Spring comes to the fairgrounds


Pull out those Bermuda shorts. Spring is on its way. Need proof? The Maryland Spring Home and Garden Show is at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, Friday through March 7 and March 12-14. The show boasts more than 600 exhibitors offering home and gardening products and services. Visitors can browse exhibits, attend seminars and ask questions of horticultural groups.

Plant lovers can shop for the exotic and unusual, from bonsai to fruit trees, or pore over more than 100,000 orchids (above left). And new this year are plants from Edible Landscaping, as well as straw huts by Back Yard Tiki Huts (below) and audio systems from Chesapeake Home Theatre.

The Maryland Spring Craft Show runs concurrently, offering decorative indoor and outdoor crafts, from garden stones (above right) to stained-glass tables.

Home-show tickets are $3 to $10, free for ages under 6, and include admission to the craft show. Call 410-863-1180, or visit www.mdhomeand garden.com.

A Corvette and its garage

Just winning a 1962 Corvette convertible would be cool enough. But also winning $50,000 in cash for tools and materials to build the "Ultimate Garage" to house it is almost too cool. DIY -- Do It Yourself -- Network sponsors the "Great Garage Giveaway" contest now through March 15.

To enter the contest, viewers can visit DIYnetwork.com or mail a postcard with their name, address and phone number to DIY's Great Garage Giveaway, P.O. Box 51544, Knoxville, TN 37950, by March 15.

Sleep, by the numbers

You've probably heard about Select Comfort's Sleep Number beds with their adjustable firmness (high number) or softness (low number). What you maybe haven't heard about is the new PressureMap technology, at Select Comfort stores in Annapolis and Columbia, which helps shoppers determine their ideal mattress firmness, for free.

Shoppers lie down on a PressureMap mattress, and sensor pads measure and display the pressure created between the body and mattress. A color-coded PressureMap image shows areas of high (red and orange) and low pressure. The information can help shoppers pick a mattress -- a Sleep Number or other bed. Pictured is a PressureMap of the same person with different levels of firmness (Sleep Numbers).

Visit the Annapolis store, 2002 Annapolis Mall, 410-573-1710; or the Columbia store, 10300 Little Patuxent Parkway, 410-740-8565; or go to www.selectcomfort.com.


* Head to the annual Hunt Valley Antiques Show, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. today at the Holiday Inn Select, 2004 Greenspring Drive, Timonium. Benefits the Family and Children's Services of Central Maryland. $12 includes catalog. Call 410-366-1980, Ext. 232.

* Reico Kitchen & Bath offers free do-it-yourself seminars on kitchen remodeling, 10 a.m. Saturday at stores in Annapolis, 150-T Jennifer Road; Bel Air, 310 S. Main St.; and Elkridge, 6600 Business Parkway. For reservations, call 800-REICO-11 or visit www.reico.com. (Below: a Reico kitchen display.)

Home Front welcomes interesting home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Lori Sears, 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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