Preparing your home for hosting the holidays

With the holidays here, it’s time to prepare your home for hosting friends and family.

Los Altos Hills home intrigues with sculptural dwellings

Courtesy of Cheng Design
The concrete and redwood home of Sudnya Shroff, an artist and fashion designer, and Nickhil Jakatdar, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, features roofs slanted so that rainwater will collect in cisterns.

Masterpiece: a work of outstanding artistry, skill or workmanship.

This definition perfectly describes the Los Altos Hills home built by Sudnya Shroff, an artist and fashion designer, and husband Nickhil Jakatdar, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur.

Fall reading for plant lovers

Kate Marianchild’s “Secrets of the Oak Woodlands” includes a chapter on plants like toyon, right, that are often seen in oak habitats. As toyon berries ripen, they become palatable, encouraging animals to eat the pulp and disperse the indigestible seeds. Tanya Kucak/ Special to the Town Crier

One of the best reasons for growing native plants is to support the community of critters that come to rely on the plants. You may start to notice which plants like to grow together, which pollinators visit particular plants and how birds interact in your garden.

It’s fun to observe closely and discover things in your own garden, but did you also wonder how these interactions play out in the wild?

Get your pantry in shape for the holidays

Courtesy of Amanda Kuzak
Roll-out shelving allows maximal use of cabinet space, ensuring that no snack goes to waste.

Pumpkin spice is in the air, which means holiday baking and entertaining is just around the corner. Now is the time to overhaul your stale space so that you can spend less time at the grocery store and more time creating memorable meals and treats.

Our goal at Kuzak’s Closet is for pantries to feel and function like a boutique grocery store. Whether you have a walk-in pantry or a small cabinet in your kitchen to store your staples, follow our top 10 tips to refresh and refuel.

Gamble Garden hosts children's events

The Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden, a 2.5-acre property in Palo Alto featuring herb and rose gardens and a historical house, has scheduled two events for children.

• November Second Saturday, 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 10. Activities will include a nature hunt for critters with Garden Director Richard Hayden and Garden Guides, a worm measuring contest, crafts and tours of the Gamble Garden House, built circa 1902. All ages are welcome, but the event is ideal for ages 3-10. Admission is free, but registration is required.

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