Spiral Garden, Palo Alto CA, Curtis Tom, 2006

Many thanks to reader Curtis Tom for sending photos of his admirable playground project:
“I am a part-time zookeeper at the Palo Alto Jr. Museum and Zoo (California) and a part-time landscaper. I designed and installed this play area over two years ago in a formerly empty area in front of the museum. I had a small budget to work with and so I decided to make a stump garden with stumps I got for free from the local dump. I used stumps from eucalyptus, redwood, magnolia, oak and pine trees. Their different colors and bark add an interesting blend. The plants in the garden include grasses, fennel, lemon marigolds, salvias, mint and succulents. I also included a large piece of petrified wood and a rock with fossil shells in the design that were currently laying at the site.
As a landscaper this has easily been my most personally rewarding installation I have done because I get to watch the enjoyment the kids get from playing in the spiral garden. Towards the end of the spiral I have raised the elevation so the kids can feel they are climbing to the top of the “Mountain”. This garden has also sparked other people to create similar stump gardens in their own yards. “
High play value–low, low cost.

2 Responses to “Spiral Garden, Palo Alto CA, Curtis Tom, 2006”

  1. Less is More said:

    Hi good day ! nice post you have . It's very nice , I have plan to setting up my garden can you give me an idea or steps on how to make it beautiful. i have heard some garden accessories such as garden spinner , wind chimes , wind spinners and many more . I want to try this things in my garden but i don't know how to get the right accessories . I hope you can help me . thank you .

    September 27, 2010 at 1:05 am

  2. willow said:

    Really, really nice! An ingenious use of recycled natural material.
    In this high-tech age, we often forget that the simple things spark the most excitement. I think you’ve captured that and by the looks of things, the kids agree.
    Great design and forethought.

    October 24, 2008 at 3:57 am

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