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Love Potions in the Garden
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Digging Deep with Cynthia Brian-

Love Potions for the Garden


By Cynthia Brian


“Where there's love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong." Ella Fitzgerald



Thank goodness Valentine’s Day is celebrated in February otherwise these could be considered the most miserable twenty-eight days of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Statistically in our area, the month of February is cold, wet, grey, damp, and dreary, sporadically warmed by welcome surprise eruptions of fragrant narcissus and cautious crocus. Of course if we had no winter, spring would not be so delicious. With optimism as our guide this annum, I’ve mixed a love potion of ideas to inspire and fan the flames of your February fatigue.


Planning a landscape demands patience yet the wait is worth the struggle. With a cup of hot cocoa in hand, push your pencil from your project, unplug the tech toys, and let your dreams design. Create flowerbeds with a diverse cast of edibles, fragrance, bouquets, creepers, and climbers. Cast offs become playful art, trash turns into treasure, and simple embellishments develop into eye candy for the garden. If you are ready for a romp with romance and an infusion of fab from drab, adopt or adapt any of the Baker’s dozen plus one of Cupid potions.


  1. 1. Have your kids flew the coop yet the swing set sways rusting in the side yard? Turn it into a hanging basket arbor with your favorite fragrant flowers.
  2. 2. Is that claw foot tub you pulled out of the remodel taking up space in the garage? Paint it a vibrant hue and fill with your favorite annuals or perennials for a splash of color.
  3. 3. Do you only have a patio or balcony and want to plant edibles? A decorative container or even a wine box is enough to get you started. When it comes to food gardening, national trends indicate a growing public interest up from 58% in 2011 to 61% in 2012.  People want to know what they are eating and are finding that fresh is feasible and family friendly. 
  4. 4. Are your water bills sky high yet your lawn looks dry and brown? Maybe it’s time to pull out the grass, spread the gravel, plant succulents, and install eye-catching wine barrels as rain gutter saving devices! Raise your glass to ingenuity!
  5. 5. Frigidaire will be happy to know that there is life after oven demise. That 1950’s Leave it to Beaver stove/oven combo is reborn as a plant tool shed and potting stand. If only the washtub could talk!
  6. 6. Time has run out on the meter and a quarter isn’t enough to get the wine press working again.  These unique items add a charm and conversation starter to any home exterior.  The raccoon hiding behind the spider plants agree.
  7. 7. Instead of installing a gate to enter into another garden room, what about using an old door? The creeping ivy adds to the mystery behind the portals.
  8. 8. Gazing balls evoke images of magic, séances, and the supernatural. Reflecting the wardrobe of blooming azaleas, the garden sparkles in the dappled sunshine. He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me.
  9. 9. When someone special has died, creating a memory garden to commemorate the life of your loved one helps with the healing. When my beloved Daddy died, I planted a garden with seedlings from the farm he had so carefully tended and added statuary that reflected his journey on this earth. 
  10. 10. Looking for architecture that serves flying architects? Birdhouses beckon new life to our sanctuaries.  Search for unique perches to provide our feathered friends with a love nest worth inhabiting. Our gardens will reap the benefits many times over from their nesting.
  11. 11. Small spaces come alive with fun, fanciful furniture. A vintage iron monkey chair shares the stage in an apartment yard with the screen lovers, Gnomeo and Juliet, mooning under a birdbath.
  12. 12. What is a garden without a water feature? The sound of a babbling brook or gurgling fountain relaxes and soothes souls overdosed on technology. 
  13. 13. Put a smile on the faces of your visitors when they encounter your happy tree!
  14. 14. If you want to play it safe with fresh Valentine colors that will ignite bright light in your February, pick up a flat of heart-shaped ruby red cyclamen at your favorite nursery or garden center. Pair the red plants with white and you’ll have a vibrant display with staying power.


A dull lackluster winter garden turns into second chances and new romances with a little imagination, ingenuity, and a shovel of soil. Lift your spirits and steep your landscape with love potion frivolity. Happy Valentine’s Day!



Happy gardening to you!


Read at  https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue0624/Digging-Deep-with-Cynt...




Cynthia Brian

The Goddess Gardener




Cynthia is available as a speaker and consultant.