Let's go: Hawaii and the World
4TH ANNUAL GROW HAWAIIAN FESTIVAL
While we're on the subject of gardening, the fourth annual Grow Hawaiian Festival is 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Amy Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in Captain Cook, on the Big Island. It's a day for learning about native plants, plant practices, conservation, propagation and cultural uses with experts from lei makers to botanists to the world of bugs. Events include hula performances, kapa making and other crafts, a garden tour covering plants of interest to hula practitioners, talks and storytelling, demonstrations and hands-on classes from gourd decorating to lauhala weaving and an informal lei contest. (Make a lei and bring it, or craft one there.) Taro, kava and rare fruit will be the topics of presentations. Free admission. 808-323-3318.
CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW IN LONDON
On the "bucket list" for every gardener: the Royal Horticultural Society's Chelsea Flower Show in London, which this year is May 20-24 and features 22 show gardens and nearly 200 new plants (www.rhs.org.uk/chelsea). But it can be tough for an individual to get tickets, so many choose to join tours that handle all arrangements and generally include other garden sites. One such is the Paris and London Gardens itinerary of www.GardeningTours.com May 17-26, which includes nine nights at four-star hotels in Paris and London, a visit to the Cliveden, Chenies Manor, a 17th-century thatch cottage, Sissinghurst, Great Dixter, Versailles Palace and Monet's garden. Cost, including hotel, some meals, transportation, admission to gardens and the flower show, but not airfare to Paris, is about $4,000. The tour is led by master gardener Donna Dawson. www.gardeningtours.com; toll-free 866-642-7120.
ING BAY TO BREAKERS 12K
It's the largest, among the oldest and definitely in the running for wackiest footraces in the U.S.: the annual ING Bay to Breakers 12K in San Francisco, set for May 18. The run starts at Howard and Main streets and plunges wildly through the heart of the city, ending at the Pacific on Ocean Beach. Some serious sorts do actually run the thing, but many more participate in "centipedes" (runners tethered together) or don all manner of costumes with all manner of attendant gear. A costume contest (at Golden Gate Park), Body Expo (Justin Herman Plaza) and Footstock festival and concert follow the race. And the first 10,000 finishers get their names in the San Francisco Examiner the next day. 415-359-2800;