Town Crier: Landscaping firm’s roots in fashion, design

MONTCLARION: June 5, 2015

Call it outdoor eye candy. Gardens are spaces that cultivate joy. Just ask Montclair mom Debbie Tallia, whose landscaping business is becoming a big hit. Tallia Gardens grew from a 25-year career in fashion that led Debbie to the world of home staging for real estate. The garden was a natural extension.

“I believe the garden should be an extension of your home and give you inspiration with each daily visit,” says Tallia. Her designs focus on colorful foliage for every season. She even gets input from our furry and feathered friends.

“I always have squirrels and blue jays digging overnight and moving my plants,” she says, adding that she just moves them back and secures them the next day. Some jays even pluck hosta plants for their nests. Tallia’s response? To make sure there’s a bird feeder nearby so the birds are happy.

“All clients need to be happy,” she says. And so they are. Tallia’s gardens do all the marketing for her. She doesn’t need me to spread the word, but I will anyway — because it’s a great example of how a garden can be inspirational — for all God’s creatures.

Around town: Speaking of good neighbors, Jennifer Fish’s little free library continues to attract readers and nonreaders alike. “I keep dog treats in the library,” says Fish, who has been stocking the mailbox-style library outside her home at 5805 Merriewood since 2012. She could use more book donations and invites all to come by, grab a book and sit on redwood bench with one of the best views in town.

Email bag: Several hundred names are on a petition to stop LePort Montessori School from moving into the Montclair Women’s Club building at Mountain and Thornhill. Traffic is the main concern, but reader Jeni Paltiel also cites structural changes. “It makes me sad to see this elegant, historical old building used as a preschool, with what sounds like some large-scale changes,” she writes, wishing it could be turned into something like Piedmont’s Community Hall.

Between the pages: Call it the “no book” book club. EBUG (East Bay Gals United) just celebrated its 15th year of meetings with nary a bestseller to be found. Founder Kim Merkel says that instead of discussing books, the 250-plus member group gets to “know the East Bay and have fun.” Last weekend’s party sure sounded fun, featuring everything from tuning fork vibration readings to a quinceanera fashion show.

RAIDERS AND WINE: Here’s a Father’s Day gift for dads who want the trifecta — food, wine and football. Oakland Raiders eight-time Pro Bowler Charles Woodson is pouring his cabernet and sauvignon blanc for a pairings dinner June 14 on the Napa Valley Wine Train. Woodson’s 2010 cab is on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list and is one of the featured pours.

Got news? You can reach Ginny Prior by email at ginnyprior@hotmail .com or on the web at


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