Last updateTue, 25 Oct 2016 5pm

New book unlocks the key to identifying manzanitas

Tanya Kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Santa Cruz Manzanita boasts boat-shaped leaves and sticky, depressed- globose fruit. In general, you can find a few fruit year-round on most manzanitas, even though the fruit is seasonally abundant and eaten by lots of wildlife.

Plant nerds, rejoice! Gardeners who hike and who favor local natives will welcome a new book devoted to “nature’s shrubby rock stars.”

Orange decor galore: Two Los Altos neighborhoods bring Halloween to life

Megan V. WInslow/Town Crier
A family on University Avenue, above, prepares for Halloween with a scary skeleton hanging from their porch, left. Homes in the Orange and University avenues neighborhood have been decorating their homes for trick- or-treaters for decades.

This is a tale of two Los Altos neighborhoods that attract hordes of trick-or-treaters on Halloween. One is old, the other fairly new.

The oldie but goodie is Orange and University avenues in old Los Altos, where orange decor and pumpkins galore herald the advent of All Hallows’ Eve.

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.

Filoli hosts annual Holiday Traditions fundraising boutique

The historic Filoli estate in Woodside transforms into a “Holiday Jewel” for its annual Holiday Traditions fundraising boutique, scheduled Nov. 27 through Dec. 5.

Filoli’s annual nine-day Holiday Traditions fundraising event is scheduled Nov. 27 through Dec. 5.

With this year’s theme, “Filoli – A Holiday Jewel,” the rooms on the first floor of the historic house and Visitor & Education Center will be transformed into a seasonal showcase with unique decorations, festive music and the Holiday Boutique. Local choral and performing groups and musicians will add ambience throughout the event.

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.

Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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