Wed07302014

News

"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 spending nearl...

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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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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

DR. ALFRED 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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A nighttime backyard: How does a garden glow?


Photo By: Above Photo by Saroj Sancheti/SPecial to the Town Crier Right photo Courtesy of Laxmi Natarajan
Photo Above Photo By Saroj Sancheti/Special To The Town Crier Right Photo Courtesy Of Laxmi Natarajan

Mosaic tables, comfortable furniture and mood lighting, above, enhance the backyard ambience on a warm summer evening. Yarrow ‘Moonbeam’ can illuminate the garden at night.

Some of the best aspects of summer are the long, cool evenings; the clear, crisp air; the night sky adorned with twinkling stars; and the moonlight shining gently on the earth, lighting up the flora in the gardens with a magical and enchanted hue to bring it to life.

Spending time in the garden is therapeutic at all times, but in summer we have an extended time to enjoy it into the night as well. After a long day of work and chores, it is great to let your eyes adjust to the slight darkness, wander around a bit and have a place to settle down and relax.

Several easy-to-implement ideas can enhance this experience and make your garden a night star.

Nighttime bloomers

Adding the right kind of plants can make a garden glow at night. Some moonlit gardens shine in the evening because of the plants. Such gardens are full of plants that are pale in color, have lighter green-gray leaves or have white, pale-pink or other light-colored flowers. They boast plants that bloom at night and rely on fragrance to attract pollinators, as opposed to day-blooming plants that use color.

My all-time favorite night bloomers include Evening Primrose, with white, heart-shaped petals and a light, lemon/honeysuckle scent; Angel’s Trumpet; and Night Phlox, with its almond-vanilla-scented flowers.

Others to consider include Yucca filamentosa; silvery foliage like Artemesia; Stachys byzantine (Lambs ears), Yarrow ‘Moonbeam’; Jasmine vine, with its heavenly scented white flowers; Echeveria elegans; Euphorbia characias; different shades of hostas; Helichrysum petiolare ‘Limelight’; and Lavandula stoechas (Spanish lavender).

Plants like the Climbing Hydrangea, with its stunning white flowers and leaves that change color from pink to gold to dark green, are shiny, reflective and great additions to moon gardens.

Appealing to the senses

The night garden often relies on appealing to all the senses – sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. Incorporate the following elements for a full sensory experience.

• Train spotlights on water features, statuaries and architectural elements like arbors, pagodas and arches to add to the nighttime splendor and provide a visual and auditory thrill to the beholder. The use of garden lighting, solar lights, simple lanterns or candle votives creates an inviting ambience to spend time with family and friends.

Landscape lighting today comes in all formats. Using spotlights, focal lights, path lighting and area lighting highlights and accentuate the garden’s features, makes it more accessible and allows you to entertain guests into the wee hours of the night.

• Adding comfortable seating and bright furniture like mosaic side tables, bistro tables, cushions and accessories can make the space welcoming and functional. If your yard gets summer wind, then create a sheltered area for sitting, keeping bug repellents like citronella candles and insect traps around the yard to protect from pesky bug bites. A heater or a coffee table with a fire pit adds extra warmth when you need it and provides a toasty place to gather as the night becomes cooler.

• Outdoor movie screens are making an appearance in many home gardens as families congregate to enjoy a movie in the garden.

• Install music streaming in the night garden via hidden outdoor speakers, available in different sizes, designs and price ranges, from simple to those embedded in fake rocks.

The sky is the limit, or rather the canvas against which you can set your garden scene this summer as you enjoy the mysterious and beautiful delights of the night garden.

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

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