BLEND-ing in

Are you proud of your home remodeling project? If you're a homeowner, builder or architect with a recent new home or renovation that blends well with its Minneapolis neighborhood, here's a chance to get some recognition for your efforts. Nominate your project for a BLEND (Buildings and Landscapes Enhancing the Neighborhood Through Design) Award.

The awards are in their ninth year with a mission to encourage and reward projects that are innovative yet respect the privacy, light access, views and scale of neighboring properties and overall neighborhood character.

New this year is the EcoBlend Badge for projects that incorporate eco-friendly design and sustainable building practices but on a smaller scale than the EcoBlend Award. Also new is the "Best in Show" overall award.

Any new construction, remodeling/addition and landscaping project completed since July 1, 2010, in the city of Minneapolis is eligible. A jury of industry experts and neighbors will evaluate the nominees. The cost to enter is $75; submission deadline is July 31.

BLEND organizers will hold an awards ceremony on Sept. 28 at Fulton Brewery. For more information, go to

Blooming beauties

Celebrate the July garden bounty with a floral arrangement fashioned from midsummer perennials. Bachman's hands-on floral workshop demonstrates how to create a fresh-from-the garden table centerpiece from 6 to 8 p.m. July 16 and 2 to 4 p.m. July 18 at the flagship store, 6010 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls. Cost is $50 and covers materials. The workshop is handicap-accessible and designed for ages 13 and older. To register, go to or call 612-861-7311.

Pollinator paradise

Do you want to turn your lawn into a low-mow, low-maintenance landscape? The key is to plant to attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies, wasps, beetles and some birds. To find out how, visit the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's Bee Lawn, a demonstration area for homeowners interested in transitioning their existing lawns into pollinator-friendly, low-mow landscapes. Public "field days" for viewing the Bee Lawn are July 16 and 18 along Three-Mile Drive, just before the hydrangea collection. The Bee Lawn will show simple methods of incorporating flowers into existing grass that homeowners can replicate on their own lawns. Parking is at the drive's Hedge Parking Lot.

Arboretum admission is $12 for ages 13 and older; free for members and ages 12 and younger. Go to or call 952-443-1400.

Going native

Fill holes in your garden with native plants from Natural Shore Technologies' native plant sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 17-18 and Aug. 14-15. The nursery is at 5300 Hwy. 12 in Maple Plain. For details, go to or call 612-703-7581.