If you want to grow the tastiest tomatoes, now’s a good time to stock up on seeds.
TomatoFest, an online marketplace associated with the renowned California tomato festival by the same name, has 300 varieties of heirloom tomato seeds on sale through Jan. 6. They include lots of unusual types as well as such old favorites as Brandywine and Mortgage Lifter.
Most are priced at $2 for a pack of 30 seeds. A minimum order of $15 is required, however, so small-scale gardeners might want to combine orders with some gardening friends.
Information is at www.tomatofest.com.
Do the holiday decorations you created from your garden stand out in your neighborhood?
Enter them in Fine Gardening magazine’s winter decor contest, and you could win a $100 gift certificate to online retailer Nature … by Design (http://naturebydesign.com).
The contest is soliciting photos of arrangements made from natural materials. Submissions will be judged on the originality of the composition and overall looks.
To enter, send your photographs to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Winter Decor.” Deadline is Dec. 31.
Details are at http://tinyurl.com/winterdecorcontest.
Events and programs
• Self-guided holiday tours, through Dec. 29, Hower House, 60 Fir Hill, Akron. House museum is decorated in the theme “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Noon to 3:30 p.m. today, Friday and next Saturday; 1-4 p.m. both Sundays. Closed Monday through Thursday. Last tour of the day starts a half-hour before closing. $8; $6 for seniors 65 and older; $2 for students and children 7 and older; younger children free with adult. Free parking. http://howerhouse.org or 330-972-6909.
• The Spirit of Christmas Past, through Dec. 29, Farnam Manor, 4223 Brecksville Road, Richfield. Participants are served a 19th-century dinner, with historical re-enactors portraying members of the Farnam family. 6-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 4-7 p.m. Sundays. $60; children 12 and younger, $30. Presented by the Ohio Living History Society. Reservations: www.olhs.org or 234-200-6547.
• Deck the Hall: Heaven & Nature Sing, through Dec. 30, Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, 714 N. Portage Path, Akron. Decorated manor house and grounds, computerized light show set to music, entertainment, gift shop, snacks. 5-8 p.m. daily except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Members: $13.50 for adults, $5.50 for youth; others: $17 for adults, $7 for youth. Children 5 and younger admitted free. Tickets available at the door or in advance at 330-315-3287 or www.stanhywet.org.
• Glow at the Garden, through Jan. 5, Cleveland Botanical Garden, 11030 East Blvd. Holiday celebration includes Garden Express train rides, musical performances, gingerbread house display, holiday plants and decorations. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays and Saturdays; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays; noon to 5 p.m. Sundays; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Closed Christmas and New Year’s days. $12; ages 3-12, $8; members and younger children, free. 216-721-1600 or www.cbgarden.org.
Submit notices of classes, programs and events two weeks in advance to email@example.com or Home and Garden News, Features Department, Akron Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309-0640. Please include name and phone number. All events must be open to the public.
Mary Beth Breckenridge can be reached at 330-996-3756 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also become a fan on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/mbbreck, follow her on Twitter @MBBreckenridge and read her blog at www.ohio.com/blogs/mary-beth.