NEWPORT BEACH — Venus de Milo reproductions have been rescued and repaired before, but in the case of one local garden, this plaster Aphrodite has never looked so "green."
The repurposed classical reproduction at Irene Dunlap's Newport Beach home now features lush succulents and trailing vines dripping from its midsection. Now a unique garden planter, it is just one of the many unusual home décor offerings to be auctioned for charity this weekend.
Thursday evening through Sunday, Dunlap will open her home and garden to the public for the third annual A Harvest of Hope fundraiser. The event features free sustainable living workshops, a disaster preparedness seminar with Costa Mesa Interim Fire Chief Kirk Dominic, auctions and shopping.
Dunlap said the items up for sale and auction are repurposed donations from the community and rescues from properties slated for demolition.
"It's not like putting on a golf tournament — there's always going to be something different," she said. "We always find new items every year and the hunt is half the fun."
Other oddities include a vintage typewriter transformed into an overflowing succulent planter, wind chimes made of glass beads and silverware, tiles created from ornamental vases and light fixtures flipped upside down to be used as birdfeeders.
"Everyone has cool stuff that they don't know what to do with," event co-Chairwoman Beth Prizer said. "People hear our goals, love what we're doing with the sustainability and want to participate. Even if they can't participate themselves, it feels like they're participating by doing what they can do."
The event began three years ago when Dunlap decided to remodel the garden of her home and set upon a "personal challenge to use the space for good."
With old roof shingles, gate posts and miscellaneous other debris from the remodel, Dunlap and a few friends created garden signs and planters for the first event.
That year brought about 200 over a two-day period. The event last year grew to about 600 over a three-and-a-half-days and pulled in $17,000 for local charities.
This year's event benefits the Orange County Food Access Coalition and ASAP Africa.
"We want to build a sense of community," Dunlap said. "A big portion of it is about teaching sustainability awareness, but it also gives the community an opportunity to get involved and build something with our charity. It's an opportunity to come together and enrich the community."
If You Go
What: A Harvest of Hope
When: 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; noon to 4 p.m. Sunday
Where: 2201 Santiago Drive, Newport Beach
Cost: $5 donation