Boots on the Ground
By Cynthia Brian
“I’m fed up with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.” George S. McGovern
“Lose yourself in nature and find peace.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
How much can a gardener accomplish without the proper boots? To be a successful gardener, we need the right tools. Sturdy boots are an indispensable ingredient for keeping steady and safe on any terrain. Although my gardening wardrobe varies with the seasons, the one item that I’m never without is my garden boots. Over the years I’ve worn out numerous pairs of cowboy boots, rubber boots, and mud boots, but none were pretty or stylish. My Christmas gift this year from my daughter and her husband was two pairs of decorative, yet highly functional gardening boots. These boots are beautiful, comfortable, waterproof, and quick cleaning, as they must withstand all types of ground, but not battlegrounds.
They are not combat boots.
Wearing my pretty and protective boots, I wonder about the boots of the brave people of Ukraine, both military and civilian, who are courageously fighting against the Russian aggressors. In unanimity with this valiant nation, I am dedicating this season to the colors of blue and yellow. Glory to the heroes!
We can all spring into solidarity by planting blooms for the brave. Choose a combination of specimens from both color spectrums that best represent how you feel. Make sure to check compatibility with light, moisture, and growth habits. Plant in a pot or create the Ukrainian flag in a grand gesture of unity with any of the varieties listed.
Blue-Eyed Star Grass
Although I don’t know of any weeds other than the dayflower that boast the blue color, many unwanted plants have yellow flowers. Keep in mind, what some people consider a weed, others enjoy as a medicinal herb, wildflower, or pretty plant. Weeds are plants growing where they are not wanted. Some species that many gardeners consider weeds are sold as garden favorites in garden centers. You decide what you want to allow to thrive in your garden. Seeds from weeds are spread by wind, water, and birds, quickly and effectively. If you have weeds, it is best to pull them out by hand by the root as soon as possible and before they go to seed as they can take over a huge area in a very minimal amount of time. Many of these weeds are considered invasive and noxious as they are difficult to control, and they displace welcome plants. Also, be aware that any plant could be poisonous if ingested. Never take a taste sample of a plant unless you are certain that it is safe.
WEEDS with Yellow Flowers
Creeping Jenny Yellow burr weed
St. John’s Wort
Goat head wee
I am saddened and outraged by the aggression and devastation Russian forces have and continue to inflict on this independent nation, specifically targeting innocent civilian populations, hospitals, and schools. In addition to prayers, positive thoughts, and donations to relief organizations, spring into solidarity with Ukraine and exhibit blue and yellow now and until this unjustified war is resolved.
Our boots are made for walking and while my boots are on my grounds, as I garden, I stand for Ukraine.
Cynthia Brian’s Mid-Month Garden Reminders
ü PLANT early blooming pollinators including California poppy, chives, larkspur dianthus, lupine, pea, viola, and sweet alyssum.
ü GOPHERS are breeding. Be on the alert to eradicate these destroyers.
ü START your spring gardening by improving the soil. Gardens are often missing the microorganisms and nutrients needed for a thriving crop.
ü RE-SEED or plant a new lawn during this spring weather. Commence weekly mowing for sturdier growing. For best results, do not use a leaf bag but instead, allow the clippings to compost on the grass naturally.
ü FERTILIZE fruit trees and flowering shrubs with a high nitrogen solution.
ü DIVIDE perennials such as daylilies and agapanthus.
ü CLUMP flowers together in areas measuring four feet diameter or more to attract bees, butterflies, and birds.
ü CLEAN fountains, ponds, birdbaths, and other water features to welcome our flying friends home for the warmer weather.
ü CELEBRATE spring on March 20th, the vernal equinox. The day and nighttime hours equal exactly twelve each.
ü SET a bowl of yellow and blue fruits such as lemons, grapefruits, bananas, grapes, and blueberries to remind us that freedom isn’t free, we fight for it.
ü FIND peace in nature.
ü SHOW solidarity with Ukraine and democracy by embracing a garden filled with blue and yellow flowering plants.
Happy Gardening. Happy Growing. Happy Spring. Triumph for Ukraine and the world.!
Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, is available for hire to help you prepare for your spring garden. Raised in the vineyards of Napa County, Cynthia is a New York Times best-selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3. Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at www.StarStyleRadio.com.
Buy copies of her books, including, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, and Be the Star You Are! www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. Receive a FREE inspirational music DVD and special savings.
Hire Cynthia for writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.