Archive of Linda Hubbard Gulker

Linda Hubbard Gulker first moved to Menlo Park a really long time ago (long enough that she started kindergarten at Hillview School and graduated there from 8th grade in the days it was a K-8). Following her four years at Menlo-Atherton High School, she went “SoCal” to attend UCLA and stayed too long in the Southland. She moved back to Menlo Park 20 years ago to find some things had changed – and some things remained the same. When she’s not blogging or taking snapshots for InMenlo, she’s jogging the Dish or other nearby hills.

has written 2753 article(s) for InMenlo.


Sunset Garden Editor Kathleen Norris Brenzel

Editor’s note: On June 6-7, the last Celebration Weekend will be held at Sunset Magazine’s iconic Cliff May-designed offices in Menlo Park. Last December, the magazine’s owner, Time Inc., announced that it had sold the seven-acre campus of  gardens and 1950s ranch-style buildings to Embarcadero Capital Partners, a San Francisco real estate investment and management company. The location of the magazine’s new offices has not been announced. We stopped by to talk to two of the editors key to the weekend, Garden Editor Kathleen Norris Brenzel and Food Editor Margo True.

Sunset Garden Editor Kathleen Norris Brenzel has known no other employer nor office space. She landed at the magazine immediately after graduating from college, working first in the art department before being named Garden Editor in 1982. “This is where I always wanted to work,” she said.

Kathy, as she is known, has overseen hundreds of projects from idea to print and watched all kinds of vegetation take root and grow. But she says her prime joy is connecting people from all over the world who are avid gardeners.

“They’ve run the gamut from European royalty to a landscape architect from Japan who was just discovering the gardens of the American West,” she said. “There seems to be a common bond.”

The Sunset gardens have long been a prime destination for gardening enthusiasts. They were originally designed by Thomas Church, the dean of Western landscape architects. Chris Jacobson and Beverly Sarjeant oversaw a renovation in 2000 but kept much of the original border, with distinct areas representing the major climate zones of the West. Self-guiding walking tours are available between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday (except during the two weeks leading up to Celebration Weekend).

Among the particularly highlights at this year’s Celebration Weekend is a pocket garden with permeable paving that lets water through it, as well as a landscape design by Kathy’s colleagues Johnna Silver and Lauren Dunec Hoang that’s “low water, high design.” It draws inspiration from Zen gardens and takes into account the local, dry Mediterranean climate

Kathy herself is an avid home gardener. The Menlo Park resident says she likes to “go with nature.” “We have Redwood across the back and a Mediterranean border as well as raised vegetable beds. It’s a wildlife garden. We have lots of critters.”

We couldn’t leave our visit with Kathy without one practical takeaway for our own gardens. When photographer Irene Searles expressed dismay that the squirrels were eating the fruit from her backyard trees, Kathy suggested using old panty hose to wrap around the ripening fruit. “It looks silly but really works!” she said.

Photo by Irene Searles

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Amy DuBose stars as Eva Perón in the Stanford TAPS production of EVITA

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We’d journeyed over to the Stanford campus to interview Amy DuBose, a senior who grew up in Menlo Park, attending grade school in the Los Lomitas District and high school at Sacred Heart Prep. We’d heard that she was starring in the Stanford Theater & Performance Studies (TAPS) production of EVITA. Given that artistic pursuit, we were […]

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Memorial Day gains new meaning after visiting Normandy beaches

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In April, we visited the invasion beaches in Normandy for the first time. On a trip that featured sunny skies and unseasonably warm temperatures throughout, it rained. That seemed fitting. Those of us who grew up in Menlo Park in the 50s and 60s shared a common bond. Almost all of our fathers had served in World […]

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Brian Van Dyck directs curriculum at Embark Labs summer program for kids and teens

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By his count, middle school teacher Brian Van Dyck has taught 5,000 students about computer science over the past 20 years.  He’s currently doing so at La Entrada Middle School in Menlo Park where he offers Innovative Computing Experience as an after school academic credited course. This summer he’ll be offering classes through Embark Labs […]

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Marissa Muller takes off on cross country trip riding a solar-powered electric bike

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Sacred Heart Prep grad Marissa Muller started her professional career as a journalist at CNN before taking a hard right turn and working for companies focused on sustainability. As she embarks from Southern California on Thursday atop a solar-charged electric bike on a cross-country trip — which she will be chronicling along the way — you could conclude she’s […]

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Supporting a CSA prompted Gudrun Enger to try new vegetables and start food blog

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Gudrun Enger first became acquainted with Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) thanks to her Menlo Park neighbor, author and chef Donia Bijan. “She sent me an email about Two Small Farms starting a CSA,” she said. “I signed up and would go to Stanford West on Sand Hill to pick up my weekly box.” “One day […]

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USGS evening public lecture on May 21 focuses on forecasting California earthquakes

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Breaking Badly: Forecasting California Earthquakes is the title of the May 21st USGS public lecture to be given by Morgan Page, USGS Research Geophysicist. He’ll cover: Scientists cannot currently predict the precise time, location, and size of future damaging earthquakes. Historical records of earthquakes in California date back over 150 years. Geologist have dug trenches to extend the […]

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Menlo Park Pilates teacher Lisa Burnett shines at Sonoma Horse Show

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The people who take Pilates from Menlo Park resident Lisa Burnett know that she is also a devoted equestrian. This past weekend she teamed with her trainers’ medium-sized pony, Stanley, as entrants in the Sonoma Horse Show. She emails: “I train at Strideway Barn in Portola Valley, owned by Nancy Hey and assistant trainer Erin Peterson [pictured above […]

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Little Kids Rock holds its inaugural Family Jam fundraiser at Facebook in Menlo Park

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Little Kids Rock held its inaugural Family Jam fundraiser at Facebook in Menlo Park  this afternoon (May 16), honoring Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers with the “Livin’ The Dream Award” in memory of Chef Josef Desimone, who was instrumental in bringing other Little Kids Rock events to the social media company’s headquarters. The chef component […]

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Bidding a fond farewell – and hearty thanks – to Oak Knoll School principal David Ackerman

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Wandering over to Oak Knoll School late this afternoon, we encountered a youngster sitting on the perimeter of the festivity surrounding the retirement of the school’s principal, David Ackerman. “Why was she there?” we asked. “Because he’s the best principal ever,” she replied. “He told my parents that he wouldn’t retire until I was in 5th grade, […]

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Peter Benjaminson got his start in journalism at Menlo-Atherton High School

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Author and journalist Peter Benjaminson remembers the journalism room at Menlo-Atherton High School well. “There was a wall of glass between the classroom and the Bear Tracks [name of newspaper] office,” he said. “Charlie Mendoza was the teacher/advisor and how he handled the class and the paper impressed me. “One time when I was editor […]

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