Garden Gifts Mom Will Love

Mother’s Day is all about showing Mom how much she is loved and appreciated. If your Mom loves to garden, here are some Mother’s Day gift ideas she will love(speaking from a gardening lover herself)! Whether you’re shopping for your Mom, Grandmother or wife, these Mother’s Day gift suggestions for the woman who loves to garden are sure to please!

“A mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take.”~ Cardinal Mermillod

On my blog here at Rachel Home and Life, I may sometimes use affiliate links, which means a small commission is earned if you make a purchase via the link. The price you pay will be the same whether you use the affiliate link or go directly to the vendor’s website using a non-affiliate link.

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1. Waterproof comfort shoe

2. 9 Herb window garden

3.Floral print garden tool set

4. Garden planner and journal

5. Gardening Kneeling pad

6. Copper plant labels

7. Inspirational Psalm stones

8. Waterproof boots

9. Nitrile gardening gloves

10. Collect, carry and clean colander

11. Women’s gardening hat

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Thanks so much for stopping by!

Warmly,

Rachel

Low Maintenance Front House Landscaping Ideas

Now that spring is here and people are turning their attention to more outdoor projects, here are some great low maintenance front house landscaping ideas that add beauty, enjoyment and increase the curb appeal of your home if you’re thinking of selling.

On my blog here at Rachel Home and Life, I may sometimes use affiliate links, which means a small commission is earned if you make a purchase via the link. The price you pay will be the same whether you use the affiliate link or go directly to the vendor’s website using a non-affiliate link.

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Love how a flower bed with simple brick edging, a window box and shutters, and a gate made such a dramatic improvement.

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A neglected corner can be turned into a still low maintenance area with using weed barrier fabric underneath a mulch covering.

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Garden borders and edging add detail for creating beautiful well defined areas.

Sandandsisal.com have some great tips for creating a new flower bed.
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Love the idea of using river rock in downspout locations.

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A stacked rock garden feature is another beautiful idea.

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Adding a flower filled window box adds instant charm and appeal.

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A rock garden landscaping idea that is low maintenance and adds design and creativity to a space.

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A sloped yard could utilize a retaining wall. Or it could be changed into an area that doesn’t require grass cutting.

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Thanks so much for stopping by!

Warmly,

Rachel

7 Simple Tips for Beautiful Succulent Arrangements

With just a handful of succulents, some soil and a few decorative elements, you can make a succulent arrangement that will be beautiful, and stand out. Here are some tips for succulent arrangements, succulent bowls and succulent care.

On my blog here at Rachel Home and Life, I may sometimes use affiliate links, which means a small commission is earned if you make a purchase via the link. The price you pay will be the same whether you use the affiliate link or go directly to the vendor’s website using a non-affiliate link.

1. Succulents are hardy and require very little maintenance. If indoors, keep them in the brightest spot available, otherwise they will get stretchy. Light is one of the most important things to keep them healthy. They need at least 4-6 hours of morning light if outdoors, and about 6 hours of the brightest light available if indoors.

2. Succulents don’t mind being packed in tightly together in an arrangement. It slows down their growth rate so they won’t outgrow their container very quickly.

3. You don’t need that many plants to create a bold, colourful and interesting arrangement.

4. I recommend using a container with a drainage hole for water to escape so you don’t get root rot happening. If you plan on having an arrangement for just a short while in a bowl with no drainage hole, you may want to line the bowl first with plastic before adding your soil. After adding the soil, just trim off the top edges of the plastic showing and cover with decorative pebbles, moss or sand.

5. Succulents prefer a lighter soil that’s faster draining with more aeration. Regular potting soil is too heavy and holds too much moisture.

6. Succulents require very little water. They only need watering about once every 1-1/2 to 2 weeks. But check sooner to be sure. They retain water within themselves for several days. With watering, allow the soil to dry between watering. Fertilize about once per month.

7. When choosing succulents to make an arrangement with, choose ones that are already healthy, with no dead or brown leaves, that are firm in their shape and not leggy or stretched out.

Click on the image below to take you directly to the product:

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If you find my posts at all helpful, I do appreciate you taking the time to share my posts or follow my account.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Warmly,

Rachel

How to Fix a Stretched Out Leggy Succulent

It’s just the start of spring and some of my succulents are looking pretty stretched out and sad after the winter. Today, I’m going to fix that! Do you have a stretched out leggy succulent? Learn how to fix and prevent it from happening again with proper succulent care, tips for planting succulents in pots, propagating succulents, and succulent care indoors.

On my blog here at Rachel Home and Life, I may sometimes use affiliate links, which means a small commission is earned if you make a purchase via the link. The price you pay will be the same whether you use the affiliate link or go directly to the vendor’s website using a non-affiliate link.

A stretched out succulent(also known as etiolation) is caused from a lack of light. Succulents that are needing more light will stretch out towards the nearest light source to them to try to get more light. It can easily happen if you live in a colder climate where you need to bring your succulents indoors for several months and don’t have a really bright spot you can put them in. To prevent a succulent from stretching out, you just need to provide it with more light. A succulent needs 4-6 hours of good light. I’ve included some links to growing lights at the bottom of this article that can help you with that.

Once a succulent is stretched out, the only thing you can do to fix it is to deconstruct it. That doesn’t sound so good but I’ll explain. The good news is you can still keep the top of the succulent if it hasn’t stretched out and repot it and then propagate new plants from the deconstruction process.

On my blog here at Rachel Home and Life, I may sometimes use affiliate links, which means a small commission is earned if you make a purchase via the link. The price you pay will be the same whether you use the affiliate link or go directly to the vendor’s website using a non-affiliate link.

Here are some of my stretched out succulents after a long winter in a spot that wasn’t getting enough light for them. The tops are still okay, but the bottoms are stretched out.

To begin, gently remove the succulent from the potting soil. Remove all the leaves one at a time from the stretched out portion of the succulent, leaving the nonstretched part at the top intact. When you remove a leaf you want to have as clean of a break as possible from the original stem. To remove the leaf, wiggle it back and forth and give it a slight twist. If the leaf tears you’ll have to get rid of it as you won’t be able to propagate it. What is so cool is that each leaf can produce another succulent for you if you decide you want more!

If you are going to propagate the leaves, don’t add water to them right away. They need to dry out for 2-4 days. If you find that you have to cut the original stem(of the deconstructed succulent) to fit a container, cut it 1-2 inches from the bottom and let that dry out as well for 2-4 days keeping it open to air before repotting it. Lay out the leaves on top of the soil to let them dry. After a week, just spray the soil that the leaves are on with a spray bottle and the roots will grow towards the damp soil. Alternatively, you can repot the deconstructed succulent stem in dry soil and wait one week to water it.

When you are ready to repot the succulent, fill your pot with soil. Make sure you use a pot with a drainage hole. Succulents prefer a lighter soil, that’s faster draining with more aeration, so it’s important to use the right kind of soil for them. Regular soil can be too heavy and holds too much moisture for their liking. Make a hole in the soil with your finger and place the stem of the succulent in the hole. Pat the soil down in and around the stem and add any extra soil if needed. That’s all you need to do!

Succulents, like most plants, do better if fertilized regularly. Succulents can be fertilized about once per month.

With the leaves, after a few weeks you’ll see fine hair-like roots developing and soon you will see a new baby succulent plant.

I pulled this one out of the soil to show you the roots. I just turned the leaf around and covered the roots back up again with soil to let it continue growing.

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If you find my posts at all helpful, I do appreciate you taking the time to share my posts or follow my account.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Warmly,

Rachel

Gorgeous Spring and Summer Window Box Ideas that Will Stop You in Your Tracks

Window box planters add huge amounts of charm, personality and curb side appeal to a home. Here are some beautiful, creative window box planter ideas to inspire you!

You’ll notice in a lot of the photos the common idea of using a thriller, spiller and filler planting formula. This is a way to describe the types of plants to put together in a window box or container to create a beautiful, full, lush look. A thriller plant creates height in your arrangement, a spiller plant will naturally drape over the sides of the container or window box, and filler plants are medium sized plants to fill in the spaces around and between the spiller and thriller plants.

On my blog here at Rachel Home and Life, I may sometimes use affiliate links, which means a small commission is earned if you make a purchase via the link. The price you pay will be the same whether you use the affiliate link or go directly to the vendor’s website using a non-affiliate link.

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Via Mydailyshe.com

Pussy willows added to any planter symbolize spring, and adding them to the white cyclamen flowers looks beautiful together.

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Adding cool weather flowers for spring window boxes such as pansies, daffodils, hyacinths can be swapped out later for summer flowers that tolerate more heat.

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Beautiful spring blooms!

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A lush box filled with only white accents with variegated foliage is simple, graceful and beautiful. I love the look with these white impatiens, caladium, dracaena spike in the center and trailing vinca vines.

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A variety of sun loving succulents, using the thriller, spiller and filler planting idea. Love the variations of purple, pink, yellow, rust color, and green succulents. Other sun loving plants and flowers great for window boxes: petunias, million bells, zinnias, portulaca, daisies, lavender, euphorbia, and I’m sure you can think of others.

provenwinners .com

This vibrant mix of super bells, GoldDust and Proven Accents Illusion Garnet Lace can be found at provenwinners.com

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Slow growing succulents can be packed tightly into window boxes.

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Ferns add a dramatic impact to a window box. Other plants that do well in shade are Ivy, Creeping Jenny, hostas, coleus and caladium.

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Some succulents like direct sun, while others do not. An important note to remember: Figure out how much sun your window box planter will get before buying your plants. That way, you’ll know what kind of plants to get.

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Fuschia impatiens with trailing dichondra do best in shade.

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Dwarf evergreens (eg. ‘Green Mountain’ boxwood or ‘Emerald’ arborvitae) with variegated ivy and fuschia impatiens. These do best in shade.

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If you find my posts at all helpful, I do appreciate you taking the time to share my posts or follow my account.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Warmly,

Rachel

Kitchen Garden Beauty

I love kitchen gardens! The first time I saw one I was captivated! Here you’ll find beautiful kitchen garden ideas and garden tips for creating a kitchen garden oasis. What is a kitchen Garden? And what is the difference between a kitchen garden and a regular vegetable garden?

A kitchen garden is an outdoor garden that is conveniently located as close to the kitchen as possible, so that it’s easy for you to grab what you need from it to prepare your meals. It’s usually smaller than a regular vegetable garden, but not always. A regular vegetable garden is more for harvesting large amounts of vegetables in the future for preserving. A kitchen garden is for smaller amounts and is more for using in the present and using things while the produce is fresh. Since a regular garden is for bigger production, vegetables are often lined up in rows, whereas a kitchen garden is more aesthetically pleasing and adds beauty to your home and yard.

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Kitchen gardens, also called Potager gardens(a French term) were invented in France and are made up of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers to bring beauty and functionality to a space. When one type of plant is done producing, it is replaced with a different crop.

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Raised beds are often preferred because of the warmer soil temperatures in them, easier on your body to tend to, and you can fill them up with good quality soil.

Herbs de Provence~ Thyme, rosemary, lavender, and others to grow in a kitchen garden

You can grow anything you like in your kitchen garden but it’s a great idea to choose crops that you can use sooner rather than at the end of summer. The main idea is to have early producing crops that you can use fresh. You also don’t want to plant things that spread out and take a lot of space, such as pumpkins.

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Some suggested flowers to grow in a kitchen garden: sweet peas and alyssum for their scent; edible flowers such as roses, and nasturtiums; and Dahlias, sunflowers and zinnias for their beauty and pollinator attraction.

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Some suggested ideas for herbs: Lavender, basil, chives, rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley, dill, and summer savoury.

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Some suggested vegetables would be lettuce, onions, spinach, bush beans, pole beans, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, Swiss chard, peppers, beets, peas, and I’m sure you can think of others.

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Delicious fruits to add to a kitchen garden could be strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, grapes, and depending on your location, smaller dwarf fruit trees. You don’t want to grow big fruit trees that will cast shade over your kitchen garden.

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A kitchen garden is a beautiful garden idea that will add beauty, functionality and pleasure to your home for years to come. Visit my Pinterest Kitchen Garden board to see a lot more kitchen garden inspiration, tips and ideas.

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If you find my posts at all helpful, I do appreciate you taking the time to share my posts or follow my account.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Warmly,

Rachel

On my blog here at Rachel Home and Life, I may sometimes use affiliate links, which means a small commission is earned if you make a purchase via the link. The price you pay will be the same whether you use the affiliate link or go directly to the vendor’s website using a non-affiliate link.

Bringing On Spring!(Forcing Indoor Blooms)

It’s the end of January here in Alberta Canada, and below is a picture I took today looking out my window this morning. I’m hungering for spring and so I figured this is the day I’m going to force some blooms to add some early spring to the indoors. I have been looking forward to this project for a long time!

I want to share a couple of ways one can bring on spring early to the indoors. One way is with flowering branches. The first thing I did was cut off a few branches from my backyard flowering trees. The best time to cut flowering branches from your yard is in February or March, although you can start as early as January in some areas. Ideally, you can cut them after your trees and branches have had at least six weeks of chilling. I then made some homemade flower food, and placed the branches in water with the flower food(this is an important step to your success-they need flower food!) They’ll be in a sunny spot in my house and I’ll change the water about once every 4-6 days.

The second way is forcing tulips to bloom early. I purchased a couple of packages of tulip bulbs last fall and have been eagerly awaiting this day!

I took the tulip bulbs out of my refrigerator January 28/21. I had purchased them last fall at the end of September, and so they’ve been in cold storage for 4 months. I purchased McKenzie Pink Impression and McKenzie Red Impression tulip bulbs that came in packages of 20 each. They are supposed to reach a height of 22 inches.

While it may seem simple and straightforward to some people, which way to plant bulbs can be a bit confusing to others. 

When planting them, the pointy tip of the bulb goes up. If you’re not sure, just plant it on it’s side and it will find it’s way up. It’s all pretty easy, just make sure the bulbs aren’t touching one another. I squeezed them in because I want a beautiful, thick show of spring color!

I planted one smaller container for the kitchen table:

And one large container for a big splash of spring color for the front living room window:

I start planting the bulbs in the center of the container and then work my way outwards, in case I’m not sure if I have enough bulbs to fill up all the space. I can always leave space around the outer edge if I run out of bulbs. I then topped up the soil until just the tips of the bulbs were poking through the soil and watered them well:

A couple of things to remember: you want to make sure your container has drain holes. Also, it’s best to use an all purpose potting soil, not soil from outdoors. If I had planted these earlier in soil and then kept them in cold storage, I would have planted the bulbs deeper. But because I’m forcing them to bloom quickly now, in a warm environment, I’ve planted them much more shallow.

I placed them in a sunny location and then waited….

Here they are 3 weeks later:

And here they are almost 4 weeks later starting to bloom…..

It brings me joy and a lot of pleasure watching the progress of flowers growing and blooming up close. You can do this any time of the year as long as you let tulip bulbs have a dormant period in a colder and darker environment of at least 4 months, depending on where you live.

This flowering branch was taken from my apple tree:

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If you find my posts at all helpful, I do appreciate you taking the time to share my posts or follow my account.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Warmly,

Rachel