Travelling Outside Canada? Get Current on Your Vaccinations First

With the summer holiday season approaching, you might be making plans to do some travelling abroad. While booking flights and hotel rooms is usually the first step, making sure you and your family are up to date on all age-appropriate vaccinations is another important part of the trip planning process.

The majority (78%) of Canadians believe that travelling outside of Canada puts them at risk for a number of vaccine-preventable diseases, according to a survey conducted by Insights West on behalf of London Drugs. Despite this, only half (52%) of those who have previously travelled overseas say they have ever received a vaccination specifically for travel. Just three in 10 (31%) are aware that the Government of Canada recommends that Canadians visit a travel clinic before travelling.

A Convenient Way to Update Your Immunity

“Travel vaccinations can be administered by pharmacists and this can be a more convenient, time-saving option for Canadians,” says Lily Liang, a Travel Clinic Pharmacist at London Drugs.

Travel Clinics are offered at select London Drugs locations and Certified Injection Pharmacists can administer common travel vaccinations such as hepatitis A and B, yellow fever, typhoid, and traveller’s diarrhea as well other recommended vaccinations like rabies, Japanese encephalitis, meningitis, pneumonia, shingles, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, and rubella.

Liang says getting current on your measles vaccination is particularly important right now, due to reported outbreaks throughout North America.

“The measles vaccine is the best way to prevent the spread of this highly contagious virus. If you’re planning an international trip, or if you are unsure of your immunization status, get vaccinated before travelling.”

More than a quarter (28%) of Canadians say they did not receive vaccination for travel because they didn’t feel it was necessary. Yet nine in 10 (89%) Canadians say they strongly believe that travel vaccinations and medications protect themselves and others when travelling and six in 10 (61%) agree that it’s important to review their immunization history before travelling.

“The results seem contradictory but the reemergence of vaccine-preventable diseases has caused some concern and confusion about vaccination. It is particularly important for those planning to travel internationally to get vaccinated,” advises Liang. “Beyond the serious health threats of not being vaccinated, travelling without them can really ruin a holiday if you or your loved ones become sick. No one wants to spend their vacation at a doctor’s clinic or hospital in a foreign country.”

Most (79%) Canadians say they are likely to visit their personal doctor to learn about vaccinations before travelling overseas, with pharmacies being the next most popular choice (61%).

London Drugs’ Travel Clinic

London Drugs’ Travel Clinic Pharmacists have obtained specialized training from the International Society of Travel Medicine and have their Travel Health® designation. They can provide advice about medications, vaccinations and health supplies needed for travel as well as the following services:

  • Comprehensive destination consults
  • Personalized travel health advice and record keeping
  • Administration of vaccines and boosters
  • Direct insurance billing

To book a Travel Clinic appointment before your next trip, visit LDTravelClinics.ca.

The Best Stretches You Can Do Right Now to Relieve Stress and Anxiety

We all know that exercise is good for our body, but it’s also good for our mind. In fact, our mental health is intrinsically linked to our physical health. So set yourself up a soothing environment, then slide into some easy yet powerful stretches that will stimulate happy hormones and lead to a calmer mindset.

Here are six steps to easy stretches you can do right now to relieve stress and anxiety.

Set up Your Healing Space

Before you jump into stretching, take a few minutes to set up your space. Research shows that certain environments can have a calming effect on our minds. Being out in nature is a sure bet, with fresh clean air and natural light. But you can also set up a beautiful indoor space and tap into the air purifying effects of salt lamps, aromatherapy diffusers, and scented candles.

Stretches for Stress and Anxiety

Release Endorphins with Sun Salutations

Don’t worry about not having enough time or energy for a full yoga workout. You can still get all the mind-clarifying benefits through a few Sun Salutations. Formally known as Surya Namaskar, this simple sequence is designed to build heat in the body and synchronize our breath with our movements.

A sun salutation is like a mini yoga workout in itself. It incorporates all major muscle groups and is just the right intensity to get your heart pumping and endorphins flowing. Endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain to reduce your perception of pain. Famous for creating the “runner’s high”, endorphins also trigger positive feelings that will energize your body and mood.

Stretches for Stress and Anxiety

Release Stored Tension with Hip Poses Like Pigeon and SaddleStretches for Stress and Anxiety

The key to releasing tension is to stretch parts of your body that hold deep tension, namely your hips, lower back, shoulders, and neck.

Pigeon and Saddle poses are a yoga stretches that get deep into your glutes and hip flexors. Hold the poses for 5 to 10 minutes each and they will create therapeutic effects similar to a deep tissue massage.

In our sedentary lifestyles, sitting muscles like glutes and hip flexors are especially prone to holding stored tension. Targeting these muscle groups will increase blood flow, helping to stimulate receptors in the nervous system, which decreases production of stress hormones.

Invert Yourself with Supported Shoulder Stand and Plow Pose

Sometimes you just need a different perspective on life, and there’s no better way to get it than flipping things upside down! Inverting our bodies has been shown to improve focus, balance, and brain function. It allows oxygen-rich blood to flow to your brain and helps reverse the effects of gravity.

Supported Shoulder Stand and its variation, Plow pose, are beginner inversions that don’t have the intimidating risk factors of headstands and handstands. They are fantastic full-spine stretches that will leave you feeling refreshed and ready for action.

Be Still with Child’s Pose and Corpse Pose

No stretching routine is complete without a few final minutes to come back to centre. Yoga poses are inherently reflective, but Child’s pose and Corpse pose are the culmination of that, allowing your body to return to its normal pulse, quiet the mind, and experience a restful moment of savasana. Tune into your breath and let it flow easily. Bring your mind back to your healing space, and accept whatever thoughts that come, letting them pass away.

Allowing ourselves time for stillness, presence, and meditation, gives a chance for deep feelings to surface. Strengthened by our stretches, we can witness our thoughts and let them pass without attachment. In this way, our stretching routines can help us become more resilient in daily life, restoring vitality to our bodies and minds.

Take a Bath with Epsom Salts

Maximize the effects of your stretching by drawing out the toxins released with an epsom salt bath. Epsom salts are high in magnesium and sulfates, promote better sleep, and will further alleviate any muscle soreness from released tension. Besides, you can revel in the relaxation you created for yourself and celebrate your new healing routine.

Stretches for Stress and Anxiety

For more tips on relieving stress and anxiety, check out our Health Topics library

 

22 Thoughtful Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day in 2019

Mother's Day Gift Guide 2019

Mother’s Day presents are so easy when you’re a kid. Paint her a picture, treat her to breakfast in bed, and her day is made just knowing that you thought of her.

As we grow up it can get a little more difficult. What’s a good enough gift for the woman who made you the person you are today? Honestly, though, the same principle applies: show her that you thought about her, that you love her, and that’s all that matters.

Whether you’re celebrating your mom, or another important mother figure in your life, these thoughtful gifts will show how much you care.

Take Care of Her

Mother's Day Gift Guide 2019

Show your mom how much you love her with gifts that help keep her healthy and well!

A Fitbit or Apple Watch is a fun way to keep her active, monitor her heart rate, and help her get a good night’s sleep. The Apple Watch even has an emergency SOS feature that can initiate a call for help when it notices a dangerous irregular heart rhythm.

For a mom who likes to exercise, the iHome Bluetooth Water Bottle is another great gift, with a built-in Bluetooth speaker to make exercising and staying hydrated more enjoyable.

Oral health is an incredibly important part of overall health. A rechargeable toothbrush is more effective than a regular toothbrush, removing up to seven times more plaque and ensuring that users brush the full recommended two minutes per session. Plus, brushes like the Philips Sonicare Health White Electric Toothbrush have “White” modes specifically focused on removing stains from the visible front teeth, making her smile even more perfect for those pictures you’ll be taking.

Know an expecting mother? Make her life easier with a breast pump. It can help her continue to feed her child breastmilk when she’s away or goes back to work, help other family members like dad to feed and bond with the baby, and can help her maintain her milk supply. There are even smart breast pumps with connected apps to track pumping and feeding!

Pamper Her

Mother's Day Gift Guide 2019

Give her the gift of relaxation with an aromatherapy diffuser and TheraPearl eye mask. She can work out the kinks with a Homedics Percussion Massager and Foot Spa with soothing heat and gentle vibrations. Then she can light a stress relief candle with eucalyptus and spearmint scents, or turn on a Himalayan salt lamp to improve the energy in the room. She’s done so much for you over the years, now it’s time to pamper her.

Entertain HerMother's Day Gift Guide 2019

You can’t go wrong with tech toys these days. Show your mom you still think she’s hip and modern with the latest in technology, like an iPad Mini or a Kobo Reader.

Noise cancelling headphones make travelling a dream while cute phone cases keep her stylish.

A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words

If you can’t think of what to say to your mother to thank her for all she’s done for you, say it with pictures. Photos of your family will do so much to remind her what an important figure she is within the family.

With the London Drugs Photolab, it’s easy to make a customized card, photo book, poster, and more, each available in a range of Mother’s Day themes. Pair it with a Polaroid Original Camera so she can keep creating those memories in the years to come.

Your mom deserves the best. Show her your love this year with a thoughtful gift from London Drugs.

7 Best Tips for Prepping Your Backyard and Patio for the Summer

Now that the weather has apologized for what it did to us last winter, it’s time to expand our living spaces outside. After all, the sun is shining, and the great outdoors are calling!

Whether you have a sprawling backyard or a chic downtown patio, there are several things you can do prep your backyard and patio for the summer.

Here are 7 tips to get you started!

1. Clean Surfaces

 

No matter what else you do to make your outdoor living space look nice, nothing will help if everything is dirty.

First, give all of the floor surfaces a good sweep. Once that’s done, it’s time to get in there and deep clean. 30-Seconds Outdoor Cleaner is great for cleaning large outdoor spaces, and it’s safe to use on lawns, plants, and fabrics. You can even attach the spray bottle right to a hose and douse all of the concrete, wood, siding, patio furniture, flower pots, and garden boxes if need be. Then just scrub with a brush and rinse.

Voilà! No more winter blahs.


2. Get Your Lawn Ready

 

Sprucing up the yard is more than just about mowing the grass – take your lawn to the next level with some extra TLC.

  • Aerate: Aeration helps the grass to breathe and also helps the water and nutrients reach the root system. You should aerate your lawn every 1 to 3 years, but high-traffic areas may require more attention. Here are some more aeration tips.
  • Rake: Debris that has accumulated over the winter can block sunlight and prevent water from reaching deep down to the roots of the grass.
  • Fertilize: Do a little research about what kind of grass you have, then fertilize accordingly.
  • Maintain: After checking your lawnmower for sharp blades, appropriate oil level, and properly inflated tires, mow the grass regularly, about once a week. Keep grass cut to a height of about 5 cm, except in the hottest part of the summer, when you should let it grow about 1 cm longer.
  • Water: Watering your lawn slowly allows water to get all the way down to the roots and avoids runoff, so choose a sprinkler that moves in smooth, sweeping motions. Don’t forget to check the water restrictions in your area, and water your yard at night or in the morning before the sun hits it so that the water doesn’t evaporate before it gets into the soil.


3. Prune Trees, Shrubs, and Potted Plants

 

Pruning dead and excess growth off trees, shrubs, or plants helps the plants grow, and gets rid of harmful insects and rot. Plus, it just looks nicer.

Make sure to also remove any branches hanging over driveways, sidewalks, or paths (these can be a major problem for anyone who has mobility limitations).

If you need a few tools to get started, you can grab heavy-duty pruning tools and protective gloves here. You got this!


4. Let Your Garden Grow

 

Choose a sunny corner of your yard or patio for a new flower bed, planter box, pot arrangement, or even a few containers for vegetables. Ask at the garden centre which varieties grow best in your region, then select your favourite variety of seasonals and perennials. It’s easier than you think!

Just remember to mind your watering — flowers don’t require as much moisture as vegetables.

If you’re short on space, check out this tutorial to make your own (adorable) shoe organizer herb garden! It works great even on a tiny outdoor balcony and you’ll have fresh, delicious herbs well into the fall.


5. Control Pests

 

Check your flowers, shrubs, and trees for any creepy crawlies. Remove any larger critters by hand or with a blast of the hose, and use natural pesticide for the rest. Not sure what works best? Here’s a handy guide to garden pests.

If you have some six-legged visitors in your yard that prefer to annoy people instead of plants, stock up on wasp, mosquito, or ant control products. While we share the outdoors with nature’s creatures, we don’t necessarily want any uninvited guests at our next backyard BBQ.


6. Ready, Set, Grill!

 

Speaking of BBQs, prepping yours is an essential part of preparing your yard for summer.

Luckily, modern grills are easy to clean. Turn your grill on for 10-15 minutes, then allow it to cool for a while before cleaning it with a heat-safe tool. (Wire brushes can be dangerous, so here are some alternative grill cleaning ideas.) And don’t forget to fill up your propane tank — nothing is worse than preparing delicious homemade burgers only to find out there’s not enough fuel to cook them.

We’ve got some great deals on grilling tools and BBQ essentials right here.


7. Sit Back and Relax

Now that you’ve done all the hard work of making your outdoor space beautiful, enjoy the fruits of your labour and relax. You’ve earned it!

Invest in some comfortable, sturdy, weather-resistant furniture to take full advantage of your backyard space.

If you’ve got the room, consider adding an entire dining set. If you have a smaller space, a bistro-sized table and chairs can make even the smallest patios fashionable and a joy to be on! You’ll be surprised how much time you and your family spend out there. Don’t forget to add a shady umbrella for the hot days, and some inviting mood lighting or a home fire-pit to really enjoy your outdoor experience well into the warm, summer evenings.

 

If your backyard or patio is in need of some upgrades, London Drugs has everything you need to improve and beautify your outdoor space.  Check out our Outdoor Living Guide or just stop by and talk to one of our experts about your unique needs. We’d love to see you!

 

Best Locations Across Canada for Mother’s Day Photos

Planning a mini photo session for Mother’s Day? From picturesque beach-side spots to locations full of colourful spring blooms, here’s our list of the best places across Canada to snap those adorable moments between mother and child for Mother’s Day! Our #LDExperts are also sharing a few tips to keep in mind while shooting, check it out in our Mother’s Day photography tips blog.

Experimental Farm, Ottawa

Located just a few kilometres from downtown Ottawa, the Central Experimental Farm has enchanted visitors for more than a century. From the Ornamental Gardens to the Tropical Greenhouse, this place offers a multitude of options for some great photos of mom and the family.

Pacific Spirit Park, Vancouver

Located on the west side of the city of Vancouver, the Pacific Spirit Regional Park offers more than 750 hectares of forest. With its convenient location, its perfect for a day out in the wild, especially if you’re photographing moms with kids that love to explore.

Robert’s Creek, Sunshine Coast

Looking for a spot that offers a perfect blend of beaches & forest? Roberts Creek is just the place! The B&K trail offers a beautiful landscape for some fun candid shots. When the tide is low there is a nice sandy area for kids to play and go for a swim as well.

Sunflower Gardens, Sturgeon County

Located north of Edmonton, Sunflower Gardens is ideal for a photoshoot among the sunflowers, raspberries, strawberries or saskatoon berries – depending on which time of year you go. If you plan to use this location though, you’ll likely need to shoot in late spring or summer and save those photos to share with mom next Mother’s Day. But it will be worth the wait once she sees those sweet photos in print!

Wildwood Conservation Area, Stratford

Best described as a 3,500-acre outdoor playground, Wildwood Conservation Area is located just minutes west of Stratford. With a lake, 20 kilometers of hiking trails and a large day use area, you definitely won’t run short of fun and creative spots to capture the perfect Mother’s Day shot!

Echo Valley Provincial Park, Saskatchewan

Situated in the legendary Qu’Appelle Valley between Echo and Pasqua Lakes, Echo Valley Provincial Park offers a wide variety of scenic surroundings. With two beaches, access to two lakes, lush lawns and a playground, there are tons of options for a picturesque photoshoot with mom.

Blind Bay, Shuswap

Blind Bay’s beaches are two of the most popular beaches on Shuswap Lake near Kamloops and are perfect for a Mother’s Day mini session. For the more adventurous mom, Scotch Creek in Shuswap also offers the Shuswap Trout Scout which the kids will absolutely love!

Sullivan Heights, Surrey

Looking for a spot that offer those dreamy spring blooms for your Mother’s Day photoshoot? Sullivan Heights in Surrey has loads of great options! With many small parks that bloom with cherry blossoms, it offers the perfect mix of beauty and convenience.

 

Once you’re done capturing and editing your shots, check out our Photolab’s wide variety of printing options, from prints and enlargements to canvas gallery wraps and even cute customizable novelties like keychains, ornaments, crystals and puzzles. For easy access download our London Drugs Photolab App which is available for iOS and Android, or you can simply order online. If you’re looking for help with what prints would work best for your photographs, just visit your nearest London Drugs store and speak to one of our LDExperts in the Photolab!

You could also participate in our #PicturePerfectMom contest for a chance to be the lucky winner of a 16×20 canvas gallery wrap with frame! Wouldn’t it make a great gift for mom this Mother’s Day?

How to Get Your Kids Playing Outside

Photo by Alexander Dummer on Unsplash

Thirty years ago, a common refrain from parents to kids was “Go play outside.” These days, many kids would respond with “Well, what are we supposed to do out there?” According to new studies, children are “taller, heavier, fatter and weaker” than their parents were at the same age, mostly due to declining rates of physical literacy. Only one third of Canadian kids are meeting the physical activity recommendation of 60 minutes per day. We can blame this decline on the prevalence of screens and more sedentary activities, but those are just a symptom of a bigger problem — kids aren’t playing outside like they used to. 

Less time outdoors isn’t just linked to decreased fitness levels in children, it also causes a decreased appreciation of the environment, vitamin D deficiency, diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties, and higher rates of emotional illnesses like anxiety and depression.

Being outside has so many health benefits for children — both physical and mental. Movement through unstructured play, especially outside, has been shown to improve creativity, academic success, and mental stability, among other things.

With all of the distractions indoors, it can be challenging to get kids to “go play outside,” but these tips can help your kids turn off the screens and get off the couch.

Set Strict Limits on Screen Time

This tip is first and foremost. Everyone knows that too much screen time is bad for your health, especially for kids. Health professionals recommend children aged 2 to 5 be limited to one hour of screen time a day, with consistent limits for older children on the amount of time and place they get to have screen time. Parents can help by setting timers for recreational screen time, keeping all screens out of kids’ rooms (living/dining room only), and limiting it to certain times of the day (i.e. video games after dinner for two hours, and only if homework is done). Screen time limits will open up time in their lives to find other, healthier things to do for fun.

Spend More Time Outdoors Yourself

This one is easy. Kids learn by example, especially when they’re little, so if they see you enjoying a walk, a bike ride, a hike, or a run, they’ll grow up knowing that these things are normal and fun. Studies have shown that 60 minutes of a parent’s physical activity adds 15 minutes to a child’s average daily physical activity.

Make Family Time Nature Time

We know you plan family time every week, so instead of movies on the couch every Sunday, why not pack up the car and head to the park, beach, forest, or ski hill as a family once in a while? Make a family challenge to explore new areas of your town together at least once a month: visit as many different parks or playgrounds and find your favourites.

Plan Outdoorsy Vacations

Hotels or theme parks are fun, but your family vacation is the perfect opportunity to unplug and connect with nature. Seek out destinations that cater to camping, RVing, surfing, hiking, biking, or even the beach and see how much it replenishes everyone. Even if you are stuck in a hotel, every city in the world has playgrounds — why not find the best one close to where you’re staying? Thank goodness for Google Maps!

Extend Play Date Times

Modern kids are used to being entertained and scheduled every minute of their lives (which has been shown to be detrimental to their mental development), so a two-hour playdate may not give them enough time to know what to do outdoors. Clear your schedule and head to the beach or forest until dinner time. If given enough freedom, that boring, old stick will eventually become a tool or a game, and they’ll come up with more complex levels of free play on their own.

Incorporate Natural Materials and Loose Parts into Play

Swing sets and playgrounds are fun for a while, but they’re very specific and limited. Equip your play space with stumps, small logs, a fun sprinkler, sticks, plants, gravel, dirt, and sand for imaginative building and exploration. Loose items like balls, hoops, ropes, sidewalk chalk, kitchen wear, wood pieces, pots, shovels, and trays are ripe for creative play. Long sticks and old bedsheets are perfect for building forts. A water source and buckets will provide hours of messy fun. If you’re nervous about any of it, put them on a time limit, or better yet, get out there with them.

Encourage Them to Get Dirty

Yes, you spend a lot on their clothes, but kids are meant to be outside, exploring everything nature has to offer. Just remember that their health is more important than the laundry. If it is an issue, keep inexpensive or hand-me-down clothes and shoes on hand especially for outdoor adventures.

Photo by Anna Samoylova on Unsplash

Bring in a Blast from the Past

What was your favourite thing to do outside as a kid? We’re pretty sure it’s still fun, even though your kids might groan at first. Teach your kids how to build a fort, play catch, toss a frisbee, build a forest fairy village, play tug of war, catch bugs in a jar, or play kick the can. You’ll be surprised how much they love it, especially if you’re doing it with them.

Get a Dog

If you’ve always wanted to get a best friend for the kids, now is the time. Not only will it teach them about daily responsibilities, it will get them outside daily for walks and epic games of fetch. If you don’t have the space for a dog, rabbits and guinea pigs can play outside in an enclosed area.

Register Your Kids for Outdoor Sports and Summer Camp

If they’re into it, leave the volleyball, basketball, and hockey behind and lean more toward sports like soccer, baseball, or field hockey – they’ll be outside getting fit and making friends at least once a week. As soon as they’re ready, register them for summer camp. The benefits of camp are huge, from life lessons beyond the classroom to appreciating nature, making friends for life, and building resilience and leadership skills.

Gear Up

Birthdays and Christmas roll around every year, so why not make them an excuse to get some new outdoor gear? A bike, baseball glove, gardening tools, in-line or roller skates, a soccer ball, a kite, or a badminton set for the back yard would light up any kid’s eyes. And dad would love a new camp chair!

Game-ify Nature

Outdoor activities aren’t limited to gentle nature walks. If your family loves games and competition, you have lots of options. Geocaching could be your new favourite hobby. PokemonGo is still hugely popular and will get you and the kids outside. Organize a scavenger hunt, beat your best time around the block on a bike, get a deck of nature cards, or challenge the whole family to get in the most steps in a week on your fitness trackers.

Do Indoor Things Outside

If you have the space, make an inviting outdoor area in the backyard where the kids can do their homework, eat meals, or just hang out as a family during the warmer months. If you live in an apartment, pack up the kids’ textbooks (and a book for yourself) and find the nearest picnic table, or play a game of Go Fish on a park bench.

Photo by MI PHAM on Unsplash

 

We hope these easy tips inspire you and your family to go from indoorsy to outdoorsy types. If you need more inspiration, check out everything London Drugs has to offer for outdoor living, from camping to gardening to just relaxing.

How to Cultivate a Gorgeously Green Garden

Eco-friendly gardening amplifies what nature has already perfected. Working with the flow of the seasons, let your imagination run wild, and cultivating a green garden will be a satisfying, thrilling, and therapeutic experience. With a bit of planning, persistence, and intuition, your earth-friendly garden can become your outdoor sanctuary for years to come.

Here are some tips to cultivate a gorgeous green garden in your very own backyard.   

Plan Your Garden

How to Cultivate a Green Garden

When the weather warms up, it’s tempting to get outside and start throwing seeds in the ground right away, but take a bit of time to plan your eco-friendly garden. It can go a long way toward boosting your long-term success.

Sketch out a quick map of your space and think about where you might place beds, raised boxes, containers, trellises, and pathways. You will (hopefully) be spending a lot of time in your garden, working the land and enjoying the space, so it’s worth putting in some forethought.

Consider the sun’s path throughout the day. This will help you get to know which areas have the most light/heat and which will be better suited to shade-grown plants like spinach and greens.

It’s also a great time to do an inventory of gardening tools, gloves, seeds, and soil. Set up a dry storage space that will be easily accessible to your garden.

Finally, it can be helpful to start a garden journal to keep track of your layout, planting plans, and harvest notes so you can adjust and improve things year over year.

Design Your Garden

How to Cultivate a Green Garden

Once you have a rough plan in place, it’s time to get out there and start digging!

You can reuse materials around the house to start creating structures in your garden. Bricks, stones, tiles, or logs, make great outlines for ground-level beds. You can mix and match with new structures as well. Concrete planters could be supplemented with old barrels, wooden boxes, or even a vintage sink or bathtub repurposed into raised beds. These will give plants extra warmth and help keep slugs and other pests out.

Vases, pots, and water jugs could make interesting containers for smaller plants. Mix in a few classic patio pots for a more modern look.

Don’t forget to install a little bench or chair in a nice sunny spot. You’ll need somewhere to put up your feet and enjoy the fruits of your labour on quiet afternoons. You could also install some of these nifty solar lights and turn it into a nighttime fairy garden.

Prepare Your Garden

How to Cultivate a Green Garden

Before planting, you’ll need to prepare your beds by working in homemade compost and setting up irrigation for the season.

Make sure you have a good working hose and nozzle ready for the months of watering ahead. Collecting rainwater is a great practice that lowers the demand on your main water supply and contributes to a more sustainable, efficient garden.

Now open up that handy gardening toolkit you prepared earlier and get ready to plant! Experiment with companion planting and see how different combinations fare. Be sure to make a note in your journal so you can adjust and rotate your crops next year.

Maintain Your GardenHow to cultivate a green garden

The true key to cultivating a gorgeous green garden is to keep it manageable. There is always a push required to get things set up and growing, but once the plants are established, your garden should switch into maintenance mode.

Now you can relax into watering daily, weeding as needed, and watching with fascination as things grow and develop. It’s curiously fun and exhilarating to see your garden transform before your eyes!

If you have space, mix things up with vegetable beds, herbs, small fruit trees, flowering trees, perennials, shrubs, and flowers. This will keep things blooming and fruiting across the entire season which is interesting and exciting.

It might also be a good time to add some fun decorations to your garden while you’re at it.

Share the Harvest

How to cultivate a green garden

Before harvest time, you’ll notice you’re not the only who has moved into your garden. Bees and birds (among other creatures) will be regular visitors, which can be a delight to watch.

Encourage birds to come by setting up a bird house. It’s fascinating to watch them feed, converse, and settle around the garden.  

Perennial herbs, like lavender, sage, and thyme, are great for attracting more pollinators too. They smell beautiful, require very little maintenance, and are great for cooking.

Finally, don’t forget to invite your friends and neighbours to enjoy your gorgeous green garden. They may be happy to lend a hand for harvesting, canning, pickling, and other fun food preserving activities that come along with a plentiful garden. Or, make it a relaxing evening in the garden while the sun sets. Light up a Citronella candle and enjoy the fruits of your labour.

With a little effort and care, your green garden will benefit you, your family, and your community for years to come.

Visit your local London Drugs or check out our outdoor living guide for more gardening tools and decor.

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