Liquid Sunshine Orange Soap With Dried Orange Slices

Landscaping, s,

Whether it?s the dead of winter or a crisp fall day, you can have a little piece of sunshine with you with this orange slice soap! Infused with the bright scent of tangerine and grapefruit and dried orange slices, this orange soap will quickly become one of your favourite soap recipes for gifting.

orange soap recipe

Did you know that the smell of orange is to boost your mood? Just by smelling the deliciousness of this orange soap, you?re already reaping the benefits. Every time you lather up in the shower, you?ll notice a smile creeping on your face. Just like sunshine, this citrus soap lifts your spirits no matter the forecast outside.

I?m not usually one to toot my own horn, but gosh darn this soap is a beauty! I used a combination of soap-making techniques (which I have shared down below), essential oils and mica for color, and topped them off with dried calendula. For the wrapping, I added in a dried orange slice to make this the ultimate soap for gifting. The beauty combined with the smell will have everyone you gift this orange bar soap to smile.

orange soap with orange slices

How to Cut Orange Slices for Soap

These are not the typical cut oranges you would find at a children?s soccer game. When it comes to dried orange slices, you need to cut them a specific way. But before you get chopping away, give your oranges a good wash. Scrub them to ensure that any pesticides, wax, and dirt are gone with a . After all, this will be a beauty product that goes on the skin!

When cutting, first remove the two ends of the orange. Slice it so that the center of the orange is in the middle of the slice. You will want to keep the slices as thin as you can manage with your knife or to get thin and even slices.

sliced dried orange slices

How to Dry Orange Slices

Once they?re nice and even, set the orange slices on a rack or piece of . Set your oven to 200?F and place your oranges inside. Depending on how thick the slices are, leave them in there for 4-6 hours. Slow and steady wins the orange race!

drying orange slices

Set the timer to remind yourself to turn the oranges every hour. This helps them to dry evenly. Once they?re completely dry, you can store them in a jar or use them right away for your citrus soap.

jar of dried orange slices

How to Use Orange Slices in Orange Soap

Use as Packaging

When I use dried orange slices, I use them primarily to wrap my soap with. This makes this orange soap bar ideal for gifting, adding such a visual pop that looks straight off the artisanal shelf.

Add Directly into Soap

However, some people like to add dried orange slices directly into the bars of soap. This step would take place at trace. In this case, you add the dried orange slices right into the soap batter before it quantifies. This is usually halfway into the soap in the middle of where it would be sliced so that half of the orange is sticking over the top of each bar.

liquid sunshine soap

It?s important to note that the slices are an organic material that will get wet, grow bacteria, and rot as the bar of soap is used. If you decide to put the orange directly in the soap, instruct whoever you give the bar of soap to that they will need to remove that orange from the soap bar or use the bar quickly.

All in all, I don?t find it that nice of an experience to use a dried orange in the soap, so I like to use it as wrapping instead. This makes a really beautiful way to present the orange soap as a gift and it smells fantastic. Simply wrap a dried slice around the orange soap bar with a piece of garden twine. You can then add a tag with a gift message or with the variety of soap.

How to Make Orange Bar Soap

This orange slice soap recipe makes 2 lbs of soap. Made with a mixture of moisturizing oils, you?ll be surprised how much it lathers while keeping the skin soft and subtle.

INGREDIENTS:

For exact measurements, please see the recipe card at the end of this post.

  •  (for decoration)
  • Dried orange slices (for decoration)
stack of dried oranges

MATERIALS:

  • Pot of water
  • Safety gear including gloves, apron, eye protection, etc.
  • Spatula
  • Chopstick

MAKE IT!

The instructions down below are intended for those who have made soap before. If this is your first time making soap, you can . Check that post out first then come back here for the specifics all about this orange bar soap!

Once your soap batter has reached trace, split your soap batter so that 2/3 are in one bowl and the other 1/3 is in another. Also, scoop up a little bit of the soap and put it to the side. Add the essential oils to the 2/3 of soap and blend again with your immersion blender. The essential oils will not only provide the citrusy scent but will colour the soap a light orange.

citrus soap

Pour the scented soap into the bottom of the soap batter. Next, pour the unscented soap on top.

With the little bit of soap you put to the side, add in some gold mica powder and mix well. Pour this gold soap across the top of the soap.

Using the chopstick, make swirls with the soap by pulling through the soap.

On one side of the soap, I also used whole heads of  for decoration. Combined with the dried orange slices, it?s just stunning!

cutting homemade soap

Your orange soap bar can be cut after 48 hours. Once cut, it will need to cure for 6 weeks before use. After the 3 weeks, you can go ahead and dry your orange slices and start packaging up your citrus soap for gifting.

If you have any questions about this soap, drop them in the comments down below and I?d be happy to answer them. Happy soap-making!

orange slice soap

More Soap-Making Recipes:

liquid sunshine soap

Liquid Sunshine Orange Soap With Dried Orange Slices

This orange soap recipe makes 2 lbs of soap. A beautiful swirled orange colour, add dried orange slices before gifting them to friends and family.

Equipment

  • Safety gear (rubber gloves, face mask, apron, eye protection, etc.)
  • Spatula
  • Chopstick

Supplies

  • 340 g
  • 284 g
  • 142 g
  • 142 g
  • 114 g
  • 142 g
  • 300 g
  • 10 g
  • 10 g
  • Dried orange slices

Instructions

  • Use your kitchen scale to measure out all your ingredients.
  • Melt your oils together in the double boiler until they reach 115?F.
  • Meanwhile, combine your water and lye together in a Pyrex cup. Stir until fully dissolved and then cool in an ice bath until 115?F.
  • Using the immersion blender, combine your lye water and oils until it reaches trace.
  • Separate your soap batter into 3 bowls. One bowl should hold 2/3, another 1/3, and the third a scoop.
  • Add the essential oils to 2/3 of the soap batter. Mix with the immersion blender. Pour into the soap mold.
  • Top off with the 1/3 unscented soap.
  • Mix your gold mica with the remaining scoop of soap. Pour over the top of the soap mold. Use a chopstick to pull through the soap and create swirls.
  • Decorate one side of the soap with whole dried calendula flowers.
  • Let the soap sit somewhere warm for 48 hours.
  • Cut soap into equal sections. Let sit in a cool, dark place for 6 weeks in order to cure.
  • Decorate by wrapping a dried orange slice around the bar of soap with garden twine. Add a gift tag with the variety of soap.

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Alliums are wonderful, unique-looking plants that come in a ton of different varieties. Their vibrant round purple flower heads stand out in the garden, and their seed heads make a stunning display. Some are a tasty addition to your favourite recipe (garlic, onions), some decorate the garden (ornamental alliums), and some are just plain weird (Egyptian walking onions). No matter how you use them, alliums are the perfect plant to pretty up your garden.

All About Alliums

Alliums are members of the onion family. Garlic, chives, and onions are all harvested for their tasty and fragrant leaves and bulbs, but many gardeners also grow them because of their attractive flower heads.

Chives are often grown throughout the garden because of their purple pompom flowers that look decorative in the garden bed. Even better, onions and garlic are unappealing to garden pests like rodents, deer, and many insects. These easy-care plants don?t have a lot of natural pests, making them even more attractive to gardeners.

Sponsored content: thank you to for providing some of the lovely photos for this post! Flowerbulbs.com is an extremely helpful resource for learning about new flower bulbs and helps to support European bulb growers. 

Growing Ornamental Alliums

There are other members of the allium family that don?t have the flavour but do have decorative bursts of flowers above a thin stock. Ornamental onions are prized in the garden for their interesting round purple flower heads, their attractiveness to and , and, especially, for their dried seed heads.

Check the cultivars sold in your area; there are some for Zones 3 to 9. Allium plants aren?t picky about soil but they do love the sun!

all about alliums

Alliums range in colour from shades of blue, purple, white, and yellow. The flower heads are usually round but can be drumstick-shaped perfect-globe round, or even a nodding crown.

Typically, the flower heads themselves won?t smell much like onion but the foliage might. Even then, you have to crush it to get that fragrant smell. You may notice it when working alongside your allium flowers when disturbing the leaves.

The size of blooms is also what makes them quite special. They can range from one foot tall to up to six feet tall. Some of the shorties aren?t necessarily teeny tiny flowers, either.

One of my very favourite ones is A. schubertii, which grows only about one to three feet tall and is mostly a huge 18? diameter explosion of flowers. The dried seed head makes for an amazing sculpture to use in your home decor. You can expect to see your allium flower blooms in late spring or early summer.

Allium farm

Planting Allium Flowers

Alliums are usually . They are planted in early autumn, normally quite deep in the ground from two to four inches.

It?s best to cluster bulbs together, with groupings of 12 to 25 small or 3-6 large looking the most attractive in the garden. You don?t need to worry about any kind of prep to the bulbs before planting, such as soaking. Once planted, give them a thorough watering after they?re in the ground.

Of course, you can always or in between other plantings. They look most impressive grouped together like a wave of fireworks celebrating above the garden.

a guide to growing alliums

The foliage of allium plants isn?t that impressive and when the blooms die back it can look quite messy. They do best when planted in between a bunch of low-growing perennials with dense and interesting foliage to hide and distract from this.

allium foliage

Allium Plant Seeds

Allium plants produce seeds that can be saved and sown in the garden; however, it will take several years for the plant to flower. By you?ll have flowers the very next summer.

close up of allium seeds

Some alliums produce bulbs on their heads after the flowers have faded. The Egyptian walking onion (A. ? proliferum) is a great example of this. After the flower is finished they form small bulbs (called aerial bulbils) that get quite heavy on the top of the thin stock.

The Egyptian walking onion then flops over and plants itself into the ground beside the mother plant, essentially walking around the garden. These bulbs can also be harvested and eaten.

Egyptian Walking Onion

Treat the grouping of bulbs like a perennial clump and divide them when the clump becomes overcrowded. In my experience, allium plants only flower for a few years, so I do end up buying a few new bulbs every year or two to replenish the planting.

Harvesting Seed Heads

After your alliums have finished flowering, if that?s what you prefer. Wait until the allium flower heads have lost all colour and have turned a yellow to brown. Simply snip off the whole stalk right to the ground and leave them as is. The bulb will remain dormant for the rest of the year and rest up until next spring.

But, if you?re like me, you can also leave them as is after they have finished flowering! The seed heads themselves are gorgeous and add a different kind of texture to the garden.

alliums have decorative seed heads

Give it a try and leave the decorative seed heads in the garden. They lose the purple colour but they have a sculpture, globe-like appeal.

They can be harvested to use for crafts and as well. If you?d like to use them for arrangements, try to keep the stems as long as possible. The seed heads will last well in any arrangement without any need for sealer.

Harvested Alliums

The stem becomes woody and will be beautiful for years if kept indoors. Left unprotected outdoors, they will break down over the season. However, you can paint them to add colour and protection if you want to leave them outdoors.

Painted alliums

Meet the Alliums!

Here are a few of my favourite allium varieties to grow in the garden. Whether you want to eat them or just to enjoy their decorative look, there are sure to be a few varieties that appeal to you.

Garden with Alliums and Roses

Drumstick

Drumstick allium (A. sphaerocephalon) has an oblong, burgundy flower that reaches two feet high but is only one to two inches in diameter. They change from green to wine colour, looking decorative in the garden at all stages. Plant at least 25 of these small bulbs among perennial plants such as Hosta, Alchemilla or among ornamental grasses.

  • Flowering period: May ? June
  • Average plant height: 24 inches
  • Planting depth to base of bulb: 4 inches
  • Spacing between bulbs: 4 inches
  • Light requirements: full sun

drumstick allium

A. giganteum ?Globemaster?

A. giganteum, or ?Globemaster,? has huge 8? diameter round heads containing over 100 flowers on 4-foot tall stems. These are truly impressive onions! The foliage withers quickly as the plant blooms so they are best towering over the back of a sunny border.

  • Flowering period: May ? June
  • Average plant height: 68 inches
  • Planting depth to base of bulb: 8 inches
  • Spacing between bulbs: 12 inches
  • Light requirements: full sun
globemaster allium in bloom

A. shubertii

A. shubertii, also known as Tumbleweed Onion, have short stalks but a flower head that looks like a fireworks display and produces a stunning seed head sculpture.

  • Flowering period: May ? June
  • Average plant height: 16-20 inches
  • Planting depth to base of bulb: 4 inches
  • Spacing between bulbs: 3 inches
  • Light requirements: full sun to partial shade

Tumbleweed onion allium

A. christophii

A profusely flowering allium species; its gray-green leaves remain attractive for a fairly long period. It is absolutely perfect for naturalizing in lightly shaded locations and in soil that remains sufficiently moist.

  • Flowering period: May ? June
  • Average plant height: 12 inches
  • Planting depth to base of bulb: 4 inches
  • Spacing between bulbs: 3 inches
  • Light requirements: full sun to partial shade
Allium christophii

A. ?hair?

Allium ?hair? is a weird and wonderful plant with green tentacle-like flowers. Some people call them aliens or Dr. Seuss plants, but they remind me of the Muppets!

  • Flowering period: April ? June
  • Average plant height: 24 inches
  • Planting depth to base of bulb: 2 inches
  • Spacing between bulbs: 2 inches
  • Light requirements: full sun to partial shade
Allium Hair

A. oreophilum

A. oreophilum is a delicate yet brilliantly coloured flower that naturalizes easily.

  • Flowering period: May ? June
  • average plant height: 8 inches
  • Planting depth to base of bulb: 4 inches
  • Spacing between bulbs: 4 inches
  • Type of bulb: true bulb
  • Light requirements: full sun
Allium oreophilum

A. karataviense

A. karataviense is the ?Ivory Queen.? Very striking with dense, purple-gray flower colour, and spotted leaves. Ivory Queen has a wonderful scent and it is the best variety for container gardens.

  • Flowering period: May ? June
  • Average plant height: 10 inches
  • Planting depth to base of bulb: 6 inches
  • Spacing between bulbs: 8 inches
  • Type of bulb: true bulb
  • Light requirements: full sun to partial shade
Allium Ivory Queen

A Few Edible Beauties

Nodding onions (Allium cernuum) have delicate crowns of flowers that hang upside down or nod when in bloom.

Garden chives (Allium schoenoprasum). Yes, that?s right, I have chives on this list because they are ornamental, hardy, edible, and great ! Plant clumps of chives all over your garden and pests will be sent packing while the bees feast (and you can too).
garden chives

More Flowering Bulbs

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If picking out a fresh Christmas tree is a yearly tradition for your family, make sure you get the right one! Here?s how to pick the BEST type of Christmas tree.

How to Choose a Christmas Tree

What makes the best Christmas tree? Having sold fresh-cut Christmas trees for many years, I can attest to the old adage that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

In truth, your best fresh Christmas tree may look vastly different from someone else?s. Size, shape, branch density, needle length, color, and fragrance are some personal preferences that will play into the final decision.

For many of us, there is a specific tree species that just ?smells like Christmas? because we grew up with that type. But if you?re looking for the name of your favourite tree or want to experiment this year, here are some of the best types of Christmas trees to consider.

In this article, we will cover:

kiddo picking out Christmas trees

How to Pick the Best Type of Christmas Tree

Each tree species has certain characteristics that have made it popular. Whether it?s the rigidity of the branch tips, how well it retains its needles, or a striking fragrance, each variety has something special to offer.

Within a single species, the pruning affects overall shape and branch density: natural growth tends to be more open, frequent shearing leads to dense branches.

When choosing the best type of Christmas tree for your family, you can keep a lookout for a few things:

  1. Fresh trees should not be losing many needles. You can test this by tapping the tree on the ground and seeing how many needles fall off. Alternatively, your can pull along a branch. Only a few needles should come loose.
  2. Sickness or decay. The tree should not smell musty or have any kind of spots. This could indicate that the tree was cut while sick or cut too long ago.
  3. Height and width. Measure your Christmas tree to ensure that it will fit inside your home.

The Different Types of Christmas Trees

There are many different types of trees that are commonly sold as Christmas trees. Here are a few of the best Christmas trees and what you need to know about each.

Fraser Fir

This is the most popular fresh Christmas tree in North America. They?re extremely hardy and Canadian tree farmers ship them all over the world. Its needles are ? to 1 inch long, dark green above and blue-green beneath. Needle retention is excellent and the scent is pleasantly sweet and slightly pungent. 

Noble Fir

The noble Fir, with its rigid branches, is a fantastic choice for heavy ornaments. Its branches grow in whorls around the trunk, giving it a ?tiered? effect. The upturned needles show both the medium-green surface colour and blue-green underside.

Douglas Fir

Don?t let the name fool you! A Douglas fir is actually a type of pine tree. Douglas fir is grown and shipped all over North America. The 1-1.5 inch dark green, soft needles radiate in all directions from the stem, giving it a full appearance. The needle retention is less than other trees but it is also usually a less costly tree.

Balsam Fir

Needles are dark green, ? to 1.5 inches long, and last a long time. They?re easy to decorate but may not hold heavy ornaments well. The scent of the crushed needles is very pleasant, lasting throughout the holiday season. It?s one of the most popular options in Canada, being the top Christmas tree in Quebec and New Brunswick?s official tree.

Grand Fir

This type of tree is darker green with flat needles. It?s softer to the touch than other trees so it?s pleasant to decorate!

Nordman Fir

Nordman fir has longer needles than the noble or Fraser firs, giving it a softer look. The needles are deep, glossy green and have needle retention similar to that of both the noble and Fraser firs.

List of Popular Christmas Trees and Their Pros and Cons

Colorado Blue Spruce

This popular option is a great choice for a living Christmas tree. In addition to the unique blue-green or gray-green foliage, it features a good shape and dense branches when young.

Scotch Pine

Scotch pine is the most heavily planted fresh Christmas tree variety. Its needles are 1-3 inches long and medium green, perfect for holding onto ornaments. Needle retention is excellent, even when it dries out.

Eastern White Pine

This tree has some of the longest needles in this listing, giving it a soft appearance. Needle retention is good. Because of its faint scent, this is a good choice for anyone sensitive to heavy fragrances.

Living Christmas Trees

Potted trees have become very popular because they can be planted in the landscape after serving their ornamental purpose indoors. Go for the type that fits your garden style.

Magical Miniature Gardens Evergreens and Trees

Frequently Asked Questions About Christmas Trees

What Kind of Tree is a Christmas Tree?

Just about any evergreen tree can work as a Christmas tree. The tradition of the Christmas tree came from Pagans as they brought boughs of evergreens inside the home during the winter solstice to remind them of the green plants that would return in the spring. The first Christmas trees appeared in Germany in the 16th century where Martin Luther brought a fir tree into his home to decorate.

The most popular types of Christmas trees are fir trees since they tend to shed fewer needles when they dry, all while maintaining scent and colour. In the US, the best-selling Christmas trees are Fraser fir, noble fir, Douglas fir, balsam fir, and scotch pine.

What is the Best Smelling Christmas Tree?

One of the best features of purchasing a real Christmas tree instead of a fake one is the scent. A balsam fir will give you the most scent, but they do tend to dry out more quickly than other trees. If this will be a concern for you, a Douglas fir or Fraser fir also has a scent and will last longer.

Which Christmas Tree Lasts the Longest?

Fraser fir will last you the longest, at about 5 weeks. If you like to buy your tree early, this one should still be looking good by Christmas time. A Douglas fir will also last quite a while at 4 weeks. Scotch pine also lasts for 3 weeks.

Yes, some varieties do better than others, but there?s more to it. When it comes down to a long-lasting Christmas tree, the results will mostly come from proper care. Learn more about !

wood slice Christmas ornaments

What are the Main Differences Between a Douglas Fir vs Fraser Fir?

Both the Douglas fir and Fraser fir can last a long time in the home and are some of the best Christmas trees. Fraser firs tend to be a slender and work well in small rooms as their branches turn slightly upward. A Douglas fir will appear slightly bushier and wider.

Due to their soft needles, both trees can withstand the heat of being inside a home. Fraser fir has slightly shorter needles measuring ? to 1 inch long while Douglas fir?s needles measure 1-1.5 inches. They have a similar dark green colour, though Douglas firs tend to have worse needle retention. Their lower price point reflects that.

What are the Main Differences Between a Grand Fir vs Douglas Fir?

Grand firs tend to be one of the most fragrant Christmas trees out there, evoking a citrus like scent. Douglas firs are also scented but bring the more classic Christmas tree scent you?re probably familiar with. Both trees have the classic cone shape, though grand firs are a little fuller.

The branches of a grand fir tend to be lighter and Douglas fir branches will hold heavier ornaments better. The needles of a Douglas fir are dark green, radiating in all directions. Grand fir needles come in a glossy green colour with a slight curve of the boughs.

Douglas firs tend to be more common due to their popularity, so you may have greater difficulty finding a grand fir. Douglas firs will last around 4 weeks while grand firs are only good for about 2 weeks before they begin dropping their needles.

Stephanie and kiddo

The most important thing to keep in mind while shopping for the best type of Christmas tree is that all-natural trees have slight physical imperfections. Some even contain bird nests or praying mantis egg sacks. Let these things serve as a reminder not to take decorating too seriously or obsess over minutia. Allow the natural beauty of the tree to take center stage for your holiday decor.

More Christmas Tree Inspiration

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