Wed07302014

News

‘Brown is the new green,’ says local water district

‘Brown is the new green,’ says local water district


Lina Broydo/Special to the Town Crier
Are downtown Los Altos flower pots getting too much water? The Santa Clara Valley Water District plans to hire “water cops” to discourage overwatering.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is spendi...

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Schools

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers


Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Middle school students make robotic hands using 3-D printers during a STEM Summer Camp at Foothill College.

From designing roller coasters to developing biodegradable plastics, high school students received an i...

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Community

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Businesswomen Joan Mazimhaka of Rwanda, third from left, and Fakhria Ibrahimi of Afghanistan, in orange, traveled to the U.S. with a 26-woman delegation through the Peace Through Business program.

Employees scoop ice ...

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Comment

Moving on: The Rockey Road

Just over a month ago, we decided to put our house on the market. My husband and I had been tossing around the idea of moving back to the area where we grew up, which is only approximately 40 minutes from here. Of course, Los Altos is a great place t...

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Special Sections

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Dr. Trang Ly, left, reviews blood sugar readings on a smartphone with Los Altos resident Tia Geri, right, and fellow participant Noa Simon during a closed-loop artificial pancreas study for Type 1 diabetics.
...

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Business

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday


ElLie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Armed with blow dryers, Halo founder Rosemary Camposano, left, and store manager Nikki Thomas prepare for the blow-dry bar’s grand opening on First Street Monday.

A blow-dry bar is set to open downtown Monday, and i...

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Books

"Frozen in Time" chronicles harrowing WWII rescue attempts


Many readers can’t resist a true-life adventure story, especially those that shine a spotlight on people who exhibit supreme courage in the face of adversity and end up surviving – or not – against the odds.

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People

CARSTEN HUGHES

Long time Los Altos resident, Dr. Alfred Hughes, died May 1st after a long illness. Dr. Hughes was born in 1927 in Maspeth, NY. He served in the US Army from 1945-6, attended Brooklyn Polytechnic University, then graduated from Reed College in Portla...

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Travel

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway


Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe offers fall getaway packages that include spa treatments and yoga classes.

Fall in North Lake Tahoe boasts crisp mornings and opportunities to spend quality time in the mountains. Specially ...

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Stepping Out

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn


Town Crier file photo
Local actors rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Los Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company’s collaborative production of “The Wizard of Oz” is slated to close Sunday at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

T...

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Spiritual Life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life


Shaw

Stanford University named the Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw, dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, its new dean for religious life.

Provost John Etchemendy announced Shaw’s appointment July 21, adding that she also will join the faculty in...

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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Winter gardens showcase colorful beauty

Photo Courtesy Of Laurie Callaway Rely on color-rich evergreens to give bone structure to the winter garden such as Phormium 'Yellow Wave,' Loropetalum rubrum and the chartreuse 'Breath of Heaven,' above.

 

After watching the Weather Channel and seeing how much of the country is being pummeled by snow and sleet, I’m grateful that here in the Bay Area we can garden in winter. However, our winter gardens can look a bit down as well. Following are a few tips to make your winter garden a real standout.

As you design your garden and decide on the plants you’d like to include, think foliage not flowers. Flowers in the garden, however wonderful, come and go. Evergreen leaves are with you always and form the bones of the garden and its beauty year-round. A combination of evergreen and deciduous shrubs, trees with winter bark, winter-blooming perennials and annuals achieve good bone structure.

The many colors and shades of evergreen shrubs make them stars in their own right. Green, chartreuse, gray, silver, blue, red, purple and variegated leaves give the garden depth and beauty. Try Loropetalum rubrum, Euonymus Emerald ‘n’ Gold, Pittosporum ‘Silver Sheen’ and Phormium ‘Sundowner’ to give the garden punches of color.

Perennials that bloom successfully in winter include Helleborus niger, Helleborus orientalis and Helleborus argutifolius. Each brings color and great leaf structure. Geranium ‘Biokovo’ is a low-growing geranium good for creating borders that bloom in winter and need very little care the rest of the year. Bedding plants such as cyclamen, poppies and primulas can create bright spots and fill the borders until spring perennials begin to bloom.

Consider interesting bark and berries for a bright spot on cloudy days. Acer Sangu Kaku with its coral bark is stunning, as is Acer griseum Paperbark Maple. Other winter standouts are Crape Myrtle, Lagerstroemia fauriei ‘Natchez’ with its patchwork bark, brilliant white Betula nigra and Prunus serrula’s mahogany-red bark. The berries of many of the nandinas, hollies like Ilex verticillata ‘Winter Red’ and crab apples offer patches of bright color and food for wintering birds.

Camellias are stars in the winter garden. Include both the large-leaved Japonicas and spreading Sasanquas in your design. White Camellias are particularly striking on cold winter days. Camellias often begin blooming by Thanksgiving and continue into March.

Finally, don’t forget the bold and beautiful conifers. These are the most underused shrubs in the Western garden. You can’t beat them for color, structure and interest.

A few dwarf conifers worth trying are Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Threadleaf,’ Pinus mugo ‘Aurea’ and Picea abies ‘Nidiformis.’

Deciduous plants are wonderful in the garden because they are the harbingers of spring, but it’s really the evergreen shrubs that make a winter garden sing.

Laurie Callaway, a Certified member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers, practices in the Bay Area. She is a regular contributor to HGTV’s “Curb Appeal” and conducts tours of English gardens each June. For more information, visit www.callawaygardens.com or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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