Prioritize emergency preparedness at home in the new year

At the end of the year, families and friends often gather for meals and holiday celebrations. Show them your love by helping them stay safe and prepare for the new year.

The following safety tips emphasize the importance of prevention and planning.

Matriarch and her granddaughters sell plants for charity

Courtesy of Jen Yan
Lorilei Yan, Adelyn Segalla and Cora Yan, from left, raised money for The Nature Conservancy with their grandmother, Carolyn Segalla, by selling plants. The family sold approximately 100 small plants and donated $150.

Mountain View resident and grandmother Carolyn Segalla turned her love for her granddaughters and gardening into service by selling plants and clippings to raise money for The Nature Conservancy.

Preparing your home for hosting the holidays

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

The ephemeral beauty of bulbs

Courtesy of Tanya Kucak
Bulbs can have a dramatic but ephemeral garden presence – whether one clusters them to fill a large area or gets a delightful surprise when forgotten bulbs suddenly re-emerge.

Growing up in New Jersey, I knew one diligent gardener: my Aunt Betty. Much of her acre or two had dappled shade from enormous beech and tulip trees, but in the spring, a carpet of flowers filled an area almost the size of a typical suburban California yard. Starting with a few bulbs, she had divided and spread them out until the entire area began to be “painted” with color as the snow melted.

Clean it up: How to make a small bathroom feel luxurious

bathroom remodel
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
A newly remodeled bathroom features two sinks, “floating” cabinets and a mosaic wall of tiles in the shower. The shower is wheelchair accessible because it’s curbless, and the clear glass makes the room feel bright and spacious.

When Caryn Wiseman steps into the master bath in the Mountain View home she shares with husband Ben, she said she feels like she’s in a “high-end hotel.”

This is thanks to the expertise of Los Altos interior designer Sherry Scott, Cassalto’s vice president of design, who’s responsible for the bathroom’s new look.

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?

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