When preparing for the chilly fall and winter months, winterizing your backyard or deck may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it is an important step. Before you retreat indoors to cozy up in front of the fireplace with a mug of cocoa, it’s important to remember that your home requires fall maintenance. Here’s what you need to do to winterize your lawn and garden.
By following these outdoor tips, you’ll ensure that come springtime, your backyard, deck or garden will be ready to thrive.
Even if you are short on time, or are heading on an early fall vacation, the one thing you can do to prepare for the season is to keep your deck, gutters, and lawn clear of fallen leaves. They may look beautiful at first, but if you leave them on the ground for too long—especially in wet weather—they can rot, cause mould and moss growth, and damage wooden decks. Clean out your gutters and downspouts as well, as clogged leaves can cause ice dams once the temperature drops. You may want to invest in a gutter screen just to be safe. If you do only one thing on this list, this should be it.
If you have a garden and are keen to keep it in good shape for the spring, it’s incredibly important to pick over and pull out plants and flowers that are no longer productive. The same goes for any fruits or vegetables that aren’t in harvest or have been leftover from last season. Rake up all debris (this can easily be done while you’re clearing out leaves) and add to the compost bin. Don’t forget to trim dead tree branches and shrubs, and while you’re at it, clean your flowerbeds and mulch— you’ll need them in shape to help protect your next crop!
While you’re already up on the roof clearing out the gutters, take a look around and make sure there is no roof damage. The last thing you need this season is a dripping ceiling! Inspect for loose or missing shingles, and if you have a deck, make sure the gutter doesn’t empty onto its foundation. If you want to go the extra mile, inspect your driveway for cracks and seal them with driveway filler, and then check your windows to make sure they don’t need extra caulking. Making sure your home is as snug as a bug in a rug will help you save $$ on heat and electricity.
Tighten any loose screws, replace nails, and fill any cracks or loose boards on the deck or patio. If your region is anticipating heavy rain or snowfall in the coming months, plan ahead and consider creating a rainscape below your gutters to redirect any overflow. Use rocks as a channel guard underneath to protect your flowerbeds, driveway or deck from damage.
It may come as a surprise, but fall is actually one of the best times of year to plant spring-blooming bulbs in certain cold-weather areas. Simply plant them in containers just as you would do in the ground, in odd-numbered groups of 5-9. Choosing containers with good longevity (think ceramic or plastic) will protect your plants from freezing and moisture. Tulip bulbs are a favourite that can be transplanted around the garden in the spring. Trees and evergreen shrubs can also be planted during the cooler season, and you’ll have a great head start to the growing season when spring comes.
There are a number of measures you can take to protect your garden and plants over the winter months. This includes deadheading potted plants and making sure they get plenty of water before bringing them inside, as well as covering flowerbeds with mulch for protection against frost. You can also leave some seeds out for the birds to ensure your garden gets some attention over the winter, and to promote your next bloom.
The last thing you want when opening up your patio or deck in the spring is to find rusted or damaged patio furniture that you have to replace. If you plan ahead and store, cover, and clean all hard surfaces before the first frost, you’ll having nothing to worry about. Even if patio furniture is powder-coated, it can pay to take extra precaution by cleaning and covering aluminum metals with automotive wax. Plastic furniture and fabrics do need to be brought indoors, and while wood-based and wicker furniture will probably need oiling or painting touch-ups, covering with a tarp will protect them from most elements. The same goes for covering any exposed air conditioners, and other lawn equipment.
Don’t miss out on the most fun part of winterizing your deck—the decorating! Once you’ve cleaned, inspected and winterized the backyard and taken care of all the logistics, it’s time to get creative. Whether you string fairy lights around windows and doors, or display multi-coloured pumpkins, cornstalks, and pinecones along the staircase, there are endless patio designs available to inspire you.
It’s that time of year when your browser history reveals the hours spent ogling other people’s backyards. It’s hard not to think of all the decor changes you could make for your outdoor space, from accent colours to string lights. Here are a few scenes to recreate this year (or someday soon). When inspiration hits, London Drugs has the accessories you need to raise your backyard game.
Taking inspiration from the farms of Alberta, tractor-themed accessories (like these sweet solar lights and milking stools and matching tractor table) can transform your backyard into a rustic chic haven. If you’re looking for a pop of colour, channel the classic red barn door with this sharp patio set.
Do you love the smell of fresh herbs? The most fabulous gardens combine opposites in beautiful ways, like these pretty blooms planted up in old buckets. Pot basil, chives, and other garnishes in this cool wrought iron planter for a lovely scented centrepiece.
In the light-filled summer months, we’re more keen to stay up late and dine al fresco, sharing laughs and meals with friends. Set the mood with delicate fairy lights or a pathway of solar-powered torches for an outdoor space you can enjoy all night long.
The perfect evening get-together needs an audio experience to match the lovely conversation with friends. Hardy waterproof speakers allow you to choose a complementary soundtrack for any backyard soiree.
Let’s not forget that Canadian necessity for summer evenings: the fire pit. Redesigned as bowls, tabletops and glass aquariums, London Drugs has many to choose from. Just decide on your backyard’s theme and enhance with an engaging fire feature. Always practice fire safety and pay close attention to fire bans in your area.
The time you spend with friends and family in your backyard will undoubtedly become treasured memories for years to come. Find all the gorgeous accoutrements you need from London Drugs online and in-store from our Outdoor Living Guide.
Whether you’re a green thumb veteran or a novice with limited lawn space, we’ve assembled the following gardening tips to give you a head start for growing your ideal garden this Spring.
If you’re just starting out this year and have a blank slate to work with, or you’re returning to your yard with new ideas, it’s your time to get creative. Before you begin, make sure you carefully plan and design for your space.
In Canada, the growing season varies across regions. It’s important to know your frost dates before you begin planting — especially for crops that need longer seasons. However, if you want to get a head start and the weather outside is still chilly, don’t worry. There are many guides for cold climate gardening in Canada, with lists of which fruits, vegetables and flowers you can start planting in your region, even before Spring arrives.
To achieve the garden of your dreams, first make sure your lawn is in top shape. After a rough season, it may seem disheartening when you’re left with the aftermath of a storm. But taking the time for some upkeep is essential in maintaining a beautiful (and fruitful) yard.
Not everyone has access to a community garden or backyard — but that doesn’t mean you can’t grow plants indoors or on your balcony.
Looking for an excuse to get outdoors, go green and celebrate the weekend? Round up some friends and get your hands dirty with a planting party!
Gardening is all about growing locally and building a better community – it gets even better when you throw in some sparkly summer beverages and good company. Whether you’re working with a balcony, backyard, or community plot – planting parties cultivate great conversation, eco-friendly edibles, and lush gardens through the summer and beyond. Here’s how to get the party started: