2 Want to learn how to build your next house out of straw bales? Or are you interested in something a bit more immediate, like a workshop on composting? Whatever your plans to create a green household, you’ll get great advice and information at the Rhode Island Sustainable Living Festival and Renewable Energy Expo (Apeiron Environmental Education Center, 451 Hammet Rd., Coventry, 397-3430; www.living fest.org). Includes workshops, performers, eco-vending and many surprises.
15 If you fantasize about planning the most luxurious, sumptuous garden in the neighborhood, start by taking a sneak peek at what some of the gardeners in Rhode Island’s most prestigious neighborhoods are up to via the Newport Secret Garden Tour (847-0514, www.secret gardentours.org). Enjoy this self-guided walking tour of private gardens in the historic Point section of Newport. Through June 17.
20 Enjoy the intense sweeping colors of flowers at the height of their majesty at Blithewold Mansion’s Rock Garden Soiree (Blithewold Mansion, 101 Ferry Rd., Bristol, 253-2707, www.blithewold.org). Sip French wine and listen to local artist Marjorie Jeffries on flute as you enjoy the spectacular scenery of the bay. A feast for the senses. 5 p.m.-dusk. $15 per person/$25 per couple.
22 One of the country’s best-known garden writers and lecturers, Tovah Martin, will be the special guest speaker at the Newport Flower Show at Rosecliff Mansion on June 23. Visitors will enjoy themed floral exhibits, horticultural entries and garden designs staged throughout the elegant reception rooms of Rosecliff, on its oceanfront terrace, and on the back lawn. Proceeds benefit the landscape restoration efforts of the Preservation Society of Newport County. Friday, noon– 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. $15 in advance, $18 at the gate (www.newportflowershow.org). Through June 24.
23 Find just the right painting for your front hall or mantle at the Narragansett Art Festival, where more than 100 of New England’s fine artists will display their work (Veteran’s Memorial Park, Narragansett, 789-7713, www.wakefieldrotary. com). The event, sponsored by the Wakefield Rotary Club, is in its twenty-fourth year. Through June 24.
23 Can’t get enough June flowers? Come see some of the Cape’s finest at the Orleans Improvement Association Garden Tour (meet at Orleans Historical Society, Orleans, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, 508-255-1386). Five or more homeowners make their lush back and sideyard gardens available to the public. $20 fee.
27As Mae West once said, too much of a good thing can be wonderful, exactly what you’ll find at the Barrington Garden Club’s Barrington in Bloom, a tour of nine private gardens open to the public for this event (245-5549). $20 in advance, $25 at the door, and includes optional lunch.
7 If you’re in the market for an original painting, print, photograph or sculpture, check out the Wickford Art Festival in the historic seaside town of Wickford (Wickford Village, 294-6840, www.wickfordart.org). There you’ll see the work of hundreds of artists from across the country and around the world. Free admission. Through July 8.
10 One great way to save money and have fun at the same time is to search through miles and miles of glorious junk for that special treasure you’ve dreamed about. The Brimfield Antique Show in Brimfield, Massachusetts (www.brimfieldshow.com) gives you three opportunities per year to do just that: in May, July and September. Rocking chairs, antique linens, collectible salt and pepper shakers, rugs, wardrobes, parasols…you name it! Through July 15.
11 The flowers of Blithewold Mansion’s north garden have been described as elegant, sophisticated and bold. Come see for yourself (and steal some ideas for your own garden) at Blithewold Mansion’s North Garden Soiree (Blithewold Mansion, 101 Ferry Rd., Bristol, 253-2707, www.blithewold.org). Sip California wine and listen to local artist Jeffery Thomas sing and play keyboards as you enjoy the view. 5 p.m.-dusk. $15 per person/$25 per couple.
12 Cape Cod is perhaps better known for its cranberries than its flowers, but you’ll be bowled over by the wide array of native plants and flowers being grown in neighborhood gardens. See them up close and personal via a Summer Stroll by the Naucet Garden Club (508-240-1673).
14 Tour more than thirty of the incredible gardens of URI’s master gardeners during the Gardening with the Masters tour in Kingston (CE Education Center, Kingston, 874-2900, www.urimga.org). The group focuses on sustainable gardening and endeavors to beautify the world and educate the public. Through July 15.
28 Lovingly collected antiques are one-of-a-kind additions to any well-designed room, and you can find every kind of collectible at the Antiques at Elm Bank Estate Show in Wellesley, Massachusetts (www.neantiqueshows.com). More than 170 dealers representing fourteen states will show their stuff under tents on the lawn of the beautiful Elm Bank Estate, home to the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Through July 29.
8 Visit eight to ten of the wonderful homes on Block Island during the thirty-sixth annual Block Island House and Garden Tour. Includes expert docents to provide details about the houses’ history and architecture. Older houses and unique newer designs. 9 a.m.–1 p.m. $15 for Historical Society members/$25 for nonmembers. For further information call 466-2481.
8 Planning the perfect garden means thinking about color, texture and scent. The expert gardeners at Blithewold Mansion have it all together, as you’ll see during the August Display Garden Soiree (Blithewold Mansion, 101 Ferry Rd., Bristol, 253-2707, www.blithewold.org). Sip Australian wine and enjoy Celtic and bluegrass music by the Thomas Family as you enjoy the spectacular view. 5 p.m.-dusk. $15 per person/$25 per couple.
11 If you need an excuse to spend a weekend on Block Island this August, this is it. At the annual Block Island Arts Festival, you’ll find photography and artwork along with jewelry and smaller items. (466-2540). Through August 12.
11 A historical home deserves some historical furniture. Find what you’re looking for at the annual Newport Historical Society Antique Show (82 Touro St., Newport, 846-0813, www.newporthistorical. org). Proceeds benefit the Historical Society and the Boys and Girls Club of Newport County. Through August 12. Gala preview party August 10.
2 Have you always wanted to bid at a live auction but been afraid to try? It’s time to place your bid on artwork for your home at the Block Island Historical Society Auction. The auction takes place on the lawn of the Block Island Historical Society and features twenty-five to thirty objects, including furniture, antiques and artwork donated by local artists. Historical Society open daily through the summer, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 466-2481.
4 If you’re lucky, the weather will be fine for the last Brimfield Antique Show of the summer in Brimfield, Massachusetts (www.brimfield show.com). Make your way through the aisles, inspecting this dresser and that nightstand and then take a break with some homemade ice cream in the food vending area. Through September 9.
7 Whether or not you toured Newport’s top-notch private gardens in June, you’ll want to take a look at what’s growing in the larger estate gardens come September by taking a self-guided walking or driving tour through the seaside estates featured in the Newport Secret Garden Tour (Newport, 847-0514, www.secretgardentour. com). Fourteen magnificent, professionally maintained unique gardens along Bellevue and Ocean avenues. Through September 9.
19 Come back to Blithewold Mansion to see what’s coming up in fall at the September Display Garden Soiree (Blithewold Mansion, 101 Ferry Rd., Bristol, 253-2707, www.blithewold.org). Sip Italian wine and enjoy music by the Mark and Beverly Davis Guitar Duo. 5 p.m.-dusk. $15 per person/$25 per couple.
22 Need to fine-tune your pruning skills? How about taking a crash course on native plants and ecological landscaping? You’ll find a plethora of workshops and lectures covering everything you need to know about residential gardening at Blithewold Mansion’s Fall Gardeners’ Day (101 Ferry Rd., Bristol, 253-2707, www. blithewold.org). Indoor and outdoor displays, nominal fee, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
25 Award-winning sculptor D.J. Garrity will lead a fascinating exploration of three-dimensional form through the process of stone sculpture at Blithewold Mansion’s Garden Sculpture Workshop (Blithewold Mansion, 101 Ferry Rd., Bristol, 253-2707, www.blithewold.org). Students will create their own unique garden sculptures. Price TBD. Through September 28.
29 If integrated pest management, pollution prevention and sustainable landscaping are gardening ideas that float your boat, don’t miss GreenShare Field Day at the University of Rhode Island Botanical Gardens in Kingston (Kingston, 874-2900, www.uri.edu/ce/ceec/greenshare. html). Workshops and demonstrations feature the latest in renewable energy technology, environmental education and activism, composting and recycling. You can also buy plants and environmentally friendly garden products, have your soil tested or attend a plant clinic.
26 At the twelfth annual Fine Furnishings and Fine Crafts Show at the Rhode Island Convention Center (1 Sabin St., Providence), you’ll find handcrafted furniture, original art, as well as handcrafted ceramics and glass items for the home. The show occupies 72,000 square feet and 325 booths featuring the work of more than 250 artisans from across North America. Friday 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Adults: one day $10, any two days $15. Children under 12 free (841-9201; www. finefurnishingsshows.com). Through October 28.
15 Ready to take on that huge backyard project you’ve been putting off for years? Start by attending landscape architect Douglas Reed’s Garden Design Lecture at the Rhode Island Country Club in Barrington (150 Nayatt Rd., Barrington). Fee (TBD) includes a luncheon overlooking the estuary. 10 a.m. Call 245-5700 for information.
27 As the holiday season approaches, you’ll find a plethora of arts and crafts shows where you can find just the right finishing touches for your home. The South County Art Association’s Thirty-seventh Holiday Pottery and Art Sale (SCAA Gallery, Kingston, 783-2195, www.southcountyart.org) features assorted bowls, plates, pots and ornaments in clay, as well as small paintings, drawings and photography. Through December 9.
1 Are you dreaming of sugar plum fairies? How about the perfect antique nutcracker or other decorative items to bring out the classic holiday spirit in your living room? You’re sure to find it—along with a wide variety of antique furniture, linens, books and more —at the Southern New England Antiques Dealers Association’s Annual Holiday Show at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick (Greenwich Ave., Warwick, 647-7780, www.sneada.org/shows. htm). Designers, collectors and home decorators will find a vast array of items to choose from.
6 Another great source for artwork, furniture, linens and much more is the annual Foundry Show in Pawtucket (Pawtucket Armory Building, 172 Exchange St., Pawtucket, www. foundryshow.com). A rare collection of handcrafted glass, paintings, textiles, scrapbooks and furniture, by more than sixty artists. Silent auction to benefit Pawtucket Armory Association. Free admission and parking, and no sales tax. Credit cards accepted. Live music and refreshments. Through December 9 and open again December 14–16.
25 Everything for the home and garden can be found under one giant roof at the Boston Home Show (Bayside Expo Center, Boston, Massachussetts, www.theboston homeshow.com). One-stop browsing for appliances, zone heating systems and everything in between. Includes educational seminars on wall treatments, gardening, maintaining a lawn, building a log home and much, much more. Through January 27.
22 Gardening tips in February? That’s right, the Rhode Island Spring Flower and Garden Show is an indoor event that will help get you ready for planting season. Its spectacular 150,000-square-foot setting (Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence, 272-0980, www.flowershow .com) features thirty-plus gardens, lectures, demonstrations and more than 200 garden-related vendor booths. Through February 25.
12 Whether you are building a house, remodeling, or searching for the latest products, services and technologies to make your life easier, the Rhode Island Home Show is the perfect place to start (Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence, 458-6000, www.ribahomeshow. com). Area experts discuss the latest trends in architecture, landscape design and green design. Featuring more than 300 exhibitors, this is the largest consumer home show in southern New England. Through March 16.
25 Get a jump on May flowers this year at the end-of-April garden extravaganza Brewster in Bloom (Drummer Boy Park, Brewster, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, www. brewsterinbloom.org). Through April 27.
12 Get to know what local landscapers, painters, carpenters and siding experts have to say about your project at the Business Showcase (Nauset Middle School, Orleans, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, 508-255-7203 ). Local home-related businesses showcase their services from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free admission.
13 One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Half the fun in furnishing your new home is finding the treasure. Wear comfortable shoes and hit the stalls at the May Brimfield Antique Show in Brimfield, Massachusetts (www.brimfield show.com). Traffic getting into town can be rough, but it’s worth the wait. Through May 18.
24 What good is a bed without a gorgeous handmade quilt? Or a table without handpainted dishes and one-of-a-kind glassware? Find the right accoutrements at Gaspee Days Arts and Crafts Festival, which features the wares of 150 to 200 craft exhibitors along Narragansett Parkway in Warwick (Pawtuxet Village, Warwick, 781-1772, www.gaspee.com). Through May 26.
Note: dates and details are subject to change. It’s best to call ahead.