Rainy Day Project: Tips For an Efficient and Cool Kitchen Space

Glidez™ 12-in Sink Sliding Organizer

First step to a cool and efficient kitchen space is to clear out your drawers and cabinets. Get rid of anything you don’t need, YOU KNOW that grater from college let’s toss it!  Have things that are expired or broken?  Donate or trash.  Then, clean everything you’re keeping with disinfectant wipes (they come in handy with built up grime). Now it’s time to get organized.

Plan your every move.

Think about your kitchen routine, and try to keep everything you need for regular tasks together. Keep glassware next to the sink or refrigerator. Store cookware and utensils by your food prep area. Organize your spices and cooking oils so you can reach them from your stove. Get handy sized trash cans with smell good liners to make your kitchen smell nice even when the smelly hits the can!

Use specialized items.

Helper shelves can elevate an otherwise out-of-reach corner. Lazy Susan’s in the refrigerator keep your leftovers rotating so nothing can hide in the back and spoil. Cupboard dividers make it easy to separate out miscellaneous items and keep them from getting lost.

Glidez® 11.5-in D Sliding Organizer

Go vertical.

Free up valuable drawer and counter space by hanging long-handled utensils, oven mitts, aprons, and more on hooks. Serving platters can do double duty as art when displayed on your kitchen walls. Create a cookbook stand on your wall with railing, or an adhesive ledge.

cabinet-org-3

Until this rain lets up we suggest a fun and inspiring project! Visit your neighborhood Orchard Supply Hardware® store to find solutions for your  cool and efficient kitchen makeover!

#MyOSHProject: Create A Succulent Mini Garden

Not only are they exceptionally hardy, they come in a happy array of shapes and sizes. Good luck choosing. A succulent mini garden can be hung in a variety of ways, placed on shelves, or tucked into nooks all around the house. It’s like bringing a bit of summer indoors. Find everything you need at your neighborhood Orchard Supply Hardware store.

Supplies:

Canning Jars

canning-jars

Spanish Moss

spanish-moss

Jute Twine and Adhesive

twine

5-lb Pebbles

pebbles

Cactus Mix Potting Soil

vlack-gold

Ready to get Started On Your Succulent Garden?

  1. Select canning jar(s). Keep in mind if you plan on hanging, or where you want to place.
  2. Put in a layer of Spanish moss. The moss will compact quite a bit, so it’s a good idea to put in more than you think you might need.
  3. Add a layer of rocks or pebbles. This will allow excess water to drain to be absorbed by the moss.
  4. Fill the jar with cactus mix to about 1-in from the rim.
  5. Plant with the succulent of your choice.
  6. If you want to hang the planter, wrap twin multiple times around the rim, and then secure with the adhesive.
  7. Mini succulent garden ready to cheer your indoor space.

Want to embellish your planter? Look throughout the store for ideas. You’ll find paints, markers, tapes and much more.

All items may not be offered at every store.
Call your neighborhood store for availability. FIND A STORE

#MyOSHProject: Tape-a-palooza: Projects with Designer Tape

Tape is so much more than an adhesive. You can accent a room, customize your gadgets, or even build useful everyday items.

With decorative tapes in a crazy range of colors, textures, and patterns combined with all the materials you’ll need available in our store, the number of projects you can wrap your mind around has no limit.

Check out the wacky wrapping experiments we came up with here or view our strip selection and roll with your own.

Tape-A-Chair

What you’ll need:

  • Single roll of Duck® 10-yd tape
  • Steel-backed folding chair
  • Scissors

Instructions:

  1. Cut a single 15-in or so strip
  2. Starting from just behind the chair back, wrap around front till the other end meets where you started. Cut off excess.
  3. Apply next piece without overlapping the tape strips. Repeat step 1 until chair back is covered.

Washi covered light plate

Washi-covered light plate
Washi-covered light plate

What you’ll need:

  • Scotch® Expressions Washi Tape
  • Leviton® Toggle Switch Wall Plate
  • Fiskars® Amplify 8-in Craft Shears

Instructions

  1. Liberally stick strips of tape across face of wall plate one at a time until covered. Smooth out all air bubbles.
  2. Flip over and use scissors to trim excess, leaving a ¼-in remaining.
  3. Fold the remaining tape around the back edge of plate. Use included screws from wall plate to poke through tape covering holes for when you fasten it to wall.
  4. With plate still facing tape-side down, use tip of scissors to cut an X into the toggle hole. Flip over and peel off the 4 triangle shaped pieces and voilà – you’re switching in style.

Tip: Stick a paperclip where you tore off the last piece, and never lose your place again.

Show off your projects and creations  by tagging #MyOSHProject Series and we’ll share the best ones on our social media. Let’s get taping!

#MyOSHProject: A Backyard Oasis in An Afternoon

Been longing for a quiet backyard getaway? Creating a customized escape in your backyard is easier than it sounds. All it takes is a few hours and a trip to your neighborhood Orchard Supply Hardware store.

What you’ll need:

Quikrete® All-Purpose Gravel

Quikrete All-Purpose Gravel

Laredo Stepping Stones
(In 3 shapes and 2 colors – Cream and Tan)

Laredo Stepping Stones

6-Pack Ground Cover Plants

plants

Gardena 3-Piece Bistro Set

Bistroset

Decorative Outdoor Pillows

Pillows

Ready to get Started?

  1. Find a level area in your yard or garden. Don’t have a level area? Talk to an expert at your neighborhood Orchard Supply Hardware store about the tools and tips you’ll need to create one.
  2. Lay down the gravel
  3. Place stepping stones approximately 4-in from each other. Be as creative as you like in laying out a pattern
  4. Plant groundcover 4 to 6-in from each other to allow room for growth
  5. Add a bistro set (or garden bench), toss on some pillows, grab a book, and enjoy!

Find a store near you or shop online.

5 Beautiful, Easy-to-Grow Evergreen Plants

Polygala x dalmaisiana (Sweet Pea Shrub)

Team Osh Guest Blogger Paul Lee Cannon…

“I like to think of the front and back yards of my Oakland home as one big test garden. My partner and I have lived there since 2003 and I’ve pretty much been gardening like a madman ever since. Like most home gardeners, I’ve killed my fair share of plants over the years (even lantana!), but thankfully my gardening successes have outgrown its failures. I attribute the bulk of this success to smart plant choices: opting for those that can still look beautiful despite challenging growing conditions like poor soil, inconsistent light or irrigation, and heavy foot traffic. Heaven knows, my garden has all of those.

Here are five tough-as-nails plants I’ve enjoyed growing not only for their beauty but because they can, in the words of my first horticulture teacher, “thrive on neglect.” Once established, each requires little if any water and maybe an occasional trim. Yep, they’re that easy, plus you can find them at most nurseries, including the Orchard nursery. So go ahead, give one or several a try. Happy gardening!

Salvia clevelandii (California Blue Sage)
Salvia clevelandii (California Blue Sage)

Salvia clevelandii (California Blue Sage)

Come summertime, up pop pretty pale-purple/blue spikes of whorled blooms above soft grayish-green foliage with a sweet, musky scent. This mounding, upright evergreen shrub can quickly grow 3-5 feet tall and 5-8 feet wide. I keep mine in check by pruning half of it back after the blooms have come and gone, and it always seems to spring back more vigorous than before. Plant in a spot that gets full sun and where the soil drains well. That way it’ll become the envy of neighbors and hummingbirds alike. For deer, not so much.

Polygala x dalmaisiana (Sweet Pea Shrub)
Polygala x dalmaisiana (Sweet Pea Shrub)

Polygala x dalmaisiana (Sweet Pea Shrub)

Talk about a nonstop flower plant show! This fast-growing evergreen shrub goes gangbusters with magenta-colored, sweet pea-ish blooms from spring through fall. Give it full sun or part shade with little to no irrigation once established, and it’ll grow 3-5 feet tall, 4-6 feet wide. I noticed this past fall that it reseeds easily so I transplanted several seedlings to fill gaps in the garden, and so far so gorgeous! Sweet pea shrub is also a fabulous low-hedge alternative for boxwood, and performs wonderfully in pots. I actually noticed one growing in a concrete urn in Lisa Vanderpump’s garden while watching “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”

Teucrium chamaedrys (Wall Germander)
Teucrium chamaedrys (Wall Germander)

Teucrium chamaedrys (Wall Germander)

A tidy, ground-hugging evergreen shrub, wall germander is grown mainly for the small, glossy, dark-green foliage. But boy do the bees go gaga for the whorls of loosely spiked pinkish-purple blooms in summer. Give it full sun, well-drained soil, and average amounts of water, although it can tolerate less optimal conditions. I grow some in part shade that I barely water and they’re just fine. I am particularly impressed by the one on our parking strip that’s endured countless clobberings from our truck’s passenger door. This toughie’s a moderate to fast grower, reaching 1 foot tall and 2 feet wide. If it gets unruly, simply shear it back to the ground and in a few weeks it will reemerge more vibrant than ever.

Lobelia laxiflora (Mexican Lobelia)
Lobelia laxiflora (Mexican Lobelia)

Lobelia laxiflora (Mexican Lobelia)

This easy, shrubby groundcover plant has a fast, spreading habit that makes it ideal for covering large areas. The blooms are slender little trumpet-shaped wonders (perfectly engineered for hummingbird beaks!) in shades of red and pale orange and cover the plant pretty much all year long in our mild climates. Skinny, tapered leaves lend attractive texture and lushness. Topping out at about 2 feet tall with a 5-foot spread, it typically requires only occasional water once established. I’ve had one in my front yard for at least 10 years now and rarely water it, which keeps it well behaved because it tends to ramble too much if the soil is moist. In sun or shade, it’s content either way.

Bulbine frutescens (Stalked Bulbine)
Bulbine frutescens (Stalked Bulbine)

Bulbine frutescens (Stalked Bulbine)

Let’s start with this evergreen groundcover plant’s good looks. The matte-green leaves are linear and fleshy, like chives. It’s a fast grower with a height and spread of 1-2 feet. Bulbine has an upright, clumping habit and spreads by underground stems (rhizomes). From spring through fall, reed-thin stalks rise above the foliage and culminate in spikes of fuzzy, star-shaped, lemon-yellow flowers which attract butterflies. Once established, bulbine tolerates drought and can live on little water but looks and flowers better with occasional irrigation during very dry or hot conditions. Share the love – thin plantings by dividing the clumps and giving them out at your next plant swap. A single cutting from my neighbor more than 10 years ago is now a glorious specimen that keeps on giving.”