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News

Police stress need for low speed in school zones

Police stress need for low speed in school zones


Town Crier File Photo
After two recent accidents involving cyclists and motorists, police urge caution – on both sides.

After two recent incidents of vehicles striking student bicyclists, Los Altos Police urge residents to exercise caution whe...

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Schools

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up to check books out of the library in the new Grizzly Student Center at Gardner Bullis School.

Gardner Bullis School opened its new Grizzly Student Center earlier this month, introducing a lea...

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Community

Home improvement workshop scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 29)

The County of Santa Clara is hosting a free informational workshop on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road.

The workshop will offer ways single-family homeowners can increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Eligible i...

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Comment

Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We ...

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Special Sections

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Forrest Linebarger, right, installed greywater and rainwater harvesting systems at his Los Altos Hills home.

With more brown than green visible in her Los Altos backyard, Kacey Fitzpatrick admits that she’s a little e...

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Business

Local realtors scare up money for charity

Local realtors scare up money for charity


Photo courtesy of SILVAR
Realtors Gary Campi and Jordan Legge, from left, joined Nancy Domich, SILVAR President Dave Tonna and Joe Brown to raise funds for the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Los Altos and Mountain View realtors raise...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

DAVID S. NIVISON

DAVID S. NIVISON

David S. Nivison, 91 years old, and a resident of Los Altos, California since 1952, died Oct. 16, 2014 at home.  His neighbors had recently honored him as the “Mayor of Russell Ave., in recognition of 62 years of distinguished living” on that ...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

ECYS opens season Sunday

ECYS opens season Sunday


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
The El Camino Youth Symphony rehearses for Sunday’s concert, above.

The El Camino Youth Symphony – under new conductor Jindong Cai – is scheduled to perform its season-opening concert 4 p.m....

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Spiritual Life

Christian Science Reading Room hosts webinar on prayer and healing

Christian Science practitioner and teacher Evan Mehlenbacher is scheduled to present a live Internet webinar lecture, “Prayer That Heals,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Christian Science Reading Room, 60 Main St., Los Altos.

Those interested ...

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Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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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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