Happy first day of summer, MNN readers! It's a hot one here in NYC ...


As is customary around these parts, I'm marking the change of seasons by taking a look back at some of the most memorable, most commented on, and most liked posts from this past spring. While a recurrent theme from the spring of 2011 was, hands down, energy-efficient light bulbs, this spring was a touch more eclectic in terms of popular topics. In its quest for world domination, Swedish home furnishings mega-retailer IKEA did manage to pop up quite often (click here, herehere, here, and here for this spring's IKEA-related stories). Innovations in the design and delivery of modular homes also garnered more than a couple of headlines while downsized living also proved to be a perennially popular subject manner.


What’s been your favorite post from this past spring? Was there a particular story or trend that I missed out on that you would like to have seen featured? And are there any hot topics that you'd like to see me tackle this summer and beyond? As always, thank you for reading and if you aren't already, follow me on Twitter to keep up to speed.




Green Sweeps: HGTV show home up for grabs in Serenbe — The HGTV Green Home Giveaway 2012 — a sweepstakes in which 1 lucky winner will walk away with a LEED-certified home in Georgia's Serenbe eco-community and an SUV — kicks off on April 13. 


Watch: 'We the Tiny House People' — In 'We the Tiny House People,' TV producer-turned-tiny house documentarian Kirsten Dirksen takes a look back at some of the most intriguingly petite homes that she's toured over the past 5 years.


For the high-end homesteader, Williams-Sonoma launches Agrarian line — Williams-Sonoma, purveyor of $400 Dutch ovens and the swankiest Italian espresso machines that money can buy, eyes the beekeeping, Kombucha-guzzling crowd with its latest collection.


Would you spend $60 on a light bulb that lasts 20 years? — Attention Earth Day shoppers: The most highly anticipated, wildly expensive energy-saving light bulb out there, the L Prize-winning winning 60-watt equivalent LED from Philips, will hit store shelves this Sunday.


Evergreen homes: Zero Energy House — Located in Seattle's Ballard district, the Zero-Energy House, the first net-zero energy home in Seattle, is a conventional looking 3-bedroom abode that boasts unconventional energy performance.




​2020 Alton Road: Net-zero home brings healthy dose of green to Miami Beach — Once considered a dead zone for green building, Miami Beach will soon be getting its first LEED Platinum home in the form of 2020 Alton Road, a super-sleek, super-sustainable, net-zero energy project.


The entrepreneur strikes back: Lucas eyes affordable housing in Marin — After an HOA thwarted George Lucas' plan to bring a job-creating digital production studio to a sleepy patch of Marin County, Calif., the billionaire filmmaker is now attempting to bring affordable housing to the area.


​Mary Richardson Kennedy leaves legacy of green design — Although she left this world best known as the troubled estranged wife of Bobby Kennedy, she'll also be remembered as a 'tremendously gifted architect' and 'relentless advocate of green design.'


No, you're not hallucinating: Designer unveils wooden light bulb — Marrying traditional Japanese craft techniques and energy-efficient lighting technology, designer Ryosuke Fukusada creates an LED bulb wrapped in a thin wooden shell that, yep, glows.


A splash of disease-busting color: Chemist develops insecticidal house paint — Spanish chemist Pilar Mateo invents a house paint embedded with potent insecticides that's being touted as a 'vaccine for buildings and houses' in developing areas struggling with deadly, bug-borne diseases.




My yard is your yard: Neighbors dismantle fences in favor of shared space — How much do you enjoy the company of your neighbors? Enough to share a backyard with them? Meet several yard-sharers who have thrown the old proverb 'good fences make good neighbors' to the wind.


Gridbid: A rooftop auction site for solar-seeking homeowners — Described as the world's first rooftop solar auction, Gridbid.com connects homeowners with reputable solar installers on the hunt for available rooftop real estate.


Home schooling: Firm upcycles classroom trailers into modular homes — Tapping into the abundance of retired schoolyard trailers, L.A. County-based architecture firm research+upcycle converts the forsaken structures into stylish and sustainable modular homes.


Living Building Challenge takes top honors in 2012 Buckminster Fuller Challenge — A holistic, performance-based green building standard that goes waaay beyond LEED is awarded $100,000 as the winner of the 2012 Buckminster Fuller Challenge.


Hydroponics gets high-tech with 'personal gardening assistant' — Two software-savvy plant-lovers from Brooklyn develop a community-based, Internet-connected automation system for hydroponic gardens. And watering that tomato plant will never be the same again ..


Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Spring rewind 2012: 15 posts to revist
Take a leisurely (and sweaty) stroll down green home and garden memory lane today, the longest day of the year, with a look back at 15 standout posts from this