Neighbors shelter, garden in place to beautify entrance

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Courtesy of William Dolan
Neighbors on Woodstock Lane beautify the entrance to their Los Altos street last month.

Woodstock Lane resident William Dolan and his neighbors grew tired of what they saw as neglected city-owned property at the entrance to their 12-home neighborhood.
“I have been living on the street for 43 years,” Dolan said. “Despite several attempts, we never could get anyone interested in making the … property look better.”


“We started talking amongst each other, and we all agreed that we should do it ourselves and that we would all share in the cost,” he said.

Dolan said one of his sons last month spent “many evenings removing all the weeds and 4-inch-thick roots of jasmine … and then hauled eight pickup loads of mulch” to the site.

His son also reactivated a sprinkler system for the existing trees, according to Dolan, and “brought them back to life.”

They came up with their own landscaping plan, featuring contrasting colors and drought-tolerant plants. Neighbors purchased a couple of crepe myrtle trees as their “centerpieces,” Dolan reported. Also part of the plan: reddish-pink bougainvillea, fire-red loropetalum and some evergreen bushes. Neighbors all met last month, adhering to social distancing, to tame the rock-hard soil and plant their selections.

A block party ensued to celebrate the landscaping achievement.

“Through this experience and others, we have gotten to know each other and found out what a great bunch of generous, fun and helpful people we have been sheltering in place with,” Dolan said. “Now we have to find someone who works for the city to approve our work and properly hook us up to a sprinkler system.”

Manny Hernandez, Los Altos public works director, said his department is working on it.

“They worked with our parks supervisor to plan the landscaping that they were going to plant,” he said of the Woodstock Lane neighbors. “We are taking care of the irrigation setup.”

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