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April 03, 2005|By Lori Sears | Lori Sears,Sun Staff

MESMERIZING COLORS

If you thought the lava lamp was groovy, then put on your bellbottoms, light the incense and get ready for the Laserpod. The 21st-century equivalent of the lava lamp, the psychedelic Laserpod uses laser and LED (light-emitting diodes) optical technology to function as a self-contained light and as a projector, sending light through a Swarovski crystal and producing a kaleidoscopic light show of blue LEDs, red lasers or a combination of both.

Laserpod comes with a lamp unit, two electroplated diffusers (short and tall), optical lens, crystal, adaptor and battery compartment. Use Laserpod without diffusers and watch a dazzling Aurora Borealis light display.

Laserpod sells for $99. Call 800-706-6440 or visit www.laserpodusa.com to order.

Smart ways to organize

Got too much clutter? Country Sampler Decorating Ideas magazine (April 2005) has a few tips for neatening up and stylishly organizing your knickknacks and trinkets:

Purchase several of those sturdy paper boxes with lids, generally meant for photo storage. They're also ideal for office supplies, sewing items and even fabric swatches. Stack them and they'll look quite decorative.

Set out wicker baskets to corral magazines or other tall items. They complement a country theme.

Create plywood dividers (below) to fit inside your dresser drawers. Make compartments for coins, buttons, beads or other small items.

Find other decorating tips in Country Sampler Decorating Ideas magazine, at newsstands and bookstores everywhere.

Bold blossoms

Forget the ordinary. This year, your garden's going to be colorful, eye-catching and unusual. Jackson & Perkins has several unusual flowers to add drama to your garden this year. Check out the Delphinium elatum 'Darkness Visible' (left, $26.95 for two), the world's first black delphinium. The dramatic black flower, a Jackson & Perkins exclusive, produces 1- to 1 1/2 -inch blooms on 2-foot flower spikes, spring through summer, and again in the fall.

Other unusual flowers include the Viola hybrid 'Zoe' (right, $14.95 for three), a hardy, fragrant perennial violet that blooms spring to fall, and then returns each year. Also find the Echinacea purpurea 'Doppelganger' (far right, $13.95 for three), which features a 5- to 6-inch double-decker bloom, as bright pink petals adorn the flower's base and a second tier blooms on top.

To order, call 800-292-4769 or visit www. jacksonandperkins.com.

Events

See floral displays, demonstrations and lectures at the 16th annual "Art Blooms" celebration at the Walters Art Museum, 600 N. Charles St., Friday through April 10. This year's event features floral interpretations of works from the Asian art galleries. Free with museum admission. Added fee for other events. Call 410-547-9000 for hours.

The exhibit Music, Art and Beautiful Things opens Friday at Evergreen House, 4545 N. Charles St., and runs through June 30. On display are sculptures, photographs, paintings and writings inspired by Evergreen, and created by area students. Opening reception, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Free. Call 410-516-0341.

Wish you could take a beginner's course in gardening? You can, 10:15 a.m. to noon Saturday, at Cylburn Mansion, 4915 Greenspring Ave. The program "Gardening for Beginners -- Turf and Lawn" teaches those not born with a green thumb how to choose the right grass seed, how to mow properly and how to control insects and weeds. $12. Registration required. Call 410-367-2217.

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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