It's show time

It's a good week to take in a Home and Garden show, with a pair of shows to pick from.

Meander the aisles of the Minneapolis Home & Garden Show for the latest products and ideas pitched by more than 1,000 experts and vendors during the show's five-day run starting Wednesday.

Tour the "Active Living Idea Home" for inspiration, or enjoy a taste of spring in nine feature gardens with the theme of Twin Cities' Best Backyards. You'll see Ty Pennington and other home gurus on the stage circuit.

New features this year include a Spring Boutique with 36 booths selling home decor, garden art, pottery and gifts. Also new this year are "upcycle designer rooms," where interior designer Carter Averbeck works with local artists to create decor pieces from unlikely sources. (Think a chandelier made from cheese graters.)

Those looking for bargains know to wait for the end: The annual plant sale starts after 5 p.m. Sunday, a buying frenzy of customers looking for bargains from landscapers.

Hours are noon-9 p.m. Wed.; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thu.-Fri.; 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Sat. and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun., March 1. $4-$13. Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 2nd Av. S., Mpls.

At the north end of the metro, you can catch the free North Metro Home & Garden Show on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the National Sports Center's Sport Expo Center in Blaine. The show, sponsored by the cities of Blaine, Fridley and Mounds View, highlights local specialists offering inspiration for remodeling or improving your home and yard. Seminars include 2015 Color Trends, Weird Weather Lawn Care, and two hands-on workshops on painting and installing tile.

Boy Scout Troop 167-Fridley will help out at the Kids Activity Center, where craft projects include making pine-cone bird feeders.

Learn more about the seminar schedule and events at, or 612-338-2122.

Terrarium gardening

If you're itching to play in the dirt, try indoor gardening with Bachman's Terrarium Workshop Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. Learn how to construct your own terrarium with miniature plants, guided by a Bachman's expert. The $50 ticket cost covers all materials needed, but participants are free to bring small objects of interest to personalize their creation. Register at or 612-861-7311.

Pillow drive

You can help the needy rest easier by donating a new pillow during the Pillow Fight pillow drive for Bridging. The organization, which provides furniture and household goods to families transitioning out of homelessness and poverty, distributes 240 pillows to more than 80 households a week.

Coldwell Banker Burnet's Foundation is helping Bridging replenish its supplies by accepting donations of new pillows at any local Coldwell Banker Burnet office through March 17. Visit to find an office near you.

Martha Buns