Window boxes filled with vibrant flowers are a welcome sign of spring. But when it rains, the soil in them often spatters, dirtying windows and sills. To prevent the muddy splashes, spread river stones (available at garden centers) in a layer over the tops of the flower beds. The stones will act as a barrier while keeping the soil moist for the blooming plants.
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A pair of canvas bags -- one for laundry, the other for dry cleaning -- eliminates sorting later and makes for easy transport. Clear luggage tags on each indicate the appropriate cleaning method. You can also insert your contact information to streamline drop-offs at the cleaner.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, January 2009
To avoid tracking in sand or soil after a day at the beach or working in the garden, set up a rinsing station just outside your door or at another convenient location. A teak bath mat provides slip-free footing and good drainage. The steady stream from an ordinary watering can cleans every unwanted speck from your feet and flip-flops or waterproof garden shoes.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, June 2009
The garden is just a slightly tamed wilderness with hazards all its own: It harbors insects that bite, thorns that scratch, and other potential nuisances that may require simple first aid. This basic kit includes alcohol for cleaning wounds, first-aid ointment, cotton balls, bandages, tweezers for thorns and splinters, insect repellent with sunscreen, and, finally, hand salve to soothe and soften your dry skin at the end of the day.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, May 2000
Gutter strainers -- the wire cages that filter leaves and debris washed off the roof -- also make great orchid pots, providing the plants with excellent aeration and drainage.
Buy an inexpensive copper strainer at a hardware store. Using a pair of light pliers, bend the spindly legs of the strainer into decorative loops around the top (the loops also offer a way to hang the orchid if you like). Soak sphagnum moss (available at garden centers) in water, pack into the strainer, and then put in the orchid. Pack with more moss for a snug fit, and give it a hearty watering in the sink. Let the moss drain completely before placing the plant in a bowl.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, November 2008
Keep newspaper "logs" on hand and you'll always have kindling. To make rolling easier, wet newspaper, one section at a time, under a faucet. Spread the section on a flat surface. (Use a garbage bag to protect the surface from ink.) Tightly roll the paper into a log, and secure with twine. Prop the tube against a wall (protect it, too); let dry overnight.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, February 2008
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