Last updateWed, 27 Jul 2016 10am

Filoli offers free admission to military personnel

Town Crier File Photo
Filoli invites military personnel to tour the estate and grounds at no charge as part of the Blue Star Museums program.

Filoli estate in Woodside is one of more than 2,000 museums and cultural institutions in the U.S. that will offer free admission to active-duty military personnel and their families this summer in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families and the Department of Defense.

Function meets beauty: Punctuation of color sets Los Altos Hills home apart

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Karen Talmadge and John Fiddes remodeled their Los Altos Hills home with a modern flair and pops of bold color.

Karen Talmadge and John Fiddes have brought their kitchen into the “modern” world – in the true sense of the word.

“We have lots of toys,” she said of the sleek remodeled kitchen in their Los Altos Hills home. “It’s now functional and integrated into the social life of the house.”

Native sods serve as drought-conscious solution

Tanya Kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Native grasses create billowy meadows that feel soft underfoot. Let the grasses flower and go to seed, marking the turn of the seasons and attracting pollinators. Their deep roots build soil and foster a diverse community of soil fauna.

The longer the drought goes on, the more sense it makes to question lawns in our summer-dry climate.

Pruning natives properly enhances beauty of the garden

Tanya Kucak/Special to the Town Crier
If monkeyflower branches grow too long, you can reduce them to 6 inches long in the winter. The semiwoody shrubs are prone to flopping over or getting too leggy if they get too much shade or water.

Proper pruning can make your native garden more appealing, according to landscape designer Patricia Evans, who spoke to a group of native-gardening enthusiasts in Los Altos this month.

Home Brief

Master Gardeners host table at Mtn. View Arbor Day event

The UC Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County are slated to participate in the annual Mountain View Arbor Day Festival, scheduled 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 12 at Rengstorff Park, 201 S. Rengstorff Ave.

Master Gardeners will be on hand to host an information table and children’s activities.

Residents highlight Eichler attributes while trying to create historic district

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Eichler homes, like that of Tracy Gibbons, feature glass walls, post-and-beam construction, open floor plans and A-frame roofs.

Visionary developer Joseph Eichler and dentist Barry Gordon would sit in the courtyard of Gordon’s Los Altos home, smoke cigars and talk mid-century architecture.

“Barry was a frustrated architect,’’ Margot Gordon said of her late husband. “He just loved to talk to Joe.”

Bay Area home sharing the new norm as housing costs soar

An-Li Herring/Peninsula Press
Mountain View High School teacher Nicole Higley, left, chats with colleague and roommate Evan Smith in their Mountain View apartment after school last month. Higley and Smith decided to find an apartment together after confronting the steep cost of living in Silicon Valley.

Nicole Higley couldn’t afford to rent her own apartment when she began teaching Japanese at Mountain View High School three years ago. So she did what many other Bay Area residents are doing: look for a roommate.

Evan Smith, who has taught math at Mountain View High for 13 years, meanwhile, was looking for an apartment at the same time. Although he owns a house in Santa Clara, he had leased it for a reduced price to a family of five, choosing to rent an apartment until the family’s three children finish elementary school. During a coffee break one day at school, Smith and Higley decided to find housing together, and they now rent a two-bedroom apartment in Mountain View for $2,495.

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