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It's garden season! One of our favourite joys around the new BnB production location is watching the gardens come back to life. Whether it's the strawberries in the welcoming window planters, the hostas in the back gardens, or the bushes and blossoming trees along the entrance walkway, May into June has been a season of vibrant life and colour. It is inspirational, peaceful, and calming. And most importantly, in today's environment, they help us pause, and reflect on our lives, our communities, and our priorities.
The process of establishing and cultivating our gardens is a source of mental and physical wellness. Studies have reported a wide range of health outcomes from gardening, including reductions in depression, anxiety, and body mass index. This same meta-analysis (an assessment of information from a number of studies on the same topic for finding overall trends) found consistent increases in life satisfaction, quality of life, and a sense of community from gardening as well!
Lavender is a natural leader for this blog. It is widely reputed for stress relief, as a sleep aid (fill a sachet with Lavender flowers and keep it under your pillow), or for inclusion in an infused oil for applying to a number of skin conditions.
Lavender prefers full sun and well drained, fertile soil. Trim your plants back hard in spring, just as new growth starts - but never prune back the woody part of the stems. This will give a rush of even growth for the first leaves and bloom. Cut back again in early autumn, being sure again to avoid the old wood.
Calendula is an easy to identify flower in Saint John because of The Marigold Project, an initiative that blankets Greater Saint John in these easy-to-maintain flowers and introduces youth to gardening. We love how easy Calendula makes our lives. It thrives best when left alone. The more flowers that are picked, the more they will grow to replace the lost.
Calendula does best in full sun to partial shade, and prefers fertile, well-drained soil, but will grow in just about anything. Calendula oil is known to have anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties that make it a great fit for healing and soothing diaper rash, eczema, cuts and scrapes.
Chamomile grows best in cool conditions and should be planted in part shade. The soil should be fertile and have good drainage. Chamomile is excellent as a tea and is commonly consumed for hay fever, inflammation, menstrual disorders, insomnia and stomach ailments. The antioxidants in the flowers can be infused into an oil and can be applied directly to the skin or incorporated into soothing balms for skin ailments like psoriasis or rosacia.
Little Bum Cream
Lavender, Chamomile and Calendula are near and dear to our heart at Bubbles & Balms! Judith & Justin grew each of them while living in Alberta, and incorporated those flowers into infusions that became the base of our Little Bum Diaper Cream. We have since had to source from reputable growers, as we couldn't keep up on supplying our own, but our infant bottom and body cream is still made with these natural infusions. So, today, just as we did when launched in 2014, we ensure that natural mamas can wrap their little ones in wellness, straight from the garden.