DO IT NOW
Keep your Valentine's Day bouquets looking great by emptying the vase and refilling it with fresh water every couple of days. Be sure to mix a packet of floral preservative in with the water. Snip an inch off the end of each flower stem once a week.
Experience spring -- indoors -- at the Home and Patio Show at St. Paul's RiverCentre. There will be more than 400 exhibits, a Green Zone filled with "living green" products and services and a kids' potting shed. The show starts Thursday and continues through the weekend. For details, go to www.homeandpatioshow.com or call 763-755-8111.
WE SPOTTED IT
The latest for the text-addicted: Cell Phone Mittens provide openings for each thumb, allowing wearers to keep the rest of their digits encased in comfort during the winters of our discontent. Designed by Liisa Salmivaara, the felted, cable-knit mittens cost $45 a pair and are available in black, red, orange, blue, gray and two shades of green. FinnStyle, Gaviidae Common, 651 Nicollet Mall, No. 207, Minneapolis, 612-333-2127.
To celebrate its 10th year as a purveyor of furniture and consignments, rugs and accessories, Designer Marketplace said it is cutting up to an additional 30 percent off the price of all items in the Minneapolis store Friday through Sunday. For those who like to sip and stroll, manager Daniel Larson said the retailer plans to serve wine, cocktails and appetizers throughout the day.
If your winter-weary eyes need to see signs that, yes, plants do indeed grow in Minnesota, check out the photos of readers' gardens online. Just go to www.startribune.com/yourphotos and click on Home & Garden. You can also share photos of your garden. It'll renew your faith in spring.
Ready to take on a winter spruce-up, but unsure how much paint to buy? Check out this easy calculator; the online color center also has tools for visualizing what your colors will look like inside or out.
Fans of the team at "This Old House" can now download free podcasts of their do-it-yourself home improvement videos for use with cell phones, iPods, online and other video-capable devices. Register at www.podcastgo.com for downloads of the weekly video series.
Beautiful Garden contest winner Lee Hallgren built the backbone of his traditional St. Paul garden with columns, iron fencing and vintage pavers he scrounged from around the Twin Cities.
KIM YEAGER, CONNIE NELSON