Migrating monarchs: Terraces at Los Altos residents offer refuge with native garden

Zoe Morgan/Town Crier
Gary Cooper inspects a Cleveland sage plant in the new butterfly garden at The Terraces at Los Altos. Cooper, along with Bill Fanning and Claire Taylor, recently created the garden.

Every so often, there’s an uproar from Los Altos residents about flight paths over the area. But there’s one flight path no one will complain about – that of the monarch butterfly.

In fact, residents of The Terraces at Los Altos are providing a small reprieve for the butterflies on the insects’ 2,000-mile journey to Mexico.

Not your mother's wallpaper

Courtesy of Amy Kopp
Wallpaper can change the energy in a room, whether it features a more subtle pattern or a bold design.

When I started in the interior design business, wallcoverings had been making a comeback for several years. I remember showing grasscloth samples to a client, hoping to transform her ordinary dining room into something fabulous.

She mentioned her parents had just stripped grasscloth from the den they had papered in the 1970s, feeling it was dated. It took a lot to convince her that she’d love the look, and the paper would feel fresh and current.

Wollerton Old Hall rose is a fragrant highlight

Julia Isaac/Special to the Town Crier
The Wollerton Old Hall rose is one of the most fragrant of all English roses.

I still remember the moment I received an email last December from rose breeder David Austin’s family and learned that Austin had just passed away peacefully in his home at age 92.

A rose expert, Austin is to thank for bringing beauty to gardens worldwide. He bred more than 200 modern roses and is internationally known for his new types of fragrant, full-bodied English modern roses. He was named a “Great Rosarian of the World” in 2010.

Native habitat's ripple effect

Tanya Kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Manzanitas bloom in winter, offering pollen and nectar for early-emerging bumblebees. They offer leaves for larvae as well, and support a wide range of pollinators, including butterflies.

If you’re frustrated by habitat loss and climate change, and wonder if there’s anything you can do about it, there is – you can create habitat.

Plant native plants that support native pollinators, beneficial insects and birds in your neighborhood.

LA's oldest home serves as setting for garden party

Photos by Megan V. Winslow/ Town Crier
The Winchester-Merriman House on Edgewood Lane in Los Altos is the oldest house in the city, built by Sarah Winchester, of Winchester Mystery House fame, for her sister Isabelle Merriman. The home’s new owners will host a garden party on the property June 14, a benefit for the Los Altos History Museum.

The historical Winchester-Merriman House on Edgewood Lane in Los Altos is the perfect backdrop for a special garden party incorporating history and mystery.

Enormous oaks, perhaps dating to when the native Ohlones lived in the area, shelter the lush grounds, which will be the site of a June 14 fundraiser for the Los Altos History Museum.

The value of craftsmanship

Lauren Edith Anderson/ Special To The Town Crier
“Jean-Louis Denoit: Interiors” shows examples of Denoit’s modern French design style.

Part of what I love about interior design is the handmade touch designers can bring into spaces.

My design team and I recently enjoyed listening to two keynote speakers, one from England and one from France, at the San Francisco Design Center. The presentations and their differing styles reminded me of going to Europe for the first time and experiencing the opulence of Versailles and the charm of Hampton Court. They are both magnificent palaces, but the styles were so very different.

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