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Published Mar. 10, 2007

DIY in the garden: In Grounds for Improvement: 40 Great Landscaping & Gardening Projects (Sterling/Lark, $17.95), hosts Dean Hill and Jackie Taylor of the DIY program of the same name offer hands-in-the-dirt advice on building decks, fences and walls, patios and gazebos. They even tell you how to create a personal putting green.

It's all about your yard

Today from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., it's the free Florida Yard Fandango at the Museum of Science and Industry, 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. The offerings include a plant and garden expo and sale with nurseries, garden centers and tool suppliers. Fifteen classes ($10 charge if there's still room) on everything from herbs to butterflies to pruning for hurricanes. Free pH testing (bring a soil sample); sharpening of garden tools, nominal fee. Mayor Pam Iorio declared today "Florida Friendly Landscaping Day." Details: www.floridayard

Letting the sun shine in

Channeling the same sun that makes plants grow, Nanak's, a commercial landscaper in Orlando with a branch in Tampa, has been entirely solar-powered since Jan. 19. They say they are the first Orlando business to do so. Solar panels eliminate 1,734 pounds of greenhouse gases, enough energy to power 28 homes for a day. Excess power is sold back to the utility company. The company has switched to a fleet of hybrid cars to save 15,000 gallons of fuel a year. Winners of a state Alternative Energies Technologies grant, Nanak's hopes to expand its green efforts to its Tampa operation.

Try your hand at heirlooms

Ten easy heirloom vegetables to grow, according to, where you can read more about each of them: Kentucky wonder beans; early Jersey Wakefield cabbage; early horn or early scarlet horn carrots; golden bantam corn; improved long green cucumbers; Paris white cos lettuce; Jenny Lind melon; French breakfast radish; hubbard, blue hubbard and warted hubbard squash; and brandywine tomatoes.

In with the air, out with the water

Best foot forward: The familar Sloggys garden clogs are now vented for cooler feet and water drainage. They come in women's whole sizes 6 through 10 in red, green, blue and pink. At they're $19.99; you can also find them at garden centers.

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