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INSIDE: N Classified Marketplace, page 51 N Puzzles, page 52 Home Front TREE TROUBLES? ... Before resorting to Small Claims Court, or just being miserable, check out the Canopy website for information about neighbors’ trees that impact your property. The Q&A section covers such questions as: what to do if a neighbor’s protected or unprotected tree overhangs your yard; what to do if a neighbor’s tree is damaging your property; who should pay for professional trimming; whose tree is it, if it’s on the property line? Information: www.canopy. org/pages/about-trees/trees-inpalo-alto/neighbor-tree-issues. php#Neighbor_tree_damage. Another resource is Palo Alto Mediation Program, at 650-856-4062 or home.html. (continued on page 37) lin e at w w w .P al o Al to On lin e. co m Opening up the garden Courtesy Astrid Gaiser LANDSCAPE DESIGNERS MAKE GARDENS ACCESSIBLE FOR ALL by Katia Savchuk Astrid Gaiser’s adaptations to her own garden included planting in deep tubs that her husband, John Gaiser, who uses a wheelchair, could easily reach, use of side tables for his tools and addition of a low-rise double chaise where he can recline after gardening. Right, a blonde shade of decomposed granite, called “fines,” allows for a smooth wheelchair ride. M arketing executiveturned-landscape designer Astrid Gaiser has plenty of experience catering to client needs, but nothing prepared her for the challenge she would face in her own backyard. Two years ago, her husband, John Gaiser, a systems engineer, became paraplegic after suffering a spinal-cord injury. He was an avid gardener, and — once immediate concerns were settled — she set out to make their MountainView garden accessible to her husband, now a wheelchair-user. The solutions she devised have made their way into her designs for three other wheelchair-friendly gardens in the Bay Area. “In principle, it’s the same every time,” Gaiser said. “Give more flat space.” That was the first step she took on her own plot, a whimsical, tropical-inspired garden with plenty of open space. She gave the front yard a full makeover, widening paths to 4 feet, removing stepping stones and gravel and flattening uneven mounds. To return a relaxed ambiance to the triangular yard, she superimposed a half-circle on the ground and added a recirculating ceramic fountain in the center, with two comfortable chairs along the wall. “This is combining accessibility with good design,” she said. In place of gravel, which swallows wheels, Gaiser installed decomposed granite, or “fines,” to create a smooth ride. She used a blonde hue that resembles gravel, but the material also comes in a compacted form and shades such as dessert rose and charcoal grey. For groundcover, Gaiser also recommends standard bark mulch and drivable grass, which consists of a grass grid lining a lattice of concrete squares. To help her husband resume gardening, Gaiser planted everything from New Zealand flax to Chinese windmill palms in over-sized ceramic pots. He can rest tools on one of several lightweight metal side tables and tend to the plants on his own. “Helping to get independence back is really a super-important thing,” she said. “We had to go through a whole learning process. ... It’s more in your brain than a Veronica Weber SUNSET’S DREAM HOUSE ... is open weekends through Aug. 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets (cash only) are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors (65+ on Fridays only) and $5 for children 12 and under. The 1920s Mediterranean bunga- on Courtesy Astrid Gaiser WREATHS FROM SUCCULENTS ... Robin Stockwell will teach a class on “Succulent Wreath Making” on Wednesday, Aug. 11, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Filoli, 86 Cañada Road, Woodside. Students will learn to turn the eclectic sizes, shapes and colors of succulents into eye-catching wreaths. Most will not complete their wreath in class, but will have the materials and skills to do so at home. Fee, which is $125 for nonmembers and $105 for members, includes materials to produce one 12-inch wreath. Information: 650364-8300 or so Courtesy Astrid Gaiser PLANT FOR FALL ... UC Master Gardeners will offer a free workshop on planting fall vegetables on Saturday, Aug. 7, from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Palo Alto Demonstration Garden, Eleanor Pardee Park, 851 Center Drive, Palo Alto. The class will cover planning the garden, best fall plantings (including broccoli and cauliflower) and starting from seed. After the workshop, visitors may tour the Water Wise and Edibles gardens, which incorporate native and low-water Mediterranean plants. Information: Master Gardeners at 408-282-3105, between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday or http://mastergardeners. org. Al E M 44 HO GE EN PA OP DE, I GU HOME & REAL ESTATE PA L O A LT O W E E K LY (continued on page 35) *>œÊÌœÊ7iiŽÞÊUÊÕ}ÕÃÌÊÈ]ÊÓä£äÊU Page 33

Palo Alto Weekly 08.06.2010 - Section 2

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