At home on the water

If your dreams for the summer include swimming, boating or waterskiing in your own back yard, there's still time to make it happen. Coldwell Banker Burnet is hosting its annual spring Waterfront Home Tour on Sunday, May 19, from 1-5 p.m.

The tour will include open houses at 99 homes currently for sale, on 26 different bodies of water, throughout the metro area. All homes on the tour have lakeshore, river frontage or deeded access, with prices ranging from $169,800 for a four-bedroom home on Winsted Lake in Winsted to a $5.9 million estate in Wayzata.

Lake Minnetonka will have 63 properties represented, from a $384,900 townhome in Spring Park to the $5.9 million French Country home with 371 feet of shoreline. A complete list of tour properties is available at

Free garden workshops

Want to boost your garden know-how? Here are two free workshops designed to help you develop a greener thumb.

From 8:30-2 p.m. Saturday, the Home Depot store in Maplewood will offer "Ask the Garden Coach," featuring garden gurus from Costa Farms, a family-owned grower from southern Florida. They'll demonstrate professional gardening techniques, plus answer visitors' questions. The Home Depot in Maplewood is located at 2360 White Bear Av.

At 1 p.m. Saturday, Gertens will offer a free workshop called "Grow Beautiful Containers" where visitors will learn tips and tricks for planting pots and window boxes. Gertens is located at 5500 Blaine Av., Inver Grove Heights.

Lawn/garden sample sale

Could your landscape use some new accessories? Two local sales reps for garden suppliers are hosting their 10th annual home-based sample sale on Saturday. You'll find cast-stone animals and gnomes, glazed pots in a variety of sizes, trellises, urns, cocoa moss hanging baskets, topiary towers and selected perennials, including fern peonies, at prices 50 to 75 percent off.

Sale hours are 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, in the back yard at 330 8th Av. N., Hopkins. Cash and checks will be accepted. For more information, call Jan Ehrlich or Heather McKay at 952-934-6179.

BLEND-ing in

Proud of your home project? If you're a homeowner, builder or architect with a recent new home or remodel that blends well with its Minneapolis neighborhood, here's a chance to get some recognition for your efforts. Nominate your project for a B.L.E.N.D. (Buildings and Landscapes Enhancing the Neighborhood Through Design) Award.

The awards, now in their seventh year, are meant to encourage and reward those who undertake projects that are innovative yet respect the privacy, light access, views and scale of neighboring properties and overall neighborhood character.

A new award category, the EcoBLEND award, was added last year to encourage eco-friendly design and sustainable building practices.

Any new or remodel project completed within the last five years in the city of Minneapolis is eligible. A jury of industry experts and neighbors will evaluate the nominees, and the cost to enter is $50 per project. The submission deadline is July 31, 2013. For more information, visit

Home by Steger

Polar explorer Will Steger has a few more tricks up his mukluks. He's also an architect, designer and master craftsman, who chronicles those interests in his new book "Will Steger: A Wilderness Vision Coming to Life." The book, published by Moon Press Ink, includes more than 100 photos by John Ratzloff, and offers a visual tour of Steger's homestead and environmental learning center near Ely, Minn.

Steger conceived his vision while crossing Antarctica by dog sled, and the compound is nearly completed after 24 years of construction.

A book launch will be held Monday from 5:30-7:30 p.m., with remarks by Steger at 6 p.m., at Bockley Gallery, 2123 W. 21st St., Minneapolis.

Kim Palmer