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Architectural anomaly: Modern home stands out among cottages on Orange Avenue

Photos Megan V. WInslow/Town Crier
The one-and-a-half story stucco home on Orange Avenue, above, uses, clockwise from below right, submerged courtyards and stairs traversing multiple levels to add living space to its ground floor kitchen and living room. White decor and clean lines are interior design elements seen throughout the rooms in the home.

Anyone would be “cowed” writing about this house on Orange Avenue in Los Altos.

To begin with, there’s a life-size fiberglass cow in the newly landscaped, drought-tolerant front yard.


There oughta be a law about water-wise landscaping

Tanya Kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Use rocks around succulents and other plants that naturally grow in rocky areas. Never put rocks at the base of trees and shrubs – they are too heavy and get too hot for the roots.

Julie Montanari switched careers from banking to landscape design because of water. She said she wanted to promote landscaping “in a way that’s more sensible for the California climate.”

In a recent presentation before a Gardening with Natives group, she discussed the dire water situation in California and how to landscape in a way that’s compatible with the climate.


Star-spangled manor: Orange Avenue home boasts Americana theme

Megan V. WInslow/Town Crier
Los Altos resident Pinky Whelan’s Orange Avenue home features a patriotic theme, evident in her living room decor, her historical collections and displays and her welcoming entrance.

Let’s hear it for the red, white and blue.

And, for Pinky Whelan, too!


High-tech house: Los Altos Hills showplace boasts innovative features

Sana Khader/Town Crier
Simon Yiu and his family built a house in Los Altos Hills, above, with family gatherings in mind.

Filial piety, the core value of China’s ancient sage Confucius, led to a modern masterpiece on Elena Road in Los Altos Hills.


Artful organization can minimize household clutter

Courtesy of Amanda Kuzak
Organization can quell chaos in any room as this craft room project can attest.

Now that school’s out for summer, you’ve got time to tackle those fabulous craft masterpieces lingering on the patio, and more daylight hours to tackle that do-it-yourself project you’ve been shaping on Pinterest.


Water wisdom: No-fuss gardening with zero irrigation

Tanya Kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Pozo Blue salvias attract a multitude of pollinators.

Heather Lattanzi got interested in California native plants five or six years ago because she wanted to save water and didn’t want to work too hard.


Mixing greywater and native plants

Tanya Kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Western mock orange likes rich soil. This large shrub can take infrequent watering, but it also thrives with moderate watering provided by greywater. It blooms profusely with fragrant white flowers from late spring to early summer.

Don’t you wish you could reuse some of your shower and laundry water to keep your landscape greener? Collectively, this excess water is known as greywater, and the idea is so popular that the Santa Clara Valley Water District offers a rebate for laundry to landscape (L2L) greywater installations.


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