Day 42: Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase

Interested in updating your home garden? The Green Garden Showcase will have great examples of food gardens, chickens, drip-irrigation, native plants and more! April 25th from 10am-4pm. Continue reading

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Day 24: The Getty Villa

http://www.getty.edu/visit/

Not in the mood to fight the Mother’s Day brunch crowds today?  Why not postpone your celebration for this Thursday, May 12th and take her up to The Getty Villa in Malibu for some Tea by the Sea? 

According to The Getty Website. “Tea by the Sea is a special dining experience inspired by the Mediterranean herbs, vegetables, and fruits that grow at the Villa. Feast on a Mediterranean-inspired menu of sweet and savory sandwiches and pastries, along with fruits, cheeses, and a varied selection of teas. After tea, you can tour the Villa’s authentically re-created first-century Roman gardens with knowledgeable docents, then spend the rest of the afternoon savoring the Villa’s exhibitions and permanent collection.”

$36 per person.
Thursdays from 1:00-3:00
Please reserve in advance. Call (310) 440-7300 or get tickets online.

Day 20: Natural History Museum

www.nhm.org

The last time you visited the Natural History Museum, did you need a parent signed field-trip slip and were you riding a yellow school bus?  Re-live that childhood curiosity and plan a visit…  

Try an adults only First Fridays (next one is on May 6th). Once a month, the entire Natural History Museum stays open until 10 pm and features live music, exciting scientific discussion, and behind-the-scenes curatorial tours.  See a Mummy, explore the upcoming Dinosaur Hall, learn more about the history of California or take a stroll in the Rose Garden. 

My family loves the Hall of Mammals and the Gem and Mineral Hall.  For a special treat, check out the Pavillion of Wings from April 10th-Sept. 5th. More than 40 different butterfly and moth species and an array of plants take up residence every summer, this is a special exhibit and requires an additional entrance fee, but the kids love it!

Day 17: Tree People

http://www.treepeople.org/


Coldwater Canyon Park is home to the TreePeople, a natural oasis smack dab in the middle of the city.  The park itself has miles of hiking trails with views of the San Fernando Valley and is owned by the City of Los Angeles but maintained by the TreePeople.

According to their brochure, TreePeople was founded in 1973 by teenagers.  TreePeople staff and volunteers have planted more than two million trees, and each year the organization educates thousands of children about environmental responsibility. TreePeople offers many programs in Coldwater Canyon Park including Eco-tour field trips for elementary schools, park tours, full moon hikes and summer performances in the ampitheater. 

Upcoming events include the first annual Green City Fair on Saturday, June 4th, 2011 from 10 am- 4 pm.  12601 Mulholland Dr. (at Coldwater Canyon Blvd.)  Go to www.treepeople.org/green-city-fair or call 818-623-4862 for details.

Day 12: Huntington Library and Gardens

http://www.huntington.org

Before it gets too hot and while the peonies and wisteria are blooming, you might want to bring your mom, child or anyone else who would enjoy spending the day strolling the gardens and gracious grounds.  There is so much to see, it would be impossible to take it all in at one glance.  Suffice to say, the gardens and library are extraordinary… 

The library houses one of the largest and most complete research libraries in the U.S.  $1.5 million dollars has been awarded to 158 scholars in the humanities to do research at the library for the 2011-2012 year.  There is a rotating exhibit of many first edition and rare books.  Among the items on permanent exhibit are a copy of the Gutenberg Bible on vellum, the double-elephant folio edition of Audubon’s Birds of America (sadly, many of these have  been dismantled and sold for home decor), and a collection of the early editions of Shakespeare’s works.

The many theme gardens include; the rainforest, a childrens garden (with lots of water so bring extra clothes/shoes for the kiddies), a Japanese garden, a Chinese garden, a rose garden, a Shakespere garden, and a jungle garden.  These are not small gardens either, so wear your most comfortable walking shoes.  They are having their 37th annual plant sale on May 15th.  In the past,  I have found their prices very reasonable and the range of plants sold to be fantastic!

They are taking reservations now for Mother’s day picnics in the rose garden.  You should note that the the Japanese garden is closed for renovations, including adding a ceremonial tea house, until its centennial in the spring of 2012. We love to go to the Rose Garden Tea Room (reservations recommended, see the link below),  a cafe and a Chinese tea house.  We’ve never eaten at the Chinese tea house so if any of you out there can comment to that, thanks in advance! 

Book your Tea Room reservations online>

Day 9: 2011 Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase

The 2011 Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase – Saturday, April 30th from 11:00-4:00  Cost: FREE

http://www.marvistacc.org/node/1223

This giant eco festival in Mar Vista brings together a community of residents who share a vision for a greener life. Of course, non-residents are welcome as well.
This year, the tour will host the American Solar Energy Society’s National Solar Tour and showcase Mar Vista locations that have gone solar. 

A few years ago, we planted a hummingbird garden.  To our surprise, it also attracted monarch butterflies.  At one point, my 10 year old and I counted 34 caterpillars, we watched them devour our plants, build cocoons and eventually burst out and fly away.  Nothing like bringing the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle to life!

So put on your walking shoes, fill-up the air on those bicycle tires and dust off those little red wagons.  After our unusually cold winter it is going to be great to get outside, meet some neighbors and learn more about what can be done to make our gardens and homes more sustainable.