Making a floral connectionIf you love fresh...


Making a floral connection

If you love fresh flowers, but don't indulge yourself with them very often -- maybe only on special occasions -- you'll like a new shop called the Dutch Connection, which is set to open Thursday at 3811 Canterbury Road in Baltimore (entrance on 39th Street; it's the location where the Green Earth cafe used to be).

The shop is the venture of Paula Dobbe- Maher, who was born in the Netherlands and has studied law as well as flower arranging. The Dutch Connection's hand-tied arrangements, based on a technique developed in the Netherlands, feature color-coordinated flowers and greenery. Arrangements can match any color scheme -- especially important with the holidays just ahead. The shop also plans to offer unusual indoor and outdoor plants, along with European pottery, vases and other floral accessories. Dobbe-Maher says her bouquets will eschew the "predictable" roses, carnations and chrysanthemums in favor of less common flowers, and she vows to keep prices affordable.

Opening-day hours are 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.; after that, the shop will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call 410-467-7882.

California dreaming

Remember that strange-looking cantilevered round house that Mel Gibson blew up in one of his "Lethal Weapon" movies? The house was pretty weird, right? Well, turns out it's not all that unusual -- it's only one of the styles that make up the California state of home design. As a new book, "California Interiors," by Diane Dorrans Saeks and Angelika Taschen (Taschen, 1999, $39.99), amply shows, Left Coasters live in many kinds of dwellings. Old-Spanish rustic. Frank Lloyd Wright splendor (film producer Joel Silver). Stripped-down Art Moderne stacks (actress Diane Keaton; house by Wright's son Lloyd). Whatever the style, the interiors tend to be eclectic, in a purely California sort of way, and thoroughly enjoyable.

Seasonal fragrances

The scents of winter -- cranberry, cedar, wood burning in the fireplace -- are the fragrance notes in Banana Republic's Winter collection. There's potpourri ($18.50 for a 15-ounce bag), a candle in frosted glass ($18.50), votives, also in frosted glass ($9), and burn sticks ($12.50 for a set of 35). Items from the collection make great gifts, but also impart holiday spirit at home. Available at Banana Republic stores; call 888-BRSTYLE.


* There will be a free studio open house at the Broom Factory, 1301 S. Baylis St. in Canton, from noon to 5 p.m. next Sunday. More than 50 jewelry designers, custom-furniture builders, wood carvers, puppeteers, artists, photographers and others whose studios are housed at the 92-year-old facility will open their doors to visitors. There will be demonstrations, music and a free puppet show by Beale Street Puppets at 2 p.m. Call 410-563-5416.

* The 36th annual Delaware Antiques Show will be held Friday through Sunday at Tatnall School, 1501 Barley Mill Road, Wilmington, Del. There will be more than 50 dealers offering ceramics, textiles, paintings and 18th- and 19th-century American antiques and decorative arts. Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $12 per person. Proceeds benefit Winterthur Museum, garden and library. For directions or more information, call 800-448-3883, or visit the Web site at

Home Front welcomes interesting home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Karol V. Menzie, Home Front, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278, or fax to 410-783-2519. Information must be received at least four weeks in advance to be considered.

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