Lots 2012cincodemayogoing on this weekend, plus this Saturday, don’t forget to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby. So put on your best hat and get out there….

KentuckyDerbyMix it up….work in a Mexican theme, then you’re good to go….continue the party all day and night!!!

See Saturday’s events for Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo events!

Pick of the Week is The Venice Garden & Home Tour this Saturday, May 5th. It is a great way to support a wonderful cause while enjoying an exclusive look into the private gardens of local Venetians.

savethedate5.5 VGHT You still have time to win two tickets in LA Art Party’s contest (Contest closes on Friday May 3rd at 2:00 pm….Find the code phrase and email us at laartparty@gmail.com and you will automatically be entered into the raffle to win. $140.00 value!  Good luck!

The Venice Garden & Home Tour will shine this spring with 30 gardens and homes on Saturday, May 5, 2012. This annual fundraising event for the Neighborhood Youth Association’s Las Doradas Children’s Center will take tour-goers to Venice neighborhoods east of Lincoln Boulevard and into the Gregory Ain tract in Mar Vista.

This eagerly anticipated garden tour gives visitors a look at intriguing gardens and architectural gems hidden behind gates and hedges and features homes from Venice’s historic past and the latest trends in landscaping and contemporary

5.5 VGHT Photographer-EricStaudenmaierTour-goers will walk, ride or bike through quiet, sun-drenched neighborhoods nearby, but distinctly, different from the bustling beach community. This neighborhood of wide streets and generous lots, where celery and bean fields were once farmed by the Japanese before World War II, is a unique reflection of the California dream. For decades Venice homeowners have embraced a California lifestyle of “flexibility, openness, experimentation and the abolition of boundaries by blurring the distinctions between indoors and out….” as aptly observed by Wendy Kaplan in Living In a Modern Way, California

Design 1950-1965, the subject of LACMA’s Pacific Standard Time exhibit. Tour-goers will see contemporary homes and gardens by some of Los Angeles’ innovative homeowners, architects and designers including Tom Carson, Gabriella Frears, Dennis Gibbens, Daniel Monti, Santiago Ortiz, Ron Radziner and Molly Reid and by landscape designers Russ Cletta, Jay Griffith, Rob Jones, and Suzanne McKevitt, among others. Visitors will notice vibrant color everywhere; touches of gold and burnt orange blooms contrast with muted chocolate browns, green and gray backgrounds.

R5.5 1CarsonPhotographer-Boris Breuer ust colored stuccos and barn red wood structures stand near sleek, white contemporary cubes. These Venice gardens are carefully planned and nurtured settings that bring nature indoors, create landscaped spaces between home office and family residence, include pocket vegetable gardens, rooftop plantings, and an increasing use of drought tolerant plants. Venice residents set the trends with unique use of space and materials, make and display art to enrich their lives, and take pride in generously opening their gardens to visitors. Several artists’ studios will be open including Cliff Garten’s studio.

A feature of this year’s garden tour will be the architecturally significant Gregory Ain tract, a “Utopian” enclave of 52 modest one story homes from 1947 tucked into Mar Vista. Landscape architect Garrett Eckbo planted rows of trees to create a streetscape that unifies the neighborhood and gives it a park-like atmosphere. There is so much to see and enjoy as visitors meander through Venice gardens and homes on this exceptional tour.

Founded 19 years ago, the Venice Garden & Home Tour is the fundraising event that draws visitors from all over California and gives financial support for NYA’s Las Doradas Children’s Center, a licensed child care facility in Venice that provides full-time, education-based child care to low-income working families. In operation since 1991, the center offers children an opportunity for the care and additional guidance that prepares them to be effective learners, ready and eager to enter and excel in kindergarten, and soon become productive and fulfilled members of our community.

VGT ViennaWayResidence-Architect-Marmol Radziner byJoeFletcherThe 2012 self-guided, walking Venice Garden & Home Tour starts at the Las Doradas Children’s Center, 804 Broadway, at the corner of Broadway and Pleasant View, in Venice, at 10:00am and continues until 5:00pm. Neighborhood parking is available, as are shuttle buses, food stands and trucks. Biking is encouraged.

Code Phrase: Garden Hop

Tax-deductible, non-refundable rain-or-shine tickets are $60 if purchased in advance, $70 if purchased the day of the event. Children are welcome and under 12 years of age are admitted free. For tickets and information, please call 310-821-1857 or email Barbara@venicegardentour.org and visit our website at www.venicegardentour.org

Venice Garden & Home Tour, benefiting the children of the Neighborhood Youth Association
804 Broadway Ave (@ Pleasant View), Venice 90291
10:00pm – 5:00 pm