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

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

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

Happy gardening. Happy growing!

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

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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