Planting for Succulent Success

succulent planting

Succulents are a popular trend for both indoor and outdoor gardening and with good reason. Not only are they perfect for drought-prone areas or for people looking for low maintenance (some only need to be watered once a week), succulents are relatively easy to propagate and share.

Succulents are striking, often unusual-looking plants that store water in their fleshy leaves or stems. Some even survive extremely dry periods by using their roots for water storage. You’ll find they make fun conversation pieces indoors in a bright location or as focal points in your container garden.

With just a few supplies you can pick up at your neighborhood Orchard, you’ll see in the following steps how easy it is to create an attractive place that will allow you to successfully grow your new favorite plant.

Need more help or advice? Stop by our Potting Bench to chat with one of our trained nursery associates. We’ll be happy to demonstrate or do it for you.

What you'll need:

Step 1: Decisions

The hardest part will probably be deciding which succulent (or succulents) to plant. You’ll also have to choose an appropriately sized pot and a saucer to catch any excess water. Should your pot have a drainage hole? Ideally. If not, you’ll have to water even less.

Step 2: Rocks

Place larger rocks at the bottom of your pot to help with drainage as succulents don’t do well sitting in overly wet soil or standing water.

Step 3: Soil

Next, add cactus mix and fine gravel on top of the rocks.

Step 4: Plant

Gently break up the root ball and place your succulent on top of the soil.

Step 5: More Soil

Add more cactus mix to cover the roots and brush off any extra from the leaves and stems.

Step 6: More Rocks

Cover the soil with a layer of decorative rocks or pebbles to protect from erosion when watering and to add extra interest.

Step 7: Location

If you’re placing your pot indoors, look for a spot that has bright, indirect light. Direct sun from a window can scorch plants quickly. If kept outdoors, you’ll want to bring your plant inside or protect it during the winter months when frost is possible.

Step 8: Water

It’s time to water your new plant. How often should that be? To ensure success, potted succulents should be allowed to dry between waterings. In fact, you’ll even want to empty excess water from the saucer. If kept indoors, your plant will need water less frequently, since our homes are typically cooler than outside. Keep it outdoors and it will need water more often.

Now get ready for the compliments from all of your friends.

Be sure to share a photo of your finished project on Instagram using #OSHmoment

Yes You Can! A Beginner’s Guide to Canning

Looking for a creative gift idea or a way to store your homemade jams? Learning the art of canning is a fantastic way to do just that. While there are many canning methods, waterbathing is the easiest and most recommended method for those just starting out. Here’s our step-by-step guide to what is sure to be one of your new favorite hobbies.

Supplies Needed

Waterbath Canning Steps

Step 1

Place the canning rack in the pot, and fill the pot with enough water to cover the jars by an inch or more. Heat the water to simmering, then turn off the heat, cover the pot and set it aside.

Step 2

Wash your jars in hot water. Leave them in a water bath to keep them warm.​

Step 3

Prepare your recipe! Make your favorite sauce or jam, or try something totally new.

Step 4

Dry your jars and fill them with your prepared food. Don’t forget to leave room for potential food expansion.

Step 5

Remove air bubbles from your food by using a non-metallic spatula to press the contents against the sides of the jar.

Step 6

Wipe off the rims of your jars and screw the lids on. Make sure they are snug but not too tight. If the lids are too tight, air will not be able to escape during the sealing process.

Step 7

Use the jar lifter to place jars onto the canning rack in the pot. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil.

Step 8

Boil the jars for the amount of time specified on your recipe.

Step 9

Once the time is up, turn off the heat and let your jars stand in the water for five minutes.

Step 10

Use the jar lifter to remove your jars from the water. Allow jars to cool on a wire rack for twelve hours.

Step 11

After your jars have had time to cool, check the lids to make sure they don’t pop up and down.

Step 12​

You’re all set! All that’s left to do is label your jars and store. Or give them to your loved ones as gifts.

Ready to gear up for your first go? We’ve got all of your canning needs covered at Orchard. Stop by your neighborhood store and give canning a try today!

One Paint Can Challenge

Creating and maintaining a space at home that you can fully enjoy takes some work and maintenance. And we know that can sometimes seem daunting. Here at Orchard, we’ve been challenging ourselves to think of quick and easy ways our neighbors can tackle the sort of projects at home that often seem daunting. 

So, here is your mission: the one paint can challenge. What are all the little things you could do around your house with one can of paint and no deep painting expertise to make a big difference in your home? We believe that, with one can of paint, you can have an impact– bringing new joy to a space you’ll be enjoying every day. And with the right color choice, you can find several ways to bring your personality into your space without spending significant time and energy on the project.

And it’s easier than you think.

To kick off your brainstorming, here are five of the types of small paint jobs you can tackle with one can of paint to accentuate—and transform—your home.

1. Give your pots a makeover

Adding a little splash of color to your pots—especially with interesting lines and angles—can accentuate the beauty of your indoor plants and add personality to the space around it. 

2. Turn your picture frames into a mini gallery

Bring new life to your old picture frames—or even pick some up at the local flea market or craft store—and turn them into a beautiful entryway or hallway display with the right paint choice.

3. Turn vintage luggage into furniture

If you have some beat up luggage no longer suitable for their original function (or want to go on the hunt to find some), stacking and giving them a paint job can transform them into an ideal nightstand or table. 

4. Express yourself on the inside

If you’re looking for a place to add a bold dash of personality, the inside of dresser, vanity, or nightstand drawers can be a great place to introduce a bit of color.

5. Dip-dye your seat

One easy way to “dip your toe” into the dip-dying trend is to transform a stool. Tape off the same amount of the leg of each stool and then dip it in a bright hue to create a bold accent for your furniture.

These are just a few quick ideas to inspire you as you think about all the things that you could do to transform and accent your home with one can of paint. If you’re looking from more ideas, come into your local Orchard to talk to one of our paint specialists about other ideas that will inspire you.

We hope that you’ll find a color that is truly you. (And don’t forget about our paint color guarantee; we’ll find a way to match whatever color you need.) And then embark on the one paint can challenge.

If you take us up on the offer, be sure to take photos of the results and share it with us on Instagram and/or on your local store’s Facebook page. We want to see what you can do with one can of paint, to inspire us all to take those small, easy steps to try something new and give us a fresh reason to enjoy our homes.

Create Your Outdoor Dining Room

Turn Your Dining Inside Out.

One of the best parts of summer is being able to spend time outside while the weather is still warm. So why not take your dining room outside? Whether you’re planning to entertain or just want to enjoy your space, we’ve got what you need to dine al fresco from daylight to twilight.

Start by Setting the Table
What’s a dinner party without the perfect table setting? Get creative. Choose fun placemats or elegant candles to set the mood. Don’t forget, you’ll need the perfect place to serve up your gourmet meal. If you have a large backyard, consider investing in something classic like a 7-piece dining set. Want to make the most out of your smaller outdoor space? Add a stylish bistro set for two.

Show Off Your Style
Cushions not only provide comfort for the ultimate relaxing experience, but liven up your outdoor space with style. Pick out cushions and pillows that can create pops of color and interest. And don’t forget to look down – adding a patterned rug to your outdoor dining room brings the homey feel outside while adding texture. The more you play with bringing elements inside out, the cozier your space will become.

Add Character
Your table is set and your chairs are as comfy as can be. But don’t stop there. It’s easy to create a mood with simple décor essentials like lighting and accessories. If your patio is covered, make a statement with a pendant light above your dining table. For a smaller space, string lights add subtle ambiance and an element of charm. Accessorize the outdoors-y way by adding potted succulents and lavender plants to your space.

Lounge Long After Dark
Why not make the most of those summer nights that stay warm after the sun sets? Create a space to lounge, relax, or play a board game with friends after dinner. Classic Adirondack chairs make the perfect place to sit back and sip your favorite drink. Side tables double as a great place for a board game tournament. And if your ideal summer evening ends with making s’mores around the fire, grab a few armchairs and a show-stopping fire pit.

It doesn’t take much to embrace your summer nights this season, and moving your dining room outside might be just the answer. So whether you’re planning to entertain or just want a place to relax, we’ve got everything you need here at Orchard.

Transforming an Oakland Neighbor’s Curb Appeal

Our team here at Orchard is excited to be in the full swing of spring. As we’ve seen all the new outdoor living offerings we’ve selected for the season hit stores and felt the energy coming through our lawn and garden sections, we’ve been excited to get in on the action, too—not just in our own yards, but yours as well.

This neighborly spirit recently inspired our fabulous photo team to get out of the studio and into a neighborhood here in California—particularly the Glenview neighborhood in Oakland, where the team left flyers asking some neighborhood residents whether they might be interested in the team transforming their front yard with a curb appeal makeover. 

“We decided to find a house that was in need of a refresh and give it an Orchard Supply-style makeover,” said Sean, who heads our photo studio. “Within 30 minutes, our phones started to ring from interested homeowners. The first step was to find just the right house.” 

After hearing from quite a few interested neighborhood residents, the team decided to transform the front yard of Wade and Jan Hufford.

The Huffords had recently painted and remodeled their house, but they had not yet gotten around to giving the same transformation to their front yard. So, with a $1,200 budget in hand, Orchard’s team set to work.

Our team took pictures and studied the front yard. From there, they worked with the fantastic team in our Berkeley Orchard store to find the right mix of plants and products that would transform the curb appeal of the Huffords’ home to match the work they’d done to their house. Then, our team of six showed up to get to work.

“Wade was there on the day to meet us and kindly make us coffee and share cake as we set to work on the yard,” our producer David told us.

The team set to work cleaning the yard of debris, cutting the grass, pulling weeds, and removing older planters. They also had gardeners on their photo crew who brought their personal passions into the project—but they made sure to respect the Huffords’ style.

“We did this project for them, but we asked what they were sensitive to and what they didn’t want to be disturbed,” Sean said. “Wade said the rose bushes were Jan’s pride and joy; ‘You probably can’t touch those.’”

As the team worked, they made plans to transplant the existing plants to work within the new design. They were going to be sure to keep the rose bushes prominent in the front yard, within the new design. However, the homeowner loved their vision.

“Jan told us, ‘No,’ and had us put the bushes in the back of the house,” Sean said. “She said, ‘Leave it just like it is. I love it!’”

The Orchard team’s makeover included:

Installing and painting cedar planter boxes

Adding hanging plants

Adding house numbers

Replacing old, weathered outdoor furniture with Orchard-exclusive furniture

Adding solar pathway lighting

In the process of transforming the curb appeal of this house, many of the neighbors ended up swinging by to chat with our team.

“We were inundated with curious neighbors wanting to know what we were up to; ‘Is this a TV show?’” Sean said, echoing one of the most common questions he received.

He was especially happy that the neighbors seemed as excited as Huffords not only to see the way the products Orchard’s merchandising team carefully selects came alive in a neighbor’s yard, but also to see how his team was going the extra mile to help the Huffords think through how to transform their yard.

Sean’s team goal with this special project was to echo the spirit of going the extra mile that our colleagues have within our stores every day. If you’re thinking about transforming your front yard, swing on by. The teams at our stores will be happy to help you think it through.