The freeze-and-thaw cycle that root balls face this time of year can damage plants. If your planters are too heavy to move indoors, wrap the pots in cushioned packaging material for insulation. To hide the plastic, cover with burlap (available at hardware stores and garden centers).
More Bright Ideas
Tall-growing orchids need a little extra support to stay upright, but the stakes they lean on are usually an eyesore. For ones that won't detract from the beauty of the blooms, purchase precut 16- to 18-gauge floral-stem wire from a crafts store. Bend into a 90-degree angle 4 inches from the top. Curve the top portion to form a U. Plant the stake next to the orchid, and hook the U around the stem.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, February 2008
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
After pruning trees and shrubs in the yard, save the trimmed branches to support returning perennials, such as lilies. They'll be free and plentiful, not to mention more natural looking than metal or plastic spikes. Look for branches with lots of little twigs, and stake three to five of them around each plant. As the plant grows, its foliage will gradually wind around the network of twigs.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, July 2006
If you need to create a new garden bed but prefer not to resort to chemicals, try this technique. Lay stacks of 4 to 6 sheets of newsprint side by side on the grass, overlapping edges, to mark the desired shape of the bed. Soak paper with a hose, and cover with 2 inches of mulch. You can plant directly in the prepared area, using a trowel to pierce the layers.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, March 2008
Return from vacation to find your plants thriving, not barely surviving. Create care instructions for your house sitters. Print a note for each plant (including watering guidelines). Then stick the instructions to wooden plant markers (or chopsticks). If you want to take the extra step of laminating, your notes -- and probably your plants -- will last a lot longer.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, August 2010