Porch repair

Does your old porch need some TLC? Learn how to repair and refresh it yourself at “Rehab Lab: A Porch Primer” presented by the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota. This hands-on workshop, led by expert carpenter John Erler, is an opportunity to get your hands dirty with a 130-year-old house. Participants will work on straightening and shoring a sagging porch roof, making and installing a simple porch column, and lay out and build a spindle railing. The workshop will be held at 1 p.m. April 23 at 3030 Russell Av. N., Mpls. Cost is $60 ($51 for alliance members). To register, visit mnpreservation.org (select “Services,” then “Education”) or call 651-293-9047.


Water-wise gardening

On Earth Day, join others at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum for a free “Water Wisely” event. Learn from professionals how to make the best use of water on your home landscape, such as choosing plants that will thrive in your conditions, collecting and using rainwater, when to water and how to mulch, to conserve moisture. This event will be held 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 22 in the Snyder Auditorium at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 3675 Arboretum Dr., Chaska. Preregister before 3 p.m. April 21, online at mnarbonline.com (search “Earth Day”) or call 612-301-1210.


Winning chair

A sinuous, sculptural chair designed by a Twin Cities teen recently took first place in a national design competition and ultimately will be displayed at a New York City museum. The competition, sponsored by the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in collaboration with Target Corp., challenged high school students to design an outdoor chair that was “functional, comfortable and unexpected” for the museum’s garden.

Claire Christianson, 16, of Wayzata, a sophomore at Providence Academy in Plymouth, came up with the winning design after art teacher Christopher Santer made it a class assignment. Students were asked to draw their inspiration from one of 12 objects in the museum’s collection, and Christianson chose a porcelain Art Nouveau vase.

“I love pottery, and I knew I wanted a continuous form — I didn’t want any angles,” she said of her design. While in pottery class throwing her own vase, she envisioned the chair, which evokes the ribbons of clay trimmings that the potter cut off to create the museum vase’s shape. “I saw the form in my head.”

Earlier this month, Christianson and four other finalists traveled to New York to present their designs before a panel of judges, who chose hers as the top entry. As a result, Target will produce seven limited-edition chairs based on Christianson’s design; five will be installed in the museum’s garden, and she will receive two for her own use.

“I’m super-excited,” she said. “It’s my dream to be a product designer.”



Artful junk

Creative artisans who put a fresh spin on vintage will be gathering in Shakopee next weekend when Junk Bonanza returns to Canterbury Park. More than 150 juried vendors will display artful vignettes of castoff and repurposed treasures, as well as artisanal food stuffs and handmade goods. Special events include decor demonstrations by stylist Larry Pfarr for updating your tabletop, home and garden decor using vintage elements. Pfarr’s demonstration will be presented from 11 a.m. to noon Thursday, Friday and Saturday. There will be ongoing painting workshops and demonstrations throughout Junk Bonanza. Visitors also can have their photo taken in front of a life-size horse statue that has been “yarnbombed.”

Junk Bonanza hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 21, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 22 and 23. Admission is $10 per day. To attend all three days, Early Bird tickets ($25 online at junkbonanza.com, $30 at the door) are good for entry at 8 a.m. April 21 and regular admission April 22 and 23. Order online at kinassauer.com/collections/junk-bonanza. Canterbury Park is located at 1100 Canterbury Rd. S., Shakopee.

Get ready to garden

Gertens is celebrating its “home opener” next weekend, April 22-24, with a “Gardening Season Kick-off” event. Free seminars will be offered all three days, starting at 10 a.m., on topics including spring turf care, top 10 shrubs, pondless water features and how to create dazzling container gardens. A new-product showcase will be presented from 1 to 2 p.m. on April 23 and 24, highlighting what’s new for the yard and garden. Registration requested at gertens.com/events. Gertens is located at 5500 Blaine Av., Inver Grove Heights.


Native plants

Want to incorporate more native plants into your garden and yard? The Twin Cities chapter of Wild Ones is presenting its fourth annual “Native Plant Landscaping Table Topics” and plant sale. “Table Topics” is an opportunity for new and returning native plant gardeners to gather information and take part in discussions on a variety of topics. Tables are hosted by landscaping professionals or Wild Ones members with depth of experience. Topics include native trees and shrubs, converting lawns, natives in challenging spaces and more. The event will be held 6:30 to 8:45 p.m. on April 19 at Lake Harriet United Methodist Church, 4901 Chowen Av. S., Mpls. The event is free and open to the public.


Earth Day sale

Need to match a vintage glass doorknob or faucet fixture? Or want to add some character to a plain-Jane fireplace? The Architectural Antiques Earth Day sale is a chance to re-use and recycle pre-1960s home-related functional and decorative salvaged stuff discounted from April 22 to 24. Peruse the aisles for antique and vintage lights, stained-glass windows, carved stone surrounds, vintage plumbing and fixtures, fireplace mantels, wrought-iron work and garden elements, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 22 and 23 and noon to 5 p.m. April 24, 330 NE. Quincy St., Mpls. Call 612-332-8344 or go to archantiques.com.