How one couple transformed their garden into a drought-tolerant oasis

Photo by Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos residents Sally Meadows and Ian Massey transformed their yard by incorporating drought-tolerant plants.

The drought-tolerant garden at Sally Meadows and Ian Massey’s Los Altos home evokes crooner Jewel Akens’ oldie but goodie: "Let me tell ya 'bout the birds and the bees, and the flowers and the trees."

When the couple moved into their home 15 years ago, it had a conventional front yard - notably a large lawn - shaded on one corner by a big oak. And because they like to garden, they planted flowers, shrubs and trees. Meadows even enjoys pulling weeds.

It’s getting warmer: Creating a garden that fights back againstclimate change

Courtesty of Tanya Kucak
Globe gilia, which offers both pollen and nectar, attracts honey bees, green sweat bees and mining bees.

Is your landscape a carbon source or a carbon sink, and why does it matter? Which gardening practices will help your landscape stay healthy and make your home and garden more comfortable as warmer summers and more unpredictable weather patterns continue? How can you help birds and pollinators as well?

Time to choose: Move, remodel or build?

Courtesy of Janet Guerriero
Design-build firms house architects and construction together to offer a more accurate cost estimate.

In these days of ever-increasing Bay Area real estate prices, homeowners ask me this question on a weekly basis: Should I move, remodel or build a new home?

Duo from Los Altos creates clothing, jewelry

COurtesy of Lindy Lopez
Los Altos residents Lindy Lopez, left, and Erandeny Torres co-own 7Hands Design, which creates clothing and jewelry.

The Los Altos-based 7Hands Design creates clothing and jewelry described on its website as "traditional with a modern twist."

Lindy Lopez, who co-owns the business with Erandeny Torres, is participating in the Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival for the first time this year.

An interview with Lopez follows.

MV artist specializes in painting animals

Courtesy of Patrick Hobbie
Patrick Hobbie of Mountain View stands in front of a wall of his paintings. His work will be on display at the festival.

Local artist Patrick Hobbie, who is showcasing his work at the Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival for the first time, specializes in ink and watercolor paintings. His subjects are mostly animals, ranging from cats to elephants.

Hobbie defines art as "anything that makes you feel something," and his intent for his work is to "inspire and maybe make our lives a little more beautiful." The Mountain View resident draws his inspiration from the idea of contrasts - for example, the juxtaposition of light and dark.

He used to paint human subjects and inanimate objects, but Hobbie was inspired to paint more animal subjects after his daughter was born. He said his daughter’s "face lit up" upon seeing one of his giraffe paintings, which motivated him to do more.

"I’ve found animals to be such a rewarding subject to paint," he said. "The connection that people have with animals is really powerful."

Art has been a part of Hobbie’s life since he was young. His mother, an oil painter, taught him basic painting techniques, and his father, a professional photographer, taught him about composition. Hobbie has no formal training - he is completely self-taught. He said he never made a conscious decision to become a professional artist, but art has always been his passion.

In recent years, he’s found more and more work as an artist.

"The Bay Area has been really good for my growth," said Hobbie, who moved to the area approximately two years ago.

He plans to keep himself busy this summer by working an event almost every weekend to share his art with as many people as possible.

At the festival, Hobbie is selling framed prints of his artwork as well as some framed originals. Alongside his most popular prints, he is displaying new pieces.

For more information, visit s

Local teen band to perform Sunday: Ana and the MRI set to hit the Community Plaza Stage

Courtesy of Ana and the MRI
Ana and the MRI – featuring Mountain View High School students Isabella Scotti, from left, Melissa Pinkner and Rachel Owstrowski – is scheduled to perform at the festival for the first time.

Local band Ana and the MRI is scheduled to perform at the Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival noon to 1:30 p.m. Sunday on the Community Plaza Stage.

The indie-folk band, comprised of Mountain View High School seniors, came up with its unusual name by accident - or because of one. Band members Melissa Pinkner, Rachel Owstrowski and Isabella Scotti said they had been struggling to choose a name for months after deciding to form a band in January 2017.

SpecialtyMagazines advertise


The Town Crier publishes six different glossy magazines throughout the year that are inserted into the newspaper.

You can view the latest magazine as a PDF here or explore our archive of past issues. 


Our magazines include:

  • Camps (1/31)
  • Family Spotlight (2/28)
  • Living in Los Altos (3/28 & 9/26)
  • Home & Garden (4/25 & 8/29)
  • Senior Lifestyles (5/23)
  • Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival Magazine (7/11)
  • Home for the Holidays (11/14)

To advertise, contact our sales department by calling (650) 948-9000 or email

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