Native plants: Botanical fireworks light up the garden

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Tanya Kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Light bounces dramatically off the finely textured flowering stems of purple three-awn.

For the most part, ornamental grasses are the introverts of the gardening world. It’s easy to overlook their quiet presence, but at certain times, in certain lights, they command attention.

By Design: Interior designer highlights decorating trends for 2020

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Lauren Edith Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
According to interior designer Celeste Randolph, blue was especially hot in all forms, in fashion, home design and elsewhere last year, and it is here to stay in 2020. But the trend is toward a moodier, muddier, darker blue.

As we start a new year, I like to explore and study current decorating and design trends. We like a timeless home, but we also want it to feel fresh. Adopting some of these trends can be a fun way to make your home feel renewed and bring fresh energy for 2020.

Native Plants: How to re-oak your neighborhood

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Tanya Kucak/Special to the Town Crier
This mature coast live oak at a botanic garden in Southern California shows the sculptural branching patterns.

California’s native oaks have always evoked the feeling of “home” for me, even though I spent my first quarter-century well east of the Sierra Nevada. From afar, I appreciate the muscular, sculptural beauty of coast live oaks. Up close, I love the multitude of birds and other critters that are drawn to the trees.

Coming Up Roses: Pretty purple rose boasts heavenly fragrance

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Julia Isaac/Special to the Town Crier
The color of Ebb Tide roses changes in response to temperature and light. In the early spring and late fall, when the temperature is cooler, the flower is a deep, smoky purple. In the hot summer, it transforms into a violet-red.

I want to introduce a beautiful purple rose called the Ebb Tide. Ebb Tide may be the deepest, darkest, most scrumptious purple rose I’ve ever seen. If you love purple roses, this is certainly one for your collection.

Top trends: Designer reveals what’s hot in kitchen renovations

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Courtesy of Viscusi Elson Interior Design & Rutt Kitchens
A white kitchen provides a neutral backdrop for both bright and subtle colors and earth tones, said Gina Viscusi Elson, owner of Viscusi Elson Interior Design & Rutt Kitchens of Los Altos.

Kitchens have been on overdrive since Thanksgiving, with Christmas Day, perhaps, being the swan song for an outdated or dysfunctional one – that is, if Santa got the message.

By Design: Seamlessly incorporating heirlooms into your home

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Celeste Randolph/Special to the Town Crier
Displaying heirlooms in a home can make the space feel unique, special and authentic.

“Anyone may have diamonds: an heirloom is an ornament of quite a different kind.” – Elizabeth Aston

In 1932, George Liebenstein gave Maud Taylor a silver tea set engraved with initials “MTL” to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. More than eight decades later, it sits in our home, reminding us of our family’s past.

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