DIY special

Want to learn the nuts and bolts of basic home repair? The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota's "Handyperson Special" is a three-part series designed to save homeowners time and money. Class 1 focuses on electrical systems and basic repair on June 8. Class 2 covers plumbing repairs on June 15. Class 3 gives tips on radiator maintenance and heating and cooling issues on June 22. The classes run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Natural Built Home, 4020 Minnehaha Av. S., Mpls. Cost is $30; $25.50 for members for each session. $10 discount if you register for all classes at once. Go to, and click on "Services," then "Education."

How to build a wall

Bachman's offers expert help on designing and constructing a retaining wall for your yard in its "How-To" series from 10 a.m. to noon May 28 and June 4, Outdoor Garden Center, 6010 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls. Learn about the various wall systems and proper installation techniques. Cost is $10 for each workshop. Register at

Upholstery help

Gather expert ideas and inspiration for your reupholstered chair or new sofa at Gabberts' free "Let's Talk Upholstery," 10 to 11 a.m. May 28. Bring photos and fabric samples to Gabberts in the Galleria, 69th St. and France Av. S., Edina, and at 3201 Country Dr., Little Canada. For more information, call 952-927-1500 or go to

Eco-friendly patio

Permeable pavers allow infiltration of stormwater, helping to reduce runoff to keep our lakes and rivers clean. Gertens offers tips and techniques for the proper installation of a permeable paver patio and looks at the wide variety of shapes, colors and textures, 11 a.m. May 28, 5500 Blaine Av., Inver Grove Heights. The class is free but registration is required at

Butterflies on film

Monarch butterflies are a threatened species due to the decline of milkweed, which they rely on for habitat. A new documentary, "The Butterfly Effect" by Minneapolis filmmaker Deb Wallwork, chronicles the artists, scientists, gardeners and farmers who are bringing attention to the monarchs' plight. The film will be screened at 7 p.m. May 24 at Pohlad Hall in the Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall. Suggested donation of $10 per person.

Carnivores at the Arb

"Savage Gardens, the Real and Imaginary World of Carnivorous Plants" opens May 27 at the Minnesota Landsape Arboretum, combining science, botany and hands-on activities. "Savage Gardens" focuses on plants that live by luring and trapping bugs as their food. The exhibit includes four giant sculptures, including a 9-foot-tall Venus flytrap with controls that allow visitors to open and close the plant's traps, and an illuminuated sundew with 500 translucent resin tentacles. Six interactive displays allow kids to identify plants, build a bog and see how plants lure prey. The exhibit runs through Sept. 18. Arb admission is $12 for adults and ages 13 and older, free for members and children 12 and younger. 3675 Arboretum Dr., Chaska.

KIM PALMER and Lynn Underwood