GOOD BUGS ... The City of Palo Alto - Watershed Protection, Common Ground Garden Supply and Education Center, and the Our Water, Our World Program are jointly offering a free class on "Safe, Effective Pest and Disease Control" from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May17, at Common Ground, 559 College Ave., Palo Alto. The class will cover managing ants, snails and slugs, as well as offer information about beneficial insects that help balance the yard. Information: 650-493-6072 or commongroundinpaloalto.org
EASY FLOWER POWER ... Joan Sanders, who has served on the Floral Design Committee at Filoli for years and was instrumental in starting Filoli's floral design program, will teach a class called "Flower Arranging Made Easy" from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Monday, May 19, at the Gamble Garden Carriage House and garden, 1431 Waverley St., Palo Alto. Sanders will demonstrate how to place flowers in an interesting and aesthetic way, emphasizing the use of seasonal materials. Participants should bring clippers. Cost (which includes materials) is $50 for nonmembers, $40 for members. Information: 650-329-1356 or www.gamblegarden.org
SUMMER FOODS ... Two cooking classes are being offered this week through Palo Alto Adult School: Yannette Edwards will teach a one-session class, "Spectacular Salads," on Tuesday, May 20, and James Holloway will teach "Summery Picnic Foods" on Thursday, May 22. Both classes — which include demonstration, participation and sampling — are held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in Room 103, Palo Alto High School, 50 Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto. Cost is $50 for each class. Salad class highlights are Garbanzo Beans and Roasted Red Peppers, Asian Napa Cabbage Slaw, Thai Prawn Salad and Salad Nicoise with Ahi tuna. Picnic class highlights are a mayoless Red and Yellow Potato Salad, Eggless Tofu Salad, Summer Baked Beans, Cioppino Stew and Tofu Chocolate Mousse. Information: 650-329-3752 or paadultschool.org
GROWING AZALEAS, CAMELLIAS ... Tom Nuccio, owner of Nuccio's Nurseries in Altadena, California, will talk about successfully growing azaleas and camellias at the De Anza Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 21, in Room 12, Hillview Community Center, 97 Hillview Ave., Los Altos. Information: deanza-ars.com, nucciosnurseries.com, sazanka.org/breeders/nuccio
REAL-ESTATE ACQUISITION ... HomeServices of America Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate and the second-largest residential real-estate brokerage company in the United States, acquired Intero Real Estate Services, which is headquartered in Cupertino, and its affiliated franchise network, Intero Franchise Services, for an undisclosed sum, according to a press release. Intero has local offices in Menlo Park, Woodside and Los Altos, and ranks in the top five for market share in Silicon Valley, with $5.7 billion in volume in 2013, according to the release.