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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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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