This is the third in an occasional series on Oddities & Wonders in the Ashland Landscape.
Much of the trip between Ashland and the Bay Area via I-5 can be tedious, but now Ashland has its own novelty to rival the lineup of all those colorful tanker trucks at Truck City at the base of Black Butte near Weed and Moo Donna and Baby Moo (as well as Priscilla the Dragon) in fields south and north of Yreka.
A wonderful, colorful sculpture by southern Oregon artist Cheryl Garcia has been installed on private land south of the freeway, just east of the Skylark complex, between Ashland exits 19 and 14. This whimsical installation of a giant (8-foot tall) red flower, with three bees hovering over it, is courtesy of Marge and Dave Bernard.
The Bernards cannot see this sculpture from their nearby home, but they do have a smaller version (three red flowers, with one bee hovering) that is visible from their home. They chose simply to enliven the view for travelers along that stretch of highway; it's their good deed for passersby.
Dave Bernard commissioned the sculptures as a birthday gift for his wife, Marge, who is a beekeeper. The installation was completed over Mother’s Day weekend. Cheryl Garcia’s work is well known in Ashland, not only for the enchanting metal flowers at Walker Elementary School, but for other metal sculptures in private collections all over town.
Garcia spent 200 hours creating this charming work. It is such a gift to the community and to travelers, for which Garcia and the Bernards are to be thanked.
Ruth Sloan writes about the Ashland Garden Club’s Garden of the month from April through September. Send suggestions about great gardens or Oddities & Wonders to firstname.lastname@example.org.