Real Estate

Home front: Fragrant container gardens, tomato tasting

Also: Stanford researchers explore how smart faucets might help save water

A roundup of local home and garden news and events, including a workshop on fragrant container gardens, and a tomato tasting.

SCENTED CONTAINER GARDEN ... Find out how to plant container garden that fills the late summer air with beautiful fragrance at a free class on Sunday, Sept. 1, 9-9:30 a.m. at SummerWinds Nursery in Palo Alto. Learn which plants will surround your garden with scent and thrive in containers. SummerWinds Nursery is located at 725 San Antonio Road, Palo Alto. Register at or call 650-493-5136.

TOMATO TASTING ... Taste different varieties of tomatoes on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 3-4 p.m. at the O'Donohue Family Stanford Educational Farm. The farm is located at 175 Electioneer Road, Stanford. For more information, visit

SMART FAUCET? ... From stoves to thermostats, just about everything but the kitchen sink has received a "smart" upgrade to help homeowners save resources and time. But Stanford researchers recently released the results of an experiment that gave the humble faucet the smart treatment—or at least emulated it. According to Stanford News, the experiment aimed to discover whether using a smart faucet would help people reduce the amount of water they used while washing dishes by adapting to a washer's personal preferences (much like a smart thermostat "learns" to adjust climate control systems according to residents' behavior). The experiment asked participants to wash dishes three times, with a graduate student secretly controlling water temperature and flow during the second time only—mimicking the action of a smart faucet. Participants used 26% less water during the second "controlled" washing, and in the third washing, and though there was no one controlling the faucet, still used 10% less water compared to the first round. Learn more about the experiment at

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