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INSIDE: N Classified Marketplace, page 47 N Puzzles, page 48 Home Front by Sally Schilling here is a mystical-looking fixture in the front yard of a home in Los Altos. It is comprised of several iron rods that look like tree roots sprouting from a stone pedestal. The iron “rootsâ€? spring upwards to cradle a triangular copper box. Looking at this beautifully mounted box, one would think its purpose was to hold some sort of treasure. In reality, it serves as a residential mailbox. “A mailbox, usually a functional element, became a fun thing,â€? said Diane Hayford, landscape designer for Skyline Design Studio in Palo Alto, who designed the mailbox. “I’ve always been fascinated with everything organic and free-formed, plant-like patterns,â€? Hayford said. She draws inspiration for her designs from what she sees on her bike rides around the area — seeing the way trees grow out of the hillsides as she rides, she said. It is very challenging to recreate these natural forms into a physical form, she said. The mailbox is made from stone, copper and iron atop a pedestal built by a stonemason. Then, Tony Majors, an artistic metalworker, came to the site to create the iron “roots.â€? Majors attached the roots to the pedestal, heated up his torch and allowed for Hayford to do the shaping of the roots. “Iron has enormous flexibility as a material,â€? she said. Wearing insulated gloves, Hayford shaped the iron as Majors heated it. “It was truly a ‘hands-on’ experience,â€? she said. The mailbox became the symbol of the whole landscaping project they had done for this home in Los Altos, she said. T Swirls and dots decorate this mailbox on Campana Drive. Diane Hayford CAMELLIA FAVES ... Nurseryman and hybridizer Tom Nuccio will talk about “Camellia Favorites: Old and Newâ€? at the San Francisco Peninsula Camellia Society meeting on Monday, Jan. 10, at 7 p.m., at the Veterans Memorial Senior Center, Redwood Room, 1455 Madison Ave., Redwood City. Nuccio will discuss rare and recently introduced camellias at the public meeting, which will be followed by a raffle and plant sale. Information: Linda Kancev at 650574-1220. lin e at w w w .P al o Al to On lin e. co m “[Before the project] the mailbox was half-broken and just in on a stick all crooked. People kept backing into it,â€? Hayford said. “It was the last thing we did.â€? Hayford’s mailbox design proves that a simple everyday fixture can become an object of beauty and can even take on a deeper meaning. But transforming a mailbox into a meaningful object does not require the talents of designers. In the Barron Park neighborhood, where rural curbside mailboxes are common, many residents have personalized their mailboxes. And each box has a story behind it. Some of the mailboxes in the neighborhood were gifts and simply add a special touch to the house. David Golick bought a custom mailbox for his parents as a Christmas gift. The mailbox on Encina Grande Drive is a brown dollhouselike mailbox with windows and shutters. Their last name is painted on the front. Golick said it was custommade in the garage of a family home in San Carlos. He found out about these custom mailboxes when he was a real estate appraiser. A little American flag goes up on the house to signal that there is outgoing mail, he said. J. George got her mailbox about 15 years ago as a gift from her daughter-in-law. Her colorful mailbox, on La Donna Avenue, has iris, tulips and buttercups painted on it. (continued on page 39) The basic shape of this Paul Avenue mailbox lent itself to adaptation as a locomotive. Top left, the copper mailbox, above, designed by Diane Hayford of Skyline Design Studio, is an organic sculpture that holds mail. Below left, Judith Wasow used the pique assiette technique to decorate her Barron Park mailbox. Veronica Weber Veronica Weber Send notices of news and events related to real estate, interior design, home improvement and gardening to Home Front, Palo Alto Weekly, P.O. Box 1610, Palo Alto, CA 94302, or e-mail Deadline is Thursday at 5 p.m. on .BJMCPYFTDBONBLFBQFSTPOBM BSUJTUJDTUBUFNFOU TREE WALK ... An arborist will lead a free tree walk through Barron Park on Saturday, Jan. 8, from 10 a.m. to noon. The meeting place is Cornelis Bol Park, near the intersection of Laguna Avenue and Laguna Court. The walk ends with a visit to the Bol Park donkeys. Information: www. ROSE CARE ... Filoli, at 86 CaĂąada Road, Woodside, is offering a couple of classes in its Rose Care Series on Wednesday, Jan. 12: “Pruning and Care: Climbers, Ramblers & Scramblers,â€? from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and “Pruning and Care: Hybrid Tea Roses,â€? from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Cost for each class is $40 for nonmembers, $35 for members. Information: 650-364-8300 or so 'PSN GVODUJPO ÂąBOEBTNJMF Veronica Weber TIME TO PLANT ... Mark House, assistant garden manager at the Ecology Action headquarters in Willits, Calif., will offer two classes, “Seed Propagationâ€? and “DoubleDigging and Bed Preparation,â€? on Saturday, Jan. 8, at Common Ground Education Center, 559 College Ave., Palo Alto. The first class, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., will deal with making healthy flat soil, transplanting and watering. The second, from 2 to 4 p.m., focuses on creating healthy soil and includes a hands-on demonstration at the Common Ground Demonstration Garden. Each class is $31. Information: 650-493-6072 or or http:// doubledigandbedprep.eventbrite. com/. Al E M 44 HO GE EN PA OP IDE, GU HOME & REAL ESTATE PA L O A LT O W E E K LY *>Â?ÂœĂŠÂ?ĂŒÂœĂŠ7iiÂŽÂ?ÞÊUĂŠ>Â˜Ă•>ÀÞÊÇ]ÊÓ䣣ÊU Page 37

Palo Alto Weekly 01.07.2011 - Section 2

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