GreenTown Los Altos

Still a Good Idea


Apr 2018


by Gary Hedden and Linda Ziff

Drought-tolerant landscaping looks good and it’s still a good idea. GreenTown Los Altos led a walking and biking tour April 21 in the Dos Palos neighborhood to learn all about it. The walking group came from the Terraces at Los Altos and included several other guests.

The first stop was at Linda Ziff’s. She is our water lead and has a well-established drought-tolerant yard. She switched from regular spray heads to high water efficient heads last year and received a rebate from the Santa Clara Valley Water District. Her favorite part? “The yard takes care of itself.”

Our second stop was at Eric Cox’s home. Prior to installing his new yard, he carefully measured his water use and found that the lawn was taking 2/3 of it. That was all he needed to know! Out with the lawn and in with attractive new plants. An added bonus is that the gardening is much less work and uses little fertilizer so his gardener charges less money. That’s a pretty nice arrangement.

Our next stop was Emily Thacker’s. We visited her yard two years ago when it was brand new. Now it has filled in and it looks great. We especially like the rocky bio-swale that helps capture storm water.

Two houses had yards planned by landscape designer Debby Ruskin. Debby is knowledgeable, generous with her time, and we all enjoyed hearing her words of wisdom.

The final stop was at Santa Rita’s Living Classroom garden. This program began at Oak school and is now at 23 schools. It gets kids started with gardening, connects to their school programs and builds an appreciation for the natural world.

GreenTown certainly approves of that!

~Gary Hedden and Linda Ziff


Linda Ziff and Gary Hedden led the walking and biking tours.


Linda Ziff describing good water management, “slow it, spread it, sink it,” to the group.


Debby Ruskin explaining good landscape design Neelima Bandla taking notes.

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