Tue09162014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JEANNE PACKARD

After suffering a stroke in May, Jeanne Packard died August 10, 2014 at age 83. She was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, the only child of Emily Channel and Frank Howe Packard of Chicago, IL. Jeanne is survived by 5 great grandchildren. She was a lon...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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Accessorize the garden for beauty and personality


Photo By: Courtesy of Julie Orr
Photo Courtesy Of Julie Orr Plants act as ideal focal points in the garden. This Phormium ‘Yellow Wave’ and antique birdbath give the yard depth and personality.

Accessories are important to any outfit. Choosing the right scarf, belt, tie, hat or jewelry can add that certain panache and personality to our daily attire. The same is true for our gardens.

Garden accessories come in all sizes, shapes and styles. Obvious garden accessories include furniture, fountains, arbors and containers. But creating a garden accessory is limited only by your imagination.

Accessories are wonderful when used as focal points. A simple, brightly colored ceramic container set at the end of a pathway adds architectural interest and draws your eye to the garden.

Collections can also create a focal point. I recently saw a group of antique watering cans displayed on a patio wall. The wall created a beautiful frame and unified the various styles and colors.

How do you get started? First, think about a location where a focal point or two would enhance your garden. Second, determine the style of your home. Does it have a Mediterranean feel, a modern bent or an eclectic style? Third, take inventory of what you already have that you can incorporate in the garden. Is there a collection of antique tools rusting in your garage? Pull them out and arrange them on a fence panel or use them to create a structure in the garden. I once saw an arbor constructed from rakes and shovels form a wonderful home for a climbing rose. Finally, consider what you like to see in a garden. Art? Sculpture? What hobbies do you have that could be expressed in the garden? Bird-watching is a natural for accessorizing. Fountains or a simple birdbath nestled between roses are obvious additions for a birder’s garden, and birdhouses come in every shape and size. Start a collection of houses and group them around the garden as focal points.

When thinking of accessorizing, remember the adage “Think outside the box.” Old window frames, backed with a mirror and tucked in a corner of the garden, not only reflect light, but also add mystery and depth to the garden view. Hang lanterns and candelabras from exposed branches or a pergola to bring the eye up from the garden floor. The new battery-powered candles are a natural in these situations.

Specimen plants are ideal as focal points, and variegated and colored leaves create interest and dimension. A tall Sempervirens ‘Tiny Towers’ planted in low-growing shrubs or a twisted, silver Cedrus atlantica glauca surrounded by Pittosporum variegata creates drama for the eye.

Finding accessories can be as easy as exploring your own home or browsing at the local nurseries. For the truly adventurous, try the Alameda Flea Market, scheduled the first Sunday of every month. It’s a treasure trove of art and collectibles for every taste. Another great source for garden ornaments is your local thrift shop. I recently found two iron wall sconces that now adorn a small garden patio.

Accessories can add a sense of mystery and wonder to a garden, so explore and find that treasure you’ll enjoy for years to come.

Julie Orr is a landscape designer and member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. For more information, call 468-8020 or visit www.julieorrdesign.com.

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