12082016Thu
Last updateWed, 07 Dec 2016 3pm

News

Despite recounts, Registrar plans to call races

Despite an ongoing hand recount, clarity is about to arrive for the Los Altos and Los Altos Hills City Councils – and current top vote-getters Lynette Lee Eng and Roger Spreen are expected to be named winners tomorrow, according to the Santa Clara Co...

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Schools

JustREAD helps local English learner students

JustREAD helps local English learner students


Courtesy of JustRead
JustREAD volunteer Elenora Nelson works with a sixth-grader at Crittenden Middle School.

JustREAD seeks to broaden its impact on local students’ lives by adding to its volunteer pool.

The 12-year-old nonprofit organizat...

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Community

Los Altos Rhodes Scholar sees health within a community's greater context

Los Altos Rhodes Scholar sees health within a community's greater context


Doyle
 

From guide dogs to culinary architecture, Los Altos native Alexis Doyle has worked across fields as a young scholar, but she had to learn to knit it all together – not only as a pre-medical student, but as a candidate proving her b...

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Sports

Coach gets a kick out of Spartans

Coach gets a kick out of Spartans


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Gerson Perez, right, battles a Sacred Heart Prep player for the ball in last week’s season opener.

Now in his 28th season as Mountain View High’s boys soccer coach, Jim McGuirk has s...

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Comment

The last hundred years: A Piece of My Mind

Some time back I stumbled across a binder that my mother had created when she took a class on writing memoirs back in 1998. At that time, I remember she tried to interest me in her writing, but I was busy and just nodded, glad she had found something...

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Special Sections

Blast from the past

Blast from the past


Gary Anderson/Special to the town Crier
The Donut Derelicts – a group of local car enthusiasts – check out the 2016 Mustang GT California Special convertible. The car is an homage to the 1968 model.

 

What better place to display a car wit...

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Business

Maltby finds a new home – not too far from home

Maltby finds a new home – not too far from home


Megan Winslow/Town Crier
Restaurateur James Maltby now operates the restaurant at the local Courtyard Marriott.

When James Maltby closed his namesake restaurant last summer after a rent hike, many Los Altos residents wanted to know where the res...

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People

ANNE KESTEN BERNSTEIN

Long time Los Altos Hills resident, Anne Kesten Bernstein, born July 12, 1931 in New York City, died peacefully in the comfort of hospice care on November 15, 2016.

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News

Despite recounts, Registrar plans to call races

Despite an ongoing hand recount, clarity is about to arrive for the Los Altos and Los Altos Hills City Councils – and current top vote-getters Lynette Lee Eng and Roger Spreen are expected to be named winners tomorrow, according to the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters.

Readmore

Business

Maltby finds a new home – not too far from home

Maltby finds a new home – not too far from home

Megan Winslow/Town Crier
Restaurateur James Maltby now operates the restaurant at the local Courtyard Marriott.

When James Maltby closed his namesake restaurant last summer after a rent hike, many Los Altos residents wanted to know where the restaurateur would end up next. It turns out that he ...

Readmore

Sports

Coach gets a kick out of Spartans

Coach gets a kick out of Spartans

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Gerson Perez, right, battles a Sacred Heart Prep player for the ball in last week’s season opener.

Now in his 28th season as Mountain View High’s boys soccer coach, Jim McGuirk has seen it all. He’s worked with good teams that...

Readmore

Community

Los Altos Rhodes Scholar sees health within a community's greater context

Los Altos Rhodes Scholar sees health within a community's greater context

Doyle
 

From guide dogs to culinary architecture, Los Altos native Alexis Doyle has worked across fields as a young scholar, but she had to learn to knit it all together – not only as a pre-medical student, but as a candidate proving her bona fides for a Rhodes Scholarship. She joined the...

Readmore

Comment

The last hundred years: A Piece of My Mind

Some time back I stumbled across a binder that my mother had created when she took a class on writing memoirs back in 1998. At that time, I remember she tried to interest me in her writing, but I was busy and just nodded, glad she had found something to interest her after my father’s death. No...

Readmore

Spiritual Life

Spiritual Briefs Dec. 7 2016

LA Lutheran offers ‘Soothe Your Soul’ sessions

Los Altos Lutheran Church has scheduled three “Soothe Your Soul: Prayer & Poetry” reflection sessions, 6:30-7:15 p.m. today and Dec. 14 and 21 in the sanctuary, 460 S. El Monte Ave.

The evenings – designed for those ...

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People

ANNE KESTEN BERNSTEIN

Long time Los Altos Hills resident, Anne Kesten Bernstein, born July 12, 1931 in New York City, died peacefully in the comfort of hospice care on November 15, 2016.

Readmore

Schools

JustREAD helps local English learner students

JustREAD helps local English learner students

Courtesy of JustRead
JustREAD volunteer Elenora Nelson works with a sixth-grader at Crittenden Middle School.

JustREAD seeks to broaden its impact on local students’ lives by adding to its volunteer pool.

The 12-year-old nonprofit organization provides academic support for middle and high ...

Readmore

Special Sections

Blast from the past

Blast from the past

Gary Anderson/Special to the town Crier
The Donut Derelicts – a group of local car enthusiasts – check out the 2016 Mustang GT California Special convertible. The car is an homage to the 1968 model.

 

What better place to display a car with direct links to the 1960s American muscle car tr...

Readmore

Stepping Out

'Christmas Ballet' leaps into Mtn. View

'Christmas Ballet' leaps into Mtn. View

David Allen/Special to the Town Crier
Dancer Rachel Furst leaps in Smuin's “The Christmas Ballet,” scheduled to run today through Sunday in downtown Mountain View.

Smuin's annual production of “The Christmas Ballet” is scheduled to make a stop in Mountain View this week.

With ballet, tap, swin...

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Obituaries

ANNE KESTEN BERNSTEIN

Long time Los Altos Hills resident, Anne Kesten Bernstein, born July 12, 1931 in New York City, died peacefully in the comfort of hospice care on November 15, 2016.

Readmore

Magazine

Holidays in the heat: Commemorate Christmas south of the equator

Holidays in the heat: Commemorate Christmas south of the equator

Courtesy of Camping
Patrons of Camping, a restaurant in Buenos Aires, enjoy the warm weather during last year’s holiday season.

When I relocated from Mountain View to Buenos Aires in July, I knew I’d be stepping into winter. I packed my rain boots and heavy coat, and I set aside my longing for a p...

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Many plants thrive without soil


Courtesy of Laxmi Natarajan
Tillandsias are plants that take their nutrients through the air, not via dirt like regular plants.

The sight of a delicate green plant with a colorful bloom in a small hanging terrarium always catches my guests’ eyes - it’s a guaranteed conversation starter. On closer look, however, they notice that there is no soil in the terrarium and wonder whether the plants are living or artificial. It is an introduction for most to the genus Tillandsia.

Linnaeus established the genus Tillandsia in the 1700s and named it after Swedish botanist Elias Tillands.

Tillandsias take their nutrients through their leaves and need only air, water and light - no soil - hence they are also known as Air Plants. Epiphytes - plants that grow on other plants (such as trees) nonparasitically, or sometimes on some other object - derive their moisture and nutrients from the atmosphere, rain and sometimes the debris accumulating around them. Air Plants are epiphytes. Found in Central and South America, Mexico, the southern U.S. and the tropics, they are fascinating, low-maintenance plants that bloom with bright flowers. Members of the Bromeliad family, they usually sprout little pups on the side as the mother plant dies down.

Indoor and outdoor displays

Tillandsias are very popular for mounting because of their fantastic form and texture. They are small and grow slowly, making them easy to manage and maintain.

They can be attached to anything: a branch or twig of grape or Manzanita, a slab of wood, a coconut shell or driftwood. Choose a mount that will not disintegrate under the existing conditions.

Attach the plant with waterproof adhesives such as Liquid Nails, Goop or silicone sealer, available in hardware and home stores. The plant must be held in place until the glue hardens. A hot glue gun is the fastest and safest method if the plant is attached a few seconds after the glue has cooled. Sheet or Sphagnum Moss pressed around the plant and into the glue will present a more natural appearance. Nylon monofilament - fishing line - that is nearly invisible can also secure the plants.

The roots of these plants are tough, weather resistant and can be used to attach it to the substrate. Do not attach the plant by its leaves. When the leaves die, the plant will detach.

If the plant has no roots, tie it or wire it rather than fasten it with an adhesive. If the area around the base is damp but not wet, most Tillandsias will produce roots. Constant wetness at the base of the plant can cause rot.

Care of Tillandsias

Plants can be sprayed or misted daily, but the easiest way to water is to plunge the plant once a week into a container of water to which a Bromeliad Fertilizer 17-8-22 is added and let it soak five minutes to an hour or so. Drain or shake off excess water after removing the plant from its bath. Water trapped in the plant can cause rot.

Tillandsias must dry completely between waterings - they cannot breathe through a wet leaf surface.

When the mother plant blooms and dies, Tillandsia collections grow for decades because of the propagation of the pups. The plants continue to provide gardening gratification indoors and out.

Laxmi Natarajan, a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers, is a garden and interiorscape designer at Bagicha Garden & Flora Design. For more information, call 703-9756 or visit bagicha.com. n

Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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