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Historic house tours

Minneapolis’ oldest surviving wood frame house, the Ard Godfrey House, is open for the summer tour season. Built in 1849, the quaint yellow home was built by Ard Godfrey, who came to Minneapolis to supervise the first commercial dam and lumber mill at St. Anthony Falls. On the tour, meet with hostesses dressed in 1850s period costumes and view artifacts that characterize the time period. Tours Saturdays and Sundays 1-4 p.m. through Aug. 27 at 28 University Av. SE., Mpls. 612-781-8791.

Tour of native plant gardens

Summer is in full bloom, a perfect time to take in nature’s beauty with a stroll along the Minnesota River. Wild Ones of Prairie Edge hosts a tour of five native plant gardens. The gardens are filled with plants that benefit birds, bees and butterflies. Another benefit is that the flora keeps pollutants out of the Minnesota River. Included is a neighborhood installation of 18 curb cutout rain gardens and a vegetated bioswale behind eight homes. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 13. Cost: $10. For tour brochure go to prairieedge.wildones.org.

Learn about seed-saving

Gather with other beginner seed-savers at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and learn how to preserve tomato seeds. Follow an accomplished educator and seed-saver as they lead a course on the theory and importance of seed-saving. Participants will leave the workshop able to produce true-to-type tomato seeds and knowledge of basic seed-saving. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 10. Cost. $65. To register, go to arboretum.umn.edu.

MELISSA WALKER

Artisan home goods

MidModMen+friends, the St. Paul shop specializing in classic modern home furnishings and decor, is launching a series of showcases, “Future Heirlooms,” each featuring the work of an established or emerging artist or artisan. The series kicks off next weekend with the work of fiber artist Madeline Larson, who uses hand-dyed wool to create colorful rugs and wall-hangings. Larson’s work will be showcased 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 12 and 13. MidModMen+friends is located at 2401 University Av., St. Paul.

KIM PALMER

Decorating with glass

When designers look to infuse color into a space, glass isn’t typically their first choice. However, the right glass pieces not only can add color, but also interest and dimension. Here are some do’s and don’ts.

Do:

• Use glass objects of one color, which can make a powerful statement.

• Incorporate other decorative glass pieces, such as lighting.

• Mix opaque glass with transparent glass.

• Use interesting shapes, such as objects embedded within the glass, or unusual shapes and sizes.

Don’t:

• Be afraid to use more than one glass item in the same vignette. Decorative glass items placed in a series can be a powerful presentation.

• Use too many clear or transparent surfaces. They will likely vanish against your decor.

• Place decorative glass objects on a glass surface. Highlight your glass by placing it on a solid surface, such as wood or stone.

• Forget that white and black are colors. Both can blend well with other colors without clashing.

• Overlook the power of investing in quality pieces of decorative glass. Most high-end glass is created by a skilled artisan and can stand the test of time without being trendy.

CATHY HOBBS, Tribune News Service