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Most fragrant tulip varieties are orange or apricot in color.

Tulips may be planted in fall, but they are the floral harbingers of spring, providing brilliant bursts of color in otherwise-drab surroundings. But a few varieties offer another kind of bouquet, too: They’re fragrant.

“Tulips normally are planted in home gardens for color and form, but about 15 to 20 percent of all varieties have the added bonus of being fragrant, as well,” says Jo-Anne van den Berg-Ohms, the fourth-generation owner of John Scheepers Beauty from Bulbs in Bantam, Conn.

Their scent varies, she says.

“It’s not strong or overpowering. Rather, it’s a sweet, lingering fragrance that floats on the spring air,” she says.

Most fragrant tulip varieties are orange or apricot in color, van den Berg-Ohms says, and they’re sprinkled through all of the species divisions, from heirlooms to the more familiar, modern-day hybrids.

“If you’re interested in their fragrance, plant them in places that are traveled that time of year, especially near walkways,” she says.

Some favorites: Prince of Austria, Apricot Beauty, Generaal de Wet, Orange Favorite, Prinses Irene, Willem van Oranje, Peach Blossom, Florentine and Elegans Alba.

Garden center holiday sale

Greensburg Garden Center’s annual Christmas Sale will be Dec. 5 and 6.

Items offered for sale will include beautifully decorated artificial wreaths, swags, garlands and table arrangements, along with live greens. Other selections include kissing balls, pine garlands and nobil fir wreaths.

The sale is from 3 to 7 p.m. Dec. 5 and 9 am. to 1 p.m. Dec. 6 at the garden center, 951 Old Salem Road.

Details: 724-837-0245

Vietri founder to speak at event

Susan Gravely, founder and CEO of Vietri, a wholesale distribution company of Italian handcrafted dinnerware, drinkware, flatware, linens and decorative accessories, will be at a special event Dec. 5 at Outside Inspirations in Wexford.

Vietri, based in Hillsborough, N.C., partners with more than 40 manufacturers throughout Italy that create products in ceramic, wood, glass, metals, textiles and terra cotta. Items sold by Vietri have been featured in Elle Decor, House Beautiful and Martha Stewart Living.

At the event, from 5 to 7 p.m., Gravely will recount the founding of the company in 1983 and sign Vietri purchases with special Italian phrases.

Outside Inspirations is at 12055 Perry Highway.

Details: 724-933-8850 or outside-inspirations.com

Scented toilet seat

Kohler is hoping to make your bathroom smell just a little better.

The Purefresh toilet seat has a deodorizing carbon filter in the hinge that neutralizes odors. As you sit down, a fan moves fresh air over the Purefresh scent pack, putting fragrance into the air. It also has a built-in night light. The toilet seat costs $117 to $119.95, depending on the shape.

The carbon filter lasts up to six months. There are three scents available: Garden Waterfall, Soft and Fresh Laundry or Avocado Spa. A package of three refills is $8.95.

Details: kohler.com

— Staff and wire reports

Send Homework items to Features in care of Sue Jones, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, D.L. Clark Building, 503 Martindale St., Pittsburgh, PA 15212; fax 412-320-7966; or email sjones@tribweb.com.

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