This 12 foot diameter circular planter bench around a newly planted oak tree sits directly across from a fun and active children’s playground in Chico, CA. It took me the better part of a year to fabricate the 20 different panels of mosaic all with handmade tile critters, plants and bugs.
I knew that it would be mainly children that would be seeing this mosaic mural so I wanted it to be both engaging and educational. It wraps around nearly 40 feet long and each animal is native to California, labeled with handmade tile letters. I also created a tile acorn maze for kids to run a finger along, a section on the California state bird and flower, and a lesson on what happens when an acorn starts to grow into a tree, complete with ceramic earth-worms! Enjoy watching kids trace the loopty-loop trail left by the bumble bee or the bright red lady bug all while learning about the dangers of poison oak and rattlesnakes.
The main theme for Degarmo Park thus far has been that of a farm. My design was almost turned down because it didn’t have barns, fences and cows in it. Luckily someone on the board grew up on a farm and explained that it’s impossible to have a farm without wildlife. Nature wins!