Dig Deep with Goddess Gardener, Cynthia Brian

Dig Deep with Goddess Gardener, Cynthia Brian

Published January 5, 2022
Dig Deep with Goddess Gardener, Cynthia Brian
Dig Deep with Goddess Gardener, Cynthia Brian
Roses continue to bloom through the winter. Photos Cynthia Brian

“Learn in seed time, learn in autumn, enjoy in winter.” – William Blake

The rainy days and nights have been a welcome respite for our dry, drought-driven California. What a pleasure to witness green hills and listen to the rushing water of our streams. In the last few weeks, seeds and weeds have sprouted, giving a lush look to every landscape. Green is the color of life, renewal and most of all nature. Where are we lucky to see green areas and places when the new year starts.

Following the recent atmospheric river, I went to check out the Brussels sprouts and sugar peas that had been previously planted. To my surprise and delight, the gravel path was covered with sprouted arugula and nasturtium, a very delicious unplanned encounter. The seeds must have been blown in from the kitchen garden and donated to a ready-made salad bowl. In another area, chamomile has covered the ground like a sumptuous lime blanket. Weeds that act as ground cover have also made their appearance. The common cut pelargonium, a wild weed also known as crane nose, covers my hillside. It is beautiful at this stage of its lying growth; however, it will prevent other plants from developing. For spring, it will have small pink bouquets. The recommendation is to control the spread early as each plant will produce 150 seeds or more that will remain viable for five to 10 years! I have work to do.

In winter, wisteria is a jumble of bare branches. My purple wisteria has twisted into my flowering bulb, giving an artistic tableau with the bulbous flowers peeking out from the thorns. Fresh leaves have appeared on the loquat tree and the magnolia leaves are shiny radiant green. Community garlic, bergenia, daffodils and roses add extra color to the emerald landscape. Bare lady onions have sprouted their beautiful green leaves, which are commonly confused with agapanthus leaves. I often write about naked ladies as they are the foundation of my late summer garden with their long naked necks and beautiful, pink faces. This week I have taken pictures of their green leaves, which highlight the beauty of barren soil.

My garden has entered the new year in such good shape that I will be able to enjoy the winter. If you have not grown a garden before, 2022 will be the time to personalize and customize your outdoor experience to reduce stress, smell the roses and eat what you grow.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention published a study that showed that 42% of Americans experienced anxiety or depression by 2021 compared to only 11% pre-pandemic. Growing, giving and receiving flowers, herbs, vegetables and fruits triggers the healing hormones that heal. Most seeds sold this year will be for edible goods as more and more people realize that it is easy, nutritious and better for the planet to grow what we want to consume.

Garden Media Group reported that in 2021, 18.3 million people began gardening, with the same level of interest in men and women. Eighty percent of the younger generation consider gardening a valuable and “bold” effort, as concerns about climate change, the extinction of plants and wildlife, and the food balance escalate. People with children are especially interested in growing organic and natural foods. Purchase of grow-yourself kits that include the container, seeds, plants, fertilizer and supports as well as raised beds are expected to be in high demand. Adding native plants to increase biodiversity and feed to the birds and wildlife will also be a critical ingredient. The National Wildlife Federation launched a Guide to Wildlife collection of keystone-native plants that will attract insects that will feed 95% of the backyard bird species. Getting to know our neighborhood birds has already become a popular pastime. Be sure to provide food for them while enjoying their symphonic melodies. (See my article, “A Berry, Merry Christmas. Mostly for the Birds” www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1522/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-A-berry-merry-christmas-mostly -for-the-birds.html)

You do not need a large landscape to have a garden. You can buy planters or containers that fit on your porch, balcony, patio or even a window sill. Start planning a mix of flowers, ornamentals and edible things. Many flowers are both beautiful and edible, including violets, nasturtium, pansies, tulip leaves, daylilies, bibalsam, calendula, roses, hostas and herbal flowers. By making 2022 the year to embrace organic methods, add more plants to our eating menus and compost the leftovers, we can each do our part to reduce our CO2 footprint.

As you write your goals and decisions for 2022, I encourage you to keep a green diary and add gardening to the top of your list. You will be rewarded with a more peaceful mind, a soulful spirit, a kinder heart and a nourished body. Cultivate a theme of green, and together we will dig deeper to maintain and nurture our environment for ourselves and future generations.

In winter, enjoy!

Happy gardening. Happy growth. Happy green New Year!

Shiny leaves from the magnolia tree, a pollinator magnet. Photos Cynthia Brian
The purple bouquets of community garlic add purple to the green landscape. Photos Cynthia Brian
A former gravel path boasts a salad of wild arugula and nasturtium. Photos Cynthia Brian
The weed, common cut wild geranium must be pulled as soon as possible. Photos Cynthia Brian
Narcissus blooms with wavy scent.
Pear flowers peek through a tangle of barren wisteria.
New green growth on the loquat tree.
Cynthia Brian toasts to all gardeners in the new year! Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, can be hired to help you prepare your conservatory. Cynthia grew up in the vineyards of Napa County and is a New York Times bestselling author, actress, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach, as well as the founder and CEO of Be the Star You Are! R 501 c3. Listen to Cynthia’s StarStyler Radio Broadcast at www.StarStyleRadio.com. Buy copies of her books, including Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, Grow with the Goddess Gardener, and Be the Star You Are! www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. Receive a FREE inspirational music DVD and special savings. Hire Cynthia for writing projects, garden consultations and inspirational lectures. Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com www.GoddessGardener.com

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