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Datebook: Events, exhibits, classes for the week ahead

May 2, 2011 |  7:00 am

We've listed select home and garden events below. Suggest your own via reader comments. Submissions must be fewer than 75 words and must be for one-time events with legitimate value to other readers. No store promotions and no frivolous links, please. L.A. at Home staff will determine which submissions will be made public.

May 2: Architect René van Zuuk of Almere, the Netherlands, will discuss his work as UCLA's "Beyond the Fringe" lecture series.  6:30 p.m. Free; parking $10. UCLA Architecture & Urban Design, Perloff Hall, UCLA. (310) 267-4704.

May 4: Kendall Brown, professor of Asian art history at Cal State Long Beach, lectures on “Japanese Gardens Beyond Japan” at 7:30 p.m. The program is the first in a series on the history of Japanese gardens, leading to the centennial of the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens’ Japanese Garden in 2012. Free. Friends' Hall, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino. (626) 405-2100.

May 6: For National Public Gardens Day, Los Angeles County Arboretum expert Frank McDonough will lead tours exploring the trees from around the world. He also will discuss the changing role of public gardens in America. Tours at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Included with regular admission of $3 to $8. 301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia. $20. (626) 821-4623.

May 6: Descanso Gardens’ Harvest Garden, usually closed to the public, will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. as part of National Public Gardens Day. The Harvest Garden is usually reserved for students with special needs. Other activities include guided tours, garden crafts and a nutritional lesson. Free. 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge. (818) 949-4200.

May 6: Four homes will be featured on the 25th annual La Cañada High School spring home tour. This event will feature docent-led tours, live music and a luncheon served by the Spot Gourmet. Tour is $40 in advance; catered luncheon is $17. Day-of-tour tickets will be $45 at Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge. (818) 790-0419.

May 6 and 7: The Alternative Building Materials and Design Expo, better known as AltBuild, will feature more than 150 exhibitors promoting energy efficiency techniques and technologies, alternative energy, water conservation and management, and environmental plumbing. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 6 and 7. Free. Santa Monica Civic Center, 855 Main St., Santa Monica. (310) 458-8551.

May 7: The annual self-guided Venice Garden & Home Tour will feature 30 gardens and homes. Stops include designs by architects Barbara Bestor, Tom Carson, Michael Sant and Robert Thibodeau and landscape designers Jay Griffith, Bent Grass and Diana Zok. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. $60 in advance, $70 day of event. Tour starts at 804 Broadway Ave., Venice. (310) 821-1857.

May 7 and 8: More than 300 vendors will sell art and crafts (including the handmade placemats and napkins shown above) at the third annual Unique L.A. Spring Show. The event will include a workshop on brooch-making and free eco gift-wrapping. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. California Market Center, 110 E. 9th St., Los Angeles. $10.

May 7 and 8: The L.A. branch of the International Geranium Society hosts a Mother’s Day show and sale 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden, 301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia. Included in admission of $3 to $8. (626) 821-3222.

May 7 and 8: The Sunset Succulent Society and the La Ballona Valley Bromeliad Society hosts their annual sale of cactuses, succulents and bromeliads from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Veterans Memorial Building, 4117 Overland Ave. Culver City.  Free.  Event includes sale of books, pottery and two shows of special and rare plants. (310) 822-1783.


Closing May 8: “A Marriage of Craft and Design: The Work of Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman” includes examples of ceramics, tile mosaics, wood carvings, textiles and other crafts from the Culver City couple. “Crossing the Line: A Space by Tanya Aguiñiga,” is a site-specific structure made by the artist best known for felted furniture. $5 to $7. Craft and Folk Art Museum, 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 937-4230.

Pasadena Showcase House of Design: More than 20 designers transform a 1927 Paul Williams-designed English Revival estate in La Cañada Flintridge. 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and Tuesdays. 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Ends May 15. Parking at the Rose Bowl. House is not accessible to the disabled, and no children under 12 are permitted. $30 to $40. (714) 442-3872.

Installation: Architect Barbara Bestor creates a temporary disco installation in the Southern California Institute of Architecture gallery, open through June 16. 960 E. 3rd St., Los Angeles. (213) 613-2200.

Wexler show: “Steel and Shade: The Architecture of Donald Wexler” is a survey of drawings, photographs and models by the noted architect. They are augmented by professional photographs and new models fabricated by Cal Poly students, including a full-scale sectional steel model illustrating the prefabrication system that Wexler used in his steel houses. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, noon to 8 p.m. Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. Ends May 29. $5 to $12.50. Palm Springs Art Museum, 101 Museum Drive, Palm Springs.(760) 322-4800.

— Lisa Boone

Photo credit: Wolfum

Please send listings at least three weeks in advance to home@latimes.com or Home section, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. First St., Los Angeles, CA 90012.