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Plan a Picnic or Pool Party

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Empowerment
Plan a Picnic or Pool Party

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“There are few things so pleasant as a picnic eaten in perfect comfort.”  W. Somerset Maugham

Perhaps because I practiced interior design as a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers (A.S.I.D.) for twenty-five years, or perhaps because my gardener mother always created gorgeous, casual, and delicious summer gatherings, my style of summer outdoor entertaining has always included color, surprises, and fun.  With the lovely warm weather, whether it’s throwing a blanket on the deck for an impromptu picnic or setting a stunning table for a themed get-together, dining alfresco is my preferred approach to feeding my guests.  

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My cues arrive in collaboration between my interior and exterior spaces. Since I designed my garden to be an extension of my home, the outdoor eating areas complement the kitchen creating an inviting flow from my interior décor to the garden rooms. Creating this sense of serenity and continuity is as significant to the outside of the home as it is to the inside. Before I plan my menu or my decorations, I meander around my garden spaces, investigating what flowers will be blooming during the fete and what fruits and vegetables will be ready for harvesting. I want to know what scents, textures, lighting, and colors will be on display on that particular day or evening. Once I’ve taken a few photos and made notes, the party planning begins.

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The goal is to always serve a menu filled with fresh, homegrown ingredients that honor the colors of the rainbow. Whatever is ripe in my garden at the moment will star in the meal. If I didn’t grow it, I’ll purchase what’s in season from a local fruit stand or Farmer’s Market.  Tomatoes, beets, arugula, carrots, peppers, eggplant, corn, cucumbers, watermelon, peaches, nectarines, tangerines, apricots, cherries, apples, and eggs are a few of my normal staples that will inspire not only the carte du jour, but my tablecloths, floral arrangements, and tableware. 

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If it’s a pool party, sturdy yet pretty shimmery plastic ware is essential as bringing glass near a swimming area is a major no-no. Making sure the lounge chairs have fluffy beach towels, the fountains are spouting or gurgling, and the planters are filled with colorful combinations of annuals are part of designing an inviting setting that encourages the guests to grab a drink, relax, and inhale the fresh air. 

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For a picnic on the lawn, experiment with an edible arrangement of herbs that can flavor the picnic fare served on paper plates. Basil, thyme, rosemary, mint, sage, lovage, calendula, and nasturtium are starters. Setting up a game of croquet offers a sense of play and recreation.

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For a more formal party, covering chairs with a gauzy material and fashioning a more extravagant centerpiece with roses or peonies adds elegance to the occasion. Besides serving wine, beer, or other beverages consider crafting an original cocktail to get the festivities rolling.

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Here’s a refreshing summer garden cocktail that I concocted for a girlfriend’s birthday that is both luscious and appealing. Measure according to your liking.

Summer Garden Cocktail (or Mocktail)

  • ϖ Muddle together watermelon and mint leaves. 
  • ϖ Add the juice of Meyer lemons and limes. 
  • ϖ Stir in a spoonful of honey. 
  • ϖ Pour into a pitcher with equal parts sparkling water and ginger ale. 
  • ϖ Add tequila or your favorite alcohol. (Eliminate the alcohol for a mocktail)
  • ϖ Stir and pour over crushed ice into glasses rimmed with salt.
  • ϖ Garnish with a spring of mint and piece of melon.Special patio party coctail.jpg

Don’t forget the kids! Make mocktails. When the three or four generations of our extended family gather, the little ones get excited shouting “picnic party, picnic party”.  We’ll paint faces, run around blowing bubbles, climb through nylon tunnels, splash in the pool, and dance to silly songs. A big mat or cloth is spread on the grass or the deck with platters of finger foods. The kids happily dive in for the feast. 

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String lights, candles in jars, patio heaters, and your favorite tunes all add to the comfort and contentment. Nothing is ever perfect. There will be spills, breaks, trampled flowers, bug bites, and burnt barbecue.  But that’s the splendor and unpredictability of partying in the garden.  As Erasmus said, “No party is any fun unless seasoned with folly.” 

Enjoy the dazzling days and easy evenings of summer with a picnic or pool party. Kick- off your shoes, slather on the sunscreen, don your sunglasses, and chill out. Summer is a time to slow down to appreciate being outside surrounded by nature. 

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Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for August

STAY hydrated. Drink lots of water, don’t do garden chores in the extreme heat, and keep sports drinks on hand.

BE fire safe. Read how to landscape your garden to be more fire-resistant.  https://blog.voiceamerica.com/2019/05/21/firescaping-for-survival/

STAKE gladiolus as they tend to be top-heavy and fall over.

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DEADHEAD roses and other perennials to keep the blooms coming

CLEAN pruning shears with alcohol after each use.

CONTINUE weeding. Make sure to cut any dry, tall grass.

HARVEST fruit and vegetables in the morning for best flavor and nutrition. A few of the fruits and vegetables that are currently ripe are plums, peaches, apples, melons, tomatoes, cucumbers, beets, beans, corn, carrots, and zucchini.

PICK up any fruit that has fallen on the ground to prevent rodents, raccoons, turkeys, and other critters from invading your garden.

ENCOURAGE herb growth by pinching the tips. Use the cuttings in your recipes.

MULCH your garden to retain moisture and keep roots cool. Do not use gorilla hair as it is highly flammable. Keep all mulches moist.

SOW seeds of brassicas including cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and kohlrabi for an autumn harvest.

PLAN now for autumn planting.

WATER plantings in containers daily if needed. The heat dries out pots quickly.

ORDER spring-flowering bulbs from catalogs including tulips, Dutch iris, daffodils, woodland hyacinths, and whatever else grabs your attention.

PLAN a picnic party. Re-live your summer camp frolics. Casual or upscale, the fun begins outdoors.

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Read more and view photos at https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1311/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Prep-a-picnic-or-pool-party.html

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing! 

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

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

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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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Sip into Summer

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Empowerment
Sip into Summer

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“As the scent to the rose, are those memories to me.” Amelia C. Welby

Cooler weather has bidden a sweet goodbye, and warmer days beckon us to linger outdoors. My garden is ablaze with blooms and the aromas of scrumptious scents. My daughter Heather Brittany, also an avid gardener, is visiting and wants to learn more by walking through the landscape with me.

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However, on this occasion, I am the student and she is the teacher as we stroll through the perfumed botanicals. Heather is a sommelier, a trained and knowledgeable wine professional working in an elite and innovative winery in Temecula. 

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With a glass of vino in hand and several varietals opened on the patio, she crushes leaves and pinches petals informing me of the subtle flavors we may be experiencing as we sip our way through the backyard. We pick nasturtium, rose, mint, mock orange, cherry, lambs ear, calendula, Nigella, lemongrass, fennel, various citrus, berries, and a sliver of an olive branch.

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We stick our noses in lilies, lavender, and jasmine, inhaling deeply. 

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We scoop a handful of soil and mulch to draw in the aromas of nature.  Rosemary, sage, thyme, chervil, parsley, oregano, and bay…I haven’t ever thought of them as essences of wine. At each stop, she encourages me to stop, breathe in, and imagine. “Touch the lambs ear.

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Feel the velvety finish of the Queen Elizabeth rose. Take a bite of fennel. Slow down. What do you see? What do you smell? What do you feel? What do you taste?”

I was born and groomed in the vineyards of Napa Valley where I learned farming and gardening skills from my parents and grandparents, yet I’ve never ambled in my private gardens equating my flowers and herbs with the wine I consume.

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Often I’ve been told that as a writer, I should be crafting the verbiage on wine labels. What has kept me from being creative in that format are some of the normal descriptions that I read on bottles. Leather, tar, asphalt, and tobacco are not ingredients that I choose to imbibe.  But here, in my garden, I understand. We luxuriate in the multitude of floral opportunities to discover the subtle notes of the fruit of the vine.

A whiff of a barnyard reminds me of my childhood riding horses, tending sheep, branding cattle, and raising chickens.

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Pine and redwood needles evoke the memories of Christmas. A shaving of St. Lucia nutmeg makes me nostalgic for Thanksgiving. Narcissus and jasmine are the smells of spring. The sweet stench of aged compost and sensational swathes of fragrant roses and perfumed lavender offer spectacular sights and spice to the summer garden.

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On our way back to the house we watch a small sparrow flit from my pine wreath at the back door. Upon careful inspection, we witness three tiny eggs nestled in a nest. We shoot a photo to remember our afternoon lesson. What a fitting finale from our spring into summer sipping expedition!

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Pour yourself a glass of Bacchus’s favorite beverage and walk around your garden indulging your senses with scents and memories. Slow down. What do you see? What do you smell? What do you feel? What do you taste?  Sip into summer!

Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for June

PRUNE daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, bluebells, freesias, and other bulbs once the leaves have turned crispy yellow.

ADD companion plantings of Oriental poppies, allium, delphinium, daylilies, salvia, and peony.

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PHOTOGRAPH eggs in a bird’s nest, but don’t disturb the nest. The mother bird is alert and watching.

CELEBRATE National Pollinator Week June 17-23 by planting three new pollinator plants that will attract bees, butterflies, and birds. Try Nigella (love-in-a-mist), bee balm, and fennel.

DIVIDE perennials before the weather is too warm. Alstroemeria, hosta, yarrow, aster, and astilbe. Most perennials need dividing every three to four years to maintain annual blooms.

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ADD three inches of mulch to your garden. If you have pine or redwood trees, gather the needles to mulch your roses, azaleas, rhododendrons, fuchsias, and other acid-loving plants. The mulch will keep the plants cooler and maintain moisture.

CONTAIN all mints in pots with saucers. Spearmint, peppermint, pineapple mint, catnip, and the rest of the mint family can easily become invasive when planted in the ground.

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DEADHEAD roses at least weekly to encourage continual blooming.

BAIT for snails and slugs.

PLANT annuals in blocks of odd numbers—three, five, seven, nine, or more to create a more natural and aesthetically pleasing look to the human eye. To achieve this, you can plant the same variety of flowers in each odd grouping, or you can create color blocks with several similar varieties.

CUT bouquets of alstroemeria flowers for two weeks of vase life enjoyment.

WALK through your garden to savor the scents of a variety of plants. 

PICK cherries as they ripen before the birds eat them all.Bing cherries.jpg

 

DO a second planting of beets, chard, beans, and radishes. 

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LISTEN to the serenading of the bullfrogs as they seduce with their song.

REPEL mosquitoes by emptying all vessels containing even a few drops of water. Add Dunks® to ponds or non-circulating water sources. Citronella and lemongrass plants supposedly help placed on the patio.

POUR a glass of wine and decipher the flavors that emanate from the garden. 

COMMEMORATE any special occasion with a gift from the garden and include a copy of my book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener available at http://www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store

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CELEBRATE life with a “bonfire” in a spark shielded firepit.  Did you know that the word “bonfire” derived from the words “bone fire” because bones were burned to make lime to sweeten the soil? In years past, bone fires, or bonfires were beacons to guide travelers on land and sea. 

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing. Read more and see photos: 

https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1308/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Sip-into-summer.html

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

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

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Buy a copy of her books, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers atcyntha brian with books.jpg

 

Hire Cynthia for projects, consults, and lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

Coffee Benefits, Fall Outdoors, Parenting

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Empowerment
Coffee Benefits, Fall Outdoors, Parenting

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Are you a coffee aficionado? Did you know that coffee is now considered good for your health and longevity? Learn more about America’s java cravings, cautions, claims, and benefits.

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As summer draws to a close, it’s natural to want to grab the last rays of outdoor living. Tips on how to enjoy the outdoors at the end of summer including how to get rid of a skunk’s stinky spray on your beloved pet.

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Sometimes our adult children make choices that are destructive. As a caring parent, we have to step in with an opinion while maintaining family harmony. What do you say and how do you say it?

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Listen at Voice America:https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/102191/coffee-break-outdoors-parenting-adult-children

The Pear and Wine Festival is Sat. Sept 23. Seeking sponsors for  Be the Star You Are!® booth for youth empowerment http://ow.ly/Ss8K30e9DH2

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

Read our BTSYA August Newsletter: http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/672296/13faf62186/288055965/bbd34d3431/

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

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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.starstyleradio.com/store

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For photos, descriptions, links, archives, and more, visit http://www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Get inspired, motivated, and informed with StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!®

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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!®

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Summer Loving in the Garden by Cynthia Brian

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Empowerment
Summer Loving in the Garden by Cynthia Brian

Boot Basil

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

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

I was delighted to have my daughter, Heather (yes, named after the flower), spend a couple of weeks with me recently.  The first words out of her mouth as she walked into the garden were “Mom, your landscape looks like a scene from Alice in Wonderland. It’s so colorful, bold, beautiful.” Indeed, my garden is a riot of hues with roses, gladiolas, lilies, love in the mist, calendulas, clematis, petunias, dahlias, hibiscus, geraniums, pelargoniums, calla lilies, nasturtiums, butterfly bush, guavas, daisies,  poppies, osteospermum, chamomile, salvias, lavender, numerous herbs, and flowering succulents.  Many of the blooms are edible, gracing my salads, sauces, and stir-fry.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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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

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

Heart Health, Count Your Blessings, Kids Summer Safety by Cynthia Brian

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Empowerment
Heart Health, Count Your Blessings, Kids Summer Safety by Cynthia Brian

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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!


Are you heart healthy? If you are an athlete or want to live a stronger life, you need to know what your heart needs. Heather Brittany provides the tips in Health Matters.

Are you a person who is grateful for the little things in life? By showing appreciation for what you have instead of what you don’t have is a key component of physical and emotional health. Find out how to increase your happiness quotient with Lifestyle coach, Cynthia Brian.

Kids love summer. We all love summer.  With all the excitement it’s easy to forget about safety. Do you know who is living in your neighborhood? Are you aware of the dangers to kids? Who could be lurking at the community pool? Find out how to have a fun and safe vacation.

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Read our BTSYA April Newsletter
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Help Be the Star You Are!® without spending a penny. If you’ve ever purchased a TV or computer screen, just 3 minutes of your time is needed to fill out the simple form and click submit. Every unit qualifies for a donation of about $20 to Be the Star You Are!®. You will receive a tax receipt once the donations have been dispersed. PLEASE do this today. Thanks from Be the Star You Are!®

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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.
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Your Garden is Your Canvas by Cynthia Brian

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Empowerment
Your Garden is Your Canvas by Cynthia Brian

jacobs coat rose

By Cynthia Brian

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

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

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

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

Happy gardening. Happy growing!

Read More

©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.

Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for July

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Empowerment
Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for July

“To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle.”
~ Walt Whitman

cyn in hydrangeas

Yeah! It’s summer. Time for vacations, swim meets, barbecues, swinging in hammocks!, and…conserving water resources. Our weather patterns have certainly been weird.  My car thermostat registered 107 degrees on a Monday in June and two days later I was gathering buckets to catch the downpour. The thirteen hours of welcome rain was not enough to quench the thirst of our landscapes. Brown may be the new green, but I prefer to call our gardens California gold. My lawn crunches when I walk on it and the only green is the slowly spreading striking clover with its tiny pink flowers. Yet, have hope, because as long as we maintain vigilante, come winter, lawns and gardens will revitalize.

pond with poppies

Is your garden sunny or shady? When evaluating what to plant where, remember that an area is considered sunny when it gets at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. When an area receives four to five hours of sunshine, it is considered only partly sunny. A shade garden is an area that receives less than three hours a day of sunshine.

This week I received a few new releases of hibiscus from JBerry Nursery. These stunning specimens are called Patio Party with colors that are bursting with flair and frivolity. Although they are advertised as being deer resistant, as soon as I planted mine, our dear deer devoured the flowers and leaves.
I made wire cages to protect the plants and am now considering installing a deer fence. As much as I enjoy observing these munching marauders, with our severe drought, they are hungrier than usual and are eating plants that they’d normally avoid.
fireworks dahlia
Did you read the recent insert of your East Bay Municipal Utility District water bill? With our busy schedules most people toss the extras but this issue of Pipeline discussed the critical water shortage and the mandatory outdoor watering rules. Because these new regulations affect all landscapes, in BOLD I am posting the rules now in effect with a few of my personal recommendations.
1. Strict limits on frequency of watering: no more that two non-consecutive days per week with no runoff.  I recommend choosing a Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday or Wednesday and Saturday to water. Sundays are a day to rest.
2. Strict limits on times: only before 9 a. m. or after 6 p.m. Depending on how long your watering schedule takes, I recommend watering lawns in the mornings beginning anytime after 6 a.m. By doing this, you give your grass time to absorb the moisture and enjoy the sun. When you water your lawn in the evening, you may be inviting lawn moths as the grass doesn’t have enough time to dry. For your flowerbeds, evening is a better time to water as the moisture has twelve to fifteen hours to saturate and quench the earth.
3. No watering allowed within 48 hours of measurable rainfall.
4. No watering of ornamental turf on public street medians allowed.
5. No washing of driveways and sidewalks, except as needed for health and safety.  I recommend that you use a broom to sweep or a blower to keep driveways and sidewalks clean.
6. Use only hoses with shutoff nozzles to wash vehicles. If you have an area of grass or lawn that is accessible to your vehicle, drive on the lawn and wash your car, using biodegradable soap. Your car gets clean and your lawn gets a drink.
7. Turn off fountains or decorative water features unless the water is re-circulated.  Remember if you have uncirculated standing water, you are inviting mosquito larvae to hatch. Buy Dunks or add a bit of bleach to keep the water mosquito free.
Conservation is essential and EBMUD will be adopting excessive use ordinances that will penalize households. We may not be able to keep our landscapes beautiful, but we can keep our gardens alive. Just remember they aren’t brown, they are California golden.
ferns
Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for July

⎫ CUT old or overgrown elderberry trees down to the ground. The stump will re-sprout providing better flower and fruit production.
⎫ GROW a pollinator garden in a pot with nectar and pollen rich snapdragons, coneflowers, coreopsis, zinnias, thyme, sage, salvias, and sedums.
⎫ PLANT tall perennials together as support beams for one another. Make sure to read the tags for spacing details. Don’t overcrowd.
⎫ CELEBRATE the 4th of July with a picnic table set with red, white, and blue flowers from your garden.  Red roses, dahlias, or alstroemeria, blue agapantha, white gardenia or begonia will be surefire winners.
⎫ CHECK for sources of mosquito breeding. Mosquitoes won’t breed in swimming pools as long as the pool is filtered and chlorinated.
⎫ REPEL pests and attract beneficial birds and insects by planting aromatic herbs such as basil, rosemary, thyme, or sage.
⎫ REDUCE weeds by mulching with grass clippings, leaves, and other organics. Sweep or blow all of your leaves onto your lawn before mowing. Use a bag on the mower and pour all of the contents into the compost pile.
⎫ WATCH the frolicking of the birds in your garden, specifically the California quail. Both the father and the mother tend to their covey of babies.
⎫ BLAST aphids with a strong spray from the hose on any plants that have been invaded. If you see ants on your plants, they are protecting the aphids. Get rid of the ants and you’ll also get rid of the aphids.
⎫ SPRAY yourself with a bug repellent containing DEET for outdoor festivities when biting insects are present.
⎫ BRING miracles into your life by savoring the long days of summer.

Happy Independence Day. May your month of July be filled with fireworks of fun.
Happy Gardening and happy growing.
Read more at Lamorinda Weekly

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

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.

Cynthia Brian’s Garden Guide for June

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Empowerment
Cynthia Brian’s Garden Guide for June

Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for June
by Cynthia Brian
pansy bed -duck
“Why stay on earth except to grow?” Robert Browning

End of the school year, graduations, Father’s Day, weddings, baby showers, vacations…June signals the beginning of summer and the season of outdoor celebrations. With so many milestones to check off our fun to-do lists, we hardly have a moment to think about gardening. Yet, for the next several months most of us will be enjoying the outdoors more than ever. It’s time to make sure that our landscapes are welcoming, manicured, and inviting. Kumquats, loquats, and cherries are ripe for the picking, bougainvillea is resplendent with fluorescent radiance, pansies brighten beds while poppies still flourish on hillsides. Pick a bouquet of alstroemeria, the lily of the Incas, for a pop of bright color to add to your party. If you have been diligent in saving your grey water, make sure you are dumping it daily into your garden to prevent mosquitoes from breeding. Heidi from Vector Control informed me that because of the drought, mosquitoes are expected to be a major problem this summer as people collect water in barrels and buckets.  Be water and mosquito conscious by using your saved water immediately in your landscape or house plants.

nonie's pik bougainvilla

CLEAN patio furniture, if you haven’t already. If you’ve left your lounges outside for the winter, they will need a thorough scrubbing. Check cushions and pillows to either wash or replace.

GOING on vacation and want to make sure that your indoor plants don’t die while you are gone? Instead of hiring a person to come to water, clip off the ends of a long thick shoelace, place one end deep into the soil and the other end into a tall vase of water. Water will wick up the shoelace keeping your plant hydrated while you are on holiday!

BOOST your creativity quotient by taking a walk outside. A study recently published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that your creativity soars 60% by walking in nature as opposed to brainstorming at your desk.
PLANT pumpkins now for a Halloween harvest. This is also a perfect opportunity to get your corn, eggplant, beets, and cucumbers started.

SUCCESSION plant your greens every three weeks including lettuce and arugula as well as root vegetables like carrots, radishes, and turnips.

SOW seeds of basil, cilantro, chives, and parsley for a summer season of savory spice.
bowl of cumquats,
CHECK your drip irrigation systems as well as any sprinklers heads.

SOAK your big trees, such as magnolias, with a deep soaker hose. If leaves are yellowing and curling, the tree is thirsty and wants a very long, deep drink.

SAVE water by watering only once or twice a week, early in the morning when the plants will absorb the most. Watch for run off.

PROPAGATE azaleas, carnations, fuchsias, and hydrangeas by taking cuttings and planting in rich soil.

NET your fruit trees to prevent hungry birds from devouring your summer crops of cherries, peaches, apricots, and apples.

DEADHEAD spent rose petals weekly to encourage continuous blooms.

MAINTAIN your weeding schedule. Be vigilant to pull weeds as soon as they appear as they zap nutrients and our precious water from plants that we actually want.
alstromeria-1 lilies
COMPOST all of your scraps except meat products to stimulate microbial activity while limiting nematode invasions.

ATTRACT butterflies and honeybees by planting nectar rich specimens including zinnias, butterfly bush, and scarlet runner beans.

WIN a grant of $10,000 sponsored by the National Garden Bureau with a therapeutic garden that supports and promotes the health and healing powers between people and plants. For more information visit, www.ngb.org.

PINCH seedlings on annuals to encourage branching and lush, fuller growth patterns.

SUPPORT your sprouting tomatoes with wire cages or teepees to prevent them from toppling over to sprawling on the ground. The fruit will rot when in contact with soil.

ALLOW passion flower tendrils to vine and twine over fences and trellises. Although there are over 400 species of vines and shrubs, all Passiflora boast an exotic flower that lives only a day.

MULCH your entire garden with at least three inches of material to help retain moisture, keep the soil cooler, and prevent drought related problems throughout the upcoming hot months.
california poppies

Happy Gardening and Happy Growing!

Read more HERE

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

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.

Express Yourself Teens Talk Discuss Tips & Tricks for Trips plus Anti-Bullying Info By Cynthia Brian

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Express Yourself Teens Talk Discuss  Tips & Tricks for Trips plus Anti-Bullying Info By Cynthia Brian

 Hollywood

Summertime is here and that means traveling. It’s time to leave your comfort zone, explore, experiment, and enjoy exciting new destinations. Hosts Youngjoo Ahn and Henna Hundal talk about their summer travel plans while offering tips and tricks for a healthy, happy vacation, whether it be to a foreign country or around the block. Health Beat Reporter, Nicole Eubanks, couldn’t be on the show but she gave her helpful ideas to the hosts to share. 

MC

Special guest is 14 year-old Mandalynn Carlson, an actor, singer sassy stand-up comedian, and an outspoken advocate for anti-bullying.  She stars in the feature film debuting this summer, A Horse for Summer with Dean Cain. Mandalynn also starred as Annie in The Dead Kid, which tells a bullying story from her perspective, a film currently on the world film festival circuit. She travels extensively for her work as an actor and was the series lead in Brenda Forever, a guest star on Scandal, a co-star on CSI-NY, a recurring character on Totally, as well as a supporting role in Machine Gun Preacher. She is touring Southern California schools with the troupe from Music is My Language promoting anti-bullying and loves working in Arizona.

Whatever your summer plans, make sure to add travel to your itinerary. Discover new atmospheres  find yourself in new adventures. Not only will your body get to enjoy a fresh and healthy change in scenery, but you’ll find yourself having a really awesome experience as well.  Listen at Voice America and Listen at Express Yourself! Teen Radio.

Congrats to everyone who volunteers and supports Be the Star You Are!®. BTSYA has been named a 2014 TOP NON PROFIT for the 6th straight year and is one of the first to be awarded this honor by Guidestar and Great Non Profits.

Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio is produced by Cynthia Brian of Starstyle® Productions, llc as an outreach program of Be the Star You Are!® charity. For information on being a guest email caiekelley@gmail.com. To make a tax-deductible donation to keep this positive youth programming broadcasting weekly to international audiences. Thanks for supporting teens!

Be the Star You Are!® charity. It’s the Season of Giving Make a donation today. Buy books and shirts and more!

Buy, sip and savor coffee, tea, and hot chocolate from Coffee That Gives Back through September 15, and 25% of your purchase will be donated to Be the Star You Are!® with no additional cost to you. You can also buy personal care and nutraceuticals for delivered. 

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