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Learn what it takes to make maple syrup.

Star Tribune file,

Close to home: Gardens, painting and tapping into maple syrup

  • February 1, 2014 - 2:00 PM

Lush landscape

Get a jump on your spring projects by learning how to design a deck or patio garden. The Minnesota State Horticultural Society is offering a four-part workshop, “Designing Integrated Spaces for Your Home Landscape: Entry, Deck and Patio Gardens,” on Feb. 11, 18, 25 and March 4 at University of Minnesota’s Alderman Hall, 1970 Folwell Av., St. Paul.

Students will learn the basic principles of good landscape design and develop a blueprint for their own property. The workshop will also focus on a sustainable landscape, site analysis, drafting a design and how to mix and match plants based on function and characteristics.

Instructors will e-mail students instructions for class preparation, including taking a soil sample, completing a site questionnaire, and information to bring to the first class. Cost is $130; $125 for society members. Register at www.northern­gardener.org or call 651-643-3601.

Color it beautiful

Winter and spring are prime time to spruce up your interiors. Seven out of 10 DIYers plan to paint a room in the next six months, according to a recent survey of more than 1,000 DIY customers by paint company Sherwin-Williams. Almost half (45 percent) said they plan to start the decor makeover in a bedroom.

DIYers like to experiment, the survey found; they plan to paint furniture (41.9 percent), an accent wall (41.5 percent), an “unexpected area” such as stair railings and baseboards (33.5 percent), patterns (25 percent) and faux finishes (24.1 percent).

As for color palettes, the majority of DIY painters are picking warm neutrals, with a hint of red, yellow or brown. Cool neutrals, with blue or green tones, landed in second place.

The company’s website offers experts’ painting tips and advice on color selection. Go to www. sherwin-williams.com/homeowners.

Tap into maple syrup

Why buy maple syrup in the store when fresh syrup could be in your back yard? Gertens is holding a free “Maple Tree Tapping” seminar at 1 p.m. Saturday, 5500 Blaine Av., Inver Grove Heights.

Topics include tree identification, drilling, equipment, collecting, boiling, syrup storage and pure maple syrup vs. the high-fructose versions. To register, go to www.gertens.com or call 651-450-1501.

LYNN UNDERWOOD

© 2014 Star Tribune