Fri08012014

Your Home

Long live the lawn: Los Altos native offers drought-resistant strategies


Bill Steiner’s grass is green, left, even amid the drought. He followed Max Todd’s water and maintainence instructions after having his lawn aerated, Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

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Plant placement is important


Courtesy of Mary Dateo
The tree species pictured above and below make great 40-foot trees but not such great foundation plants.

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Artist's downsizing sparks creativity


Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Suzanne Barnett, above, a resident at The Forum, turned a bedroom into a workshop and office. Barnett’s home, left, features eclectic furnishings, including a mannequin whose dress is made of eyeglass lenses, below left, and a see-through, hand-painted side table with bracelets for the legs, below. Her collection of “assemblage art” covers her unit at The Forum, bottom left, proving that downsizing did not stifle her creativity.

Artist and TV host Suzanne Barnett has produced 1,200 shows for KMVT over the years, but perhaps she should have a camera focused on the new home she created for herself at The Forum Retirement Community in Cupertino.

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How to keep your home safe this summer

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Replace your lawn and create memory-making spaces


Mary Dateo/Special to the Town Crier
Weeping Santa Rosa Plum, dwarf Nectarine, Woodland Strawberries and herbs add beauty to the garden as well as food.

Several years ago, a cousin who lives near Cannes surprised me by serving an al fresco breakfast on her patio. That became one of my favorite memories of France and inspired me to steal some space from my lawn to expand the dining area in my yard to give family and friends a similar treat. Many of my houseguests have since told me that our al fresco meal was one of the things they most remember from their stay.

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Buckwheats: Iconic plant of the West


Tanya Kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Buckwheats are always alive with pollinators and beneficial insects. These plants can range from compact cushions under a foot high to imposing 7-foot-high shrubs.

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Manzanitas: The bones of the garden


Tanya Kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Proper pruning reveals the sinuous branching structure and beautiful bark of larger manzanitas.

You don’t need to prune manzanitas, according to landscape designer Pete Veilleux, but if you do, you can reveal the spectacular mahogany bark and sculptural branch structure. If you plant a manzanita near a path or driveway, carefully prune each branch that grows toward the path. That way, you can create a clear view of the structure from the path while maintaining the leafy cover and hummingbird-attracting flowers on the other sides of the shrub.

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