, oranges, tangerines, tangelos all add a tremendous amount of zip and zest to teas. 

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When I have to perform for a speaking engagement, or on a TV or radio show, I always drink several cups of a delicious natural brew from my garden that includes the juice, rinds, and leaves of Meyer lemons, mint, chamomile, and honey. My throat and vocal chords are cleared and my nerves are calmed allowing me to perform with confidence.

Plant Picks

Here are my picks for planting a tea garden in sun or shade. The bonus is that these are hardy perennials that will provide endless ingredients for a plethora of sweet and savory recipes including brewing tea!

Bee Balm (citrus/spice flavor)

Calendula (poor man’s saffron)

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Catnip (lemony-mint flavor…cats love to roll in this herb)

Chamomile (apple scented)

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Coriander (the seeds of cilantro offer warmth)

Fennel (licorice flavor)

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Lavender

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Lemon verbena (lemony flavor)

Mint (spearmint, peppermint, pineapple mint, or chocolate mint. Keep contained, if possible, as all mints are invasive.)

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Nasturtium (reseeds itself annually)

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Rose (the fragrance of the rose will determine the flavor)

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Rosemary

Sage

Scented geranium and pelargonium

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Viola (light violet flavor)

Storing

Any herb or edible plant that you enjoy can be made into tea. Harvest early in the morning to capture the essential oils. Place the cuttings in a bowl of cool water to wash off any dirt or debris. Herbs can then be used fresh or they can be hung in a cool dark place to dry. Another easy drying technique is to place cleaned herbs, leaves, and flowers on a cookie sheet to dry in the sun.  Or a fun trick to dry your teas is to put the cookie sheet with your herbs on the seat of your car with the windows rolled up. Park the car in the sun and within a few hours, your herbs will be dry and your car will smell garden fresh! Double win.

When storing herbs, make sure to label and date them to avoid confusion later.  You can also freeze herbs in zip seal bags or make pretty herbal ice cubes for your next celebration. Ice cubes made from rose petals, violets, and the flowers of herbs are especially intriguing.

Brewing

There are numerous ways to brew your teas. For hot teas, I fill a pretty teapot with the various ingredients that I think are needed for that day. Add boiling water to the concoction, allowing it to steep for 15 to 20 minutes. In the summer months, I muddle fruits in season––apricots, cherries, plums, peaches, grapes, and strawberries. Using a strainer, I pour the tea into my favorite cups. (Tea drinking is a celebratory act and it is more festive to serve your teas in a cup that is appealing.)  Another easy way is to use a press pot, called a French press, which I also use for my morning java. When you make your tea in clear glass you get to enjoy the mix of colors. Any leftover tea is poured into a glass pitcher and stored in the refrigerator for a refreshing cold brew.

Many people prefer to make a carafe of sun tea. In a clear glass jug, pour cold water over all of the ingredients you desire. Place the container in full sun with a lid or foil cover.  It will take a full day to brew sun tea with the reward of a rich and robust taste.

 Whether you enjoy fragrant, sweet, piquant, or spicy, tea making is available to you from your garden. After a productive day of working in the garden, I reward my handiwork while sipping a tall glass of iced sun tea concocted from herbs, flowers, and fruits from my own plants. Ah, what a relaxing elixir pausing in the afternoon for tea is.  

For years, my daughter and I hosted a radio segment and wrote a column called Tea for Two: A Mother/Daughter Brew. Today, a cup of tea still connects us to continual conversation.Heather's shower Eileens - 17.jpg

 

Plant your garden. It’s teatime.

Cynthia Brian’s Mid Month Gardening Tips

  • MULCH your yard with three inches of wood chips or other organic materials to maintain temperature, prevent erosion, and keep your plants happy for the forthcoming hot weather.
  • FERTILIZE with all purpose feed before the heat hits.
  • PLANT Mexican Evening Primrose along a fence or in a wild setting for a pretty pop of pink that blooms only in daylight and thrives in poor soil.
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  • WATER your garden early in the morning, then at dusk for maximum absorption and minimal waste. 
  • BUY elegant, long lasting peonies to add to your collection. Peonies like six hours of full sun in well-drained soil and they can live for 50 years or more. They bloom through June and their glossy green leaves remain green through winter when they die back to the ground, reemerging in spring. Peonies are one of my very favorite, no fuss, flowering shrub. 
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  • GROW a tea garden in containers filled with herbs and edible fragrant flowers such as rose, calendula, nasturtium, and lavender. 
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Enjoy your final days of spring with a cup of your homegrown tea.  

Read more at https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1208/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-Tea-for-two-or-three-four-or-more.html

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing. 

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'Growing with the Goddess Gardener book.jpg

Available for hire for projects and lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

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Roses Are for Everyone

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Empowerment
Roses Are for Everyone

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“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

Preventing Car Theft, Communication, Winter Wonders By Cynthia Brian

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Empowerment
Preventing Car Theft, Communication, Winter Wonders By Cynthia Brian

LIVE IN TEMPE-WTR - 33
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.
crape myrtle pruned
Did you know that the Honda Accord and Honda Civic are the two vehicles that are stolen the most? Do you know what colors thieves prefer? Find out how to prevent your car from being stolen by being proactive with safety.
gertrude jekyll rose
Communicating clearly is a skill that everyone needs. How do you get your desires heard without being overbearing or demanding? Guidelines to expressing yourself in an approachable win/win manner are forthcoming.
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Grab your coat, hat, gloves, and boots. Wander around your garden to admire the wonder of the winter garments nature has provided. If you have mobility issues, Cynthia Brian will share how to get your yard chores accomplished by doing the next best thing.

Listen at Voice America, Empowerment Channel :https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/97125/preventing-car-theft-communication-winter-wonders

Check out this episode on StarStyle Radio with photos and descriptions:  http://www.starstyleradio.com/starstyle-radio

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Dream a Little! By Cynthia Brian

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Empowerment
Dream a Little! By Cynthia Brian

 


“Be at War with your Vices,
at Peace with your Neighbours,
& let every New-Year find you a better Man.”
Benjamin Franklin

jer,marcia,cy, brian-new years
Resolutions, goals, a fresh start. Does January bring out your best efforts in wishful thinking as you embark on a new year or do you have the stamina and mindfulness to actually fulfill your gardening dreams? The famous English gardener and writer, Vita Sackville-West, wrote: “The most noteworthy thing about gardeners is that they are always optimistic, always enterprising, and never satisfied. They always look forward to doing something better than they have ever done before.”  Although Vita died in 1962, her gardens at Sissinghurst survive as a national treasure, thriving with seasonal beauty and tender care from volunteers. I was fortunate enough to travel the grounds last year and marvel, even in the rain, at the expanse of her horticultural involvement. Vita’s quote definitely describes my personal gardening mantra as my motto has always been “Failure is fertilizer. Throw the mistake on the compost pile to grow a new garden.”  In other words, mistakes, or malfattis as we say in Italian are always an experiment in something new…and maybe even a better creation. I don’t rest on my bay laurels but keep on striving.
sissinghurst fall garden
One of my favorite global excursions is to visit gardens everywhere I travel. Exploring gardens, great and small, is a wonderful way to expand one’s horticultural intelligence while gathering ideas for one’s own plot. At the top of my resolution list for 2017 I’ve designated garden hopping as a must-do. In the past few weeks, I’ve had numerous emails from readers of this column with questions, comments, and aspirations as well as ambitious dreams for gardening in 2017.  Here are ideas you may wish to employ this year as you dig a little and dream a lot!
hydrangeas, roses
⎫ Get your children and grandchildren engaged in gardening activities. Virtues, skills, and life itself are learned in the garden.
⎫ Be brave. Experiment more. Worry less. There are no brown thumbs.
⎫ Plant more seeds to watch the wonder of sprouting.
⎫ Grow more vegetables and herbs in your pots or potager for a healthier plant to plate palate. Consume, share, preserve to eliminate waste.
⎫ Photograph your garden often and keep records of what blooms when, what works where, and what you want to edit.
⎫ Install a water-saving irrigation system.
⎫ Donate extra produce to a food bank.
⎫ When time is limited, hire help.
⎫ Compost, compost, compost. (see composting recipe below)
⎫ Visit botanical gardens wherever you travel.
⎫ Encourage pollinators to take up residence by planting and offering habitat that attract them. Birds, bees, bats, hummingbirds, and butterflies are precious protectors.
⎫ Eliminate insecticides and pesticides. Research companion planting.
⎫ Mulch more to reduce weeds, keep the soil warm or cool depending on the weather, and stop soil erosion.
⎫ Take a class to expand your knowledge.
⎫ Be more realistic.
⎫ Find interesting outdoor accents to use in the landscape like vintage windows, doors, or Victorian gazing balls.
⎫ Add one or more water elements.
⎫ Start saving special seeds.
⎫ Propagate from cuttings.
⎫ Plant a garden or pots in a patio for the first time.
⎫ Add a new rosebush.
⎫ Plant a cutting garden for creating beautiful bouquets year round.
⎫ Sow a path of fragrance with lavender, jasmine, honeysuckle, or other sweet-smelling shrubs.
⎫ Become more aware of the natural world by paying attention to the sounds, smells, and sights.
⎫ Make your garden drought tolerant with succulents.
⎫ Resolve to utilize organic gardening methods.
⎫ Begin keeping a journal of your outdoor endeavors.
⎫ Use tropical plants indoors as air purifiers as well as décor focal points.
⎫ Enjoy your garden more, slave less. Spend at least 15 minutes every day admiring your beautiful handiwork in conjunction with nature.

Since getting in shape or losing weight is the number one New Year’s resolution that is rarely kept, remember that gardening provides an excellent workout with the digging, tilling, weeding, raking, mowing, moving, planting, and climbing. Plus gardening is great fun.  My hope for you is that you will adopt one or more of these tips as your gardening promise for the year. Be enterprising. Do things better than you ever did before. Be optimistic. Be the STAR you are.
drying flowers for potpourri
As we take a moment to reflect on the past and look forward to the future, share your gardening dreams for 2017. Email me, Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com.
garden door.jpg
Cynthia Brian’s Garden Guidelines for January
⎫ Compost Recipe: Keep a bucket with a lid on it in the garage or other storage area to fill with your kitchen scraps, shredded newspaper, coffee grinds, tea bags, fish bones (no meat products), and egg shells. Dump daily in an outdoor bin or pile. Add leaves and other brown materials, grass and plant clippings, and garden waste. Keep moist. Turn often with a spade or pitchfork. When the material looks and feels like a damp chocolate cake mix with an aroma of the earth, spread in your beds.
⎫ With the flu and colds that seem to be ubiquitous, make sure to keep lots of citrus on hand, especially oranges and lemons which have a high concentration of vitamin C, citric acid, calcium, iron, fiber, and B complex vitamins. Squeeze lemon juice on salads, vegetables, meat, and, of course, in your water to keep you hydrated. Even cut flowers benefit from drops of lemon juice in the vase, helping the water to travel from the stems to the flowers. Scatter the peels on any acid loving plants in your garden including roses, azaleas, rhododendrons, and fuchsias as a natural fertilizer.
⎫ It’s time to do your heavy pruning on your roses. Cut out any dead wood. Prune roses to about knee height. Although many people assume that roses are fussy, they really are quite tolerant providing months of luscious blooms.
⎫ Buy and plant bare-root roses, berries, vines, and fruit trees now following the instructions on the packaging.
⎫ Spray an application of dormant spray on peaches and other fruit trees to kill overwintering insects.
⎫ Peruse catalogues for ideas for spring and summer flowers.
⎫ Make fragrant potpourri from cut flowers.

Happy Gardening and Happy Growing! Happy, Healthy, Auspicious New Year!

Dig a little, dream a lot!

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©2017
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.net
I am available as a speaker, designer, and consultant.  

Hot, Hot, Hot by Cynthia Brian

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Empowerment
Hot, Hot, Hot by Cynthia Brian

lantana, purple

By Cynthia Brian

“There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.”
~ Celia Thaxter

When it’s hot outside, I want to be in the garden.  I find it challenging to sit in my office writing articles or producing radio shows when nature beckons me to be nurturing the earth. In summer I spend several hours of every single day digging in the dirt whether it’s early in the morning or after dusk because my chores are never finished.  My gardening wardrobe usually consists of my bathing suit and shorts allowing me a quick cool down with a spray from the garden hose.  As my daughter was working in her garden in her bikini she telephoned to declare that she was carrying on our family tradition. “I realize I come from a long line of bikini gardeners, “ she giggled.  I thought of titling my next gardening book, The Bikini Gardener, but then perhaps readers would expect to see beautiful bikini clad bodies instead of gorgeous gardens. I promise not to be photographed!
sunflowers-hydrangeas
Baby, it’s hot outside and we gardeners have work to do.  We have to be water conscious, yet we see the bare spots in our landscape and yearn to make our personal paradise a more beautiful place. What are our options?

Planting annuals and perennials offer the answers to filling in those areas that just never seem to seed well.  Between the turkeys, deer, and raccoons, our landscapes have many hurdles to overcome and I’m determined to continue to find ways to succeed.

Here are a few of my favorite recommendations for adding sparkle, individuality, and excitement without the extra water and work this season.

⎫ Sun loving vinca (Catharanthus roseus) crave six hours of sunlight a day and do well in extreme heat. Colors are violet, peach, white, and bright pink. Lately I’ve seen these annuals on sale at garden centers for as little as $4.50 a gallon or three for $12.00 offering a kaleidoscope of shades at bargain prices.
⎫ Lantana once established needs minimal water or maintenance. Butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees are attracted to the highly scented flowers, although some humans find the plant stinky. The deer are repelled by lantana. Some cultivars have variegated leaves, all are evergreen, blooming all year long. Trailing lantana is terrific on hillsides and spilling out of containers or buy the shrub variety growing wide and high to three to ten feet. Multi-colors include orange, yellow, purple, pink, and white.
⎫ Looking for an easy-care container garden? Consider the Deckorations™ Collection from JBerry Nursery.  Combinations of the highest quality plants paired with stylish,functional containers make for turn-key patio prettiness. I have the lantana, azaleas, and hibiscus.  www.jberrynursery.com
⎫ Have you ever grown okra? Experiment with seeds from Botanical Interests (www.BotanicalInterests.com) These spineless productive plants boast flowers that resemble hollyhocks with pods that are full bodied and delectable, especially in gumbo.
⎫ None of the marauding animals seem to be interested in nasturtiums, making them an excellent choice when you are looking for a creeping specimen with edible leaves and flowers. Seeds from Rene’s Garden (www.RenesGarden.com) are strong and sturdy. I use the big lily pad looking leaves as wraps instead of bread and the flowers embellish my salads and plates. In the heat of summer, nasturtiums die back. Collect the seeds to plant in other areas or give away to friends. Seeds self-sow where they drop offering you another delicious and pretty crop.
⎫ Sunflowers make me happy. Their big bright cheery faces stand tall at the back of a garden reminding us that summer is in full swing. When dry, eat the seeds or share them with the birds. Combine hydrangeas with sunflowers for a spectacular cut flower arrangement.
⎫ If you want to plant a native tree that will thrive in our area with no care and even less H20 while flowering for a couple of months with fronds of creamy crape myrtle like flowers, try a California buckeye (Aesculus californic).  Buckeyes are endemic to California hillsides, creeks, and canyons. Add one or three to spice up your yard.

white roses

⎫ Roses are a-must for every garden. I am particularly fond of David Austin Roses and have planted an additional dozen this past spring. Although bare-root arrives in January or February, a rooted rose in a gallon container will thrive when planted correctly in summer. Water deeply until established and dead head the blooms regularly for a display of beauty through winter.  When you buy a quality rose, it requires little care while bolstering the drama of your garden all year. www.DavidAustinRoses.com
⎫ A natural and versatile herb, yarrow (Achillea) is actually a long stemmed member of the sunflower family. Like sunflowers, it is deer resistant!  Achilles, the Greek God unfortunately failed to paint his heel with a tincture of yarrow to make his body invulnerable to arrows. We know the rest of the story. Feathery, fern-like silver-gray leaves mark this fast growing native with flat clusters of florets in yellow, white, apricot, red, or pink depending on the variety.
⎫ Sea Holly Thistle (Ernginium) is a prickly textured plant with leaves like an artichoke.  A sun lover, as much as the bees enjoy it, the deer don’t! Use it in striking arrangements.
⎫ A jewel of a flower, Oriental wind poppies (Papaver orientale) take two years to bloom and hate transplanting, but once you sow them, you’ll enjoy them forever as they bloom from spring through summer!
⎫ Another great Asian contribution include the Asiatic lily. I prefer the deep pink variety, Lilium Speciosum. Plant as bulbs and you’ll get a happy surprise as they burst into bloom year after year.
Sea Holly thistle

I’m grateful for the summer and for the heat, so I’m signing off to go play in my backyard in my bikini.  Stay cool and enjoy your July family festivities.

Happy Gardening and Happy Growing.

Read More
pink asiastic lily
©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.net
I am available as a speaker, designer, and consultant.

Roses by Any Other Name…

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Empowerment
Roses by Any Other Name…

Cynthai brian & tournament of roses - 2

Digging Deep-Gardening with Cynthia Brian

“I don’t know whether nice people tend to grow roses or growing roses makes people nice.”   Roland A. Browne

Roses are the most popular bloomers in the world with a long and colorful history as symbols of love, war, beauty, friendship, and politics. According to fossil evidence, the majestic rose is older than humankind, dating to over thirty five million years ago. The cultivation of garden roses most likely began in China over five thousand years ago. Throughout the Northern Hemisphere, the genus Rosa includes one hundred and fifty species.  Roses were used for celebrations, perfume, medicine, fashion, and décor.

The Persians considered the rose a representation of love, the Romans planted extensive public rose gardens, the Greeks wrote about roses, and pagan goddesses were associated with this fragrant flower. During the fifteenth century, “The War of the Roses” saw the House of York with its white rose fighting against the red rose House of Lancaster for control of England. In France, Napoleon’s wife Josephine planted an extensive rose collection at Chateau de Maimason which is where the famed illustrator, Pierre Joseph Redoute completed what is considered one of the finest records of botanical illustration with his watercolor collection, “Les Rose”.
sarah bernhardt roses. - 1
Contrary to popular belief, roses are extremely easy to grow with relatively low maintenance and rewards that far outweigh any efforts on their behalf.  This is the time of year when heavy pruning is in order as well as planting bare root specimens.

Let’s look at the different kinds of roses and how to care for them.

Floribunda
These versatile sun-loving shrubs have the most blossoms of the hybrid teas setting clusters of three to fifteen blossoms per stem.

Hybrid Tea
Ideal for cutting, these tall,  striking long stemmed roses are the ones you’ll find in florist bouquets. Hybrid teas have only one flower per stem with many varieties revealing a lovely rose fragrance.

Grandiflora
These repeat bloomers are a cross between a floribunda and a hybrid tea. Growing up to six feet tall, these elegant roses feature clusters on shorter stems.
rose catalogues
Shrub and Carpet
Disease resistant, compact growth, impressive clusters with little to no maintenance makes these a great selection for hillsides. These landscape roses spread growing close to the ground, which is why they are often referred to as “carpet roses”.  Wack them off at the end of the season for even more blooms in the months to come.

Climber
Trained to a trellis, fence, or arbor, these roses produce long, arching canes with prolific blooms. On a wall or wire, they will dress up any garden.

Tree
Hardy root-stock is grafted to a long stemmed rose then grafted again to a rose bush at the top of the stem to make this elegant rose.  Additional care is necessary to maintain these specimens.

Miniature
Perfect for container gardening, these very resilient roses range from six inches to two feet in height. They flower consistently and are great for small spaces. My favorite is called Sun Sprinkles with creamy butter yellow florets on a plant that is only about one foot tall.
roses
Grades: When you buy a rose, you’ll see a number on the tag: 1, 1 ½ and 2. These are grades showing the size and quality of the plant with the best being #1 which will have bigger and better canes, will grow faster, and provide more blooms in the first year. It is always worth buying the best quality rose appropriate for your particular microclimate.

Patents: Some breeders have registered their roses with the patent office so that they cannot be duplicated. This means that you cannot legally propagate it without permission.

Growing Roses: The most important thing to remember for pest protection is to buy a top quality specimen that is appropriate for your conditions. Although most roses prefer full sun, there are varieties that grow beautifully in light shade.  Roses need good drainage in acidic soil. Improve clay soil by working organic matter into the beds to a depth of twelve inches. Gypsum, pine needles, redwood leaves, and coffee grounds will reduce alkalinity.  Fertilize in March with a mixture of alfalfa pellets and diatomaceous earth.  For insect control, companion plant with lavender and alliums.

DeadHeading and Pruning: After blooms are spent, deadhead to encourage repeat blooming. Don’t worry about how you cut the stems. Roses aren’t fussy. You can pinch off the blooms with your fingers or use a sharp shear to cut to the fifth leaf. Once a year at the end of January, prune the wood to half size for all modern varieties. For floribundas, hybrid teas, and grandifloras, early spring just as the buds are swelling is a good time to prune. Old-fashioned roses and climbers need pruning after flowering as they bloom on old wood. If you don’t know what kind of rose bush you have, don’t worry. Prune in late January or February and let nature do its magic. Roses can not be killed by heavy pruning.
carpet roses.jpg
Rose Hips: If you don’t deadhead, you’ll notice tiny little orange to red balls forming where the bloom used to be. The birds love these rose hips as nutritional food and they are also food for humans, especially flavorful in teas. However, by allowing rose hips to form, the bush will stop blooming as the hips signal it is time for a rest. Make sure to prune them off to enable lots of spring flowers.

Thorns: Most roses do have thorns, some more so than others. I am willing to put up with a few cuts now and then because of the pleasure roses provide. I repeat what our great President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, had to say about roses: “Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns. I am thankful that thorns have roses.”

At this time of year you’ll find numerous bare-root varieties available at your nursery and garden center. If you are seeking special roses, peruse rose catalogues. Order David Austin English roses through February 19th and receive a 20% discount off your order. Go to www.DavidAustinRoses.com. Use promo code UHA.

Being a rosarian does breed kindness in people. This year plant a rose garden and enjoy years of beauty, fragrance, and armfuls of bouquets to share throughout every season. 2016 is coming up roses.

Happy Gardening and Happy Growing!

Read more
Roses.jpg

©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.net
I am available as a speaker, designer, and consultant.

Tongue Health, Coming Up Roses, Financial Security by Cynthia Brian

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Empowerment
Tongue Health, Coming Up Roses, Financial Security by Cynthia Brian

2016 StarStyle Banner 1

with Cynthia Brian and Heather Brittany on StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® Radio brought to the airwaves under the auspices of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 charity, LIVE, since 1998.

This hour is fun, informative, and lively. Join us!

Your tongue tells tales. Do you take good care of your tongue? Heather Brittany will tell you what you need to know to keep your mouth healthy.
roses
Roses are the most popular bloomers in the world with a long and colorful history as symbols of love, war, beauty, friendship, and politics. Want to learn how easy they are to grow? Cynthia Brian is coming up roses.

No matter your age, it’s important to save for retirement. We are living longer, buying more, and possibly not watching our money close enough. If you want a secure financial future, Cynthia Brian has a few tips to protect yourself.

Listen at Voice America

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The award winning positive talk radio program, StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® broadcasts on the Voice America Empowerment Channel LIVE every Wednesday from 4-5pm Pt/7-8pm ET.  Cynthia Brian and Heather Brittany are the Mother/Daughter dynamic duo who have been co-hosting this program live weekly since 1998 bringing upbeat, life enhancing conversation to the world. With Cynthia’s expertise in interviewing the trailblazers, authors, and experts and Heather’s healthy living segments, these Goddess Gals are your personal growth coaches helping you to jumpstart your life while igniting your flame of greatness. Brought to the airwaves under the auspices of the literacy and positive media charity, Be the Star You Are!®, each program will pump your energy to help you live, love, laugh, learn, and lead.
For photos, descriptions, links, archives, and more, visit StarStyle Radio.
Get inspired, motivated, and informed with StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!®
Lend us Your Ears!!!
Make a donation today to Be the Star You Are!® charity
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Cynthia Brian talks about the empowering outreach programs offered by Be the Star You Are!® charity.

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