• Cynthia Brian

Growing Gratitude in the Garden



“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.” Henry Ward Beecher Are you grateful for the simple things in life? This is the perfect time of the year to reflect upon our blessings and gifts. I am so thankful for all of you who read Digging Deep, Gardening with Cynthia Brian. Your interest and questions are always appreciated. Thank you, also, for so many of you who have hired me to help you with your planting needs or garden desires. It’s magnificent to grow with you. Every day I am very grateful to be a gardener to witness the beauty, bounty, and endless diversity of Mother Nature. Our landscapes are ever changing. What’s here today may not be here tomorrow, nor, the next year. Seeing the cows grazing in the hills, breathing our clean air, enjoying peace, safety, and serenity that only comes from living in this semi-rural environment makes my heart sing with gratitude. Wild turkeys have moved into Lamorinda territory, immune to the possibility of becoming a holiday main dish! A big Tom waddled across my driveway as two-dozen of his hens toppled and gobbled the berries from the top of my Chinese pistache. As annoying as they can be, I’m happy to co-exist with the wild things. You may want to collect a few of the beautiful turkey feathers as I do to add to your holiday bouquets! Persimmon trees are bursting with orange tangy fruit, ready for our holiday puddings. Fall is still showing off its brilliant robes of reds, yellows, and gold, yet there is a nip in the air reminding us that winter in a little over a month. Pumpkins and gourds are still a seasonal favorite. Native to North America, pumpkins are a vegetable, not a fruit, genus Cucubita, species pepo or maxima. They are a type of winter squash and the really weird, ugly ones are the most delicious. The blue-green pumpkins you are growing or have purchased are derived from New Zealand. Cook them as their golden-yellow flesh boasts a sweet, mild aromatic flavor. Were you repelled by the warty pumpkins you saw in markets this year? Don’t be! Those ugly growths are actually sugar secretions. The more warty the pumpkin, the smoother, creamier, and sweeter the flesh inside. Make a pumpkin puree for dinner, or a scrumptious pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving and you’ll be hooked! As we soon bid farewell to fall, let us all keep gratitude in our hearts as we look for the fertile joys that sprout with simplicity. Believe something wonderful is about to transpire. Grow and glow in gratefulness. Cynthia Brian’s Mid Month Garden Reminders PLANT Woodland Herbaceous Peonies, a separate species of herbaceous peony that thrive in the shade. Naturalizing in a deciduous woodland area with the early spring sun and summer shade, they will grow to 1.5 feet tall and self-seed as a ground cover. . Woodland peonies provide three-season appeal with delicate white flowers in early spring, lush green foliage throughout the growing seasons, and dramatic indigo and scarlet seed pods in the fall. http://peonysenvy.com LOOKING for a pre-planned garden selection. High Country Gardens offers deer and drought resident plants that have color, texture, and curb appeal. http://www.highcountrygardens.com PRUNE those thorny creepers, bougainvillea, now to remove old flowers. Cover with burlap if exposed in an area that gets frost. COLLECT turkey feathers to add to bouquets to wreaths for Thanksgiving. PICK persimmons. Fuyu persimmons can be eaten like apples but the hachiyas must be mushy ripe before eating. PUREE warty pumpkins for the sweetest, smoothest, most delicious pumpkin dish you’ll ever taste. Obviously, don’t puree the skins! CUT branches from liquid amber or Japanese maple trees to use indoors for a punch of end of fall color. PLANT your spring bulbs now through January to enjoy a meadow of continuous flowers next year. PICK up pansies to plant for winter. 2017 has been named The Year of the Pansy. ADD a cover crop to your garden to fix the nitrogen and make green manure for spring. Austrian winter pea has delicious edible pee shoots. Other great mulching cover crops include clover, mustard, and vetch. DISCOVER a tree to climb with your kids. It’s that time of year! CULTIVATE ornamental grasses for low-maintenance and drought tolerate plantings. Maiden hair grass, blonde ambition grass, feather reed grass, and silky thread grass are a few of the lesser known but easily propagated species. TRAIN rambling and vining plants on a trellis or tall support for a spectacular vertical garden wherever space is lacking. SOW wildflower seeds that will attract pollinators, hummingbirds, and beneficial bugs. PRUNE all perennials when finished blooming. Add the stems and spent flowers to the compost pile. FERTILIZE lawns. GIVE thanks every day for something. Keeping a gratitude journal alongside your garden guide is a great tool for remembering to be grateful. Thank you, thank you for being my special gardening gang. I am humbled to be your guide on the side. There is no such thing as a brown thumb, just one that hasn’t turned green yet! Happy Gardening and Happy Growing! Happy Thanksgiving and Turkey Day! Read more at https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1019/Digging-Deep-Growing-Gratitude-in-the-Garden.html ©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.


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