Gilbert Mural

I got this message last year on Facebook….

12/2/19, 11:25 PM   Misty Willis
Hi! I am a 6th grade teacher in Gilbert, Arizona. I would like to have my students create a sunflower mural on our garden wall and I’m hoping you can give me some advice. Wondering how you superimposed the design onto the wall. Also, do you have a recommendation for the process? I’m assuming clean the wall, put the blue paint on using either brushes or rollers, and then add the sunflowers on the bottom with sponges? Also, do you have a suggestion for what type/colors of paint? Any words of wisdom you can offer would be so appreciated. I am no artist but I do have a passion for inspiring my students to love learning, nature, and themselves. Thanks so much. Misty

12/13/19, 10:43 AM   VanDyke Gardens
Hi Misty
I just found your request. Sorry, I don’t go on Facebook much. I am glad you like the mural. This was created over about 7 days last February (in Tempe!)  I will put up a post on my website on how this was done, step by step, and share that with you.  I will try to get it done over the weekend.


12/15/19, 9:47 PM   Misty Willis
Oh my goodness! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am excited to tell you that I have partnered with the leader of our SPICE program (kids with autism) to turn the mural into a sensory garden. The circle center of each flower will have tactile items her kids can touch (buttons, bottle caps, carpet scraps, etc.) I GREATLY appreciate your advice and will send you a picture when ours is done. As excited as my 6th graders are about the painting and the gardening, they are even more excited about service to our SPICE kids and that fills my heart beyond description. πŸ™‚


12/25/19, 12:20 PM   VanDyke Gardens
Hi Misty, Here’s the blog post with the description of how I painted the sunflower mural. Hope you have a Merry Christmas. Good luck with your project with your students. I would love to see a photo of your mural.

12/26/19, 11:16 PM    Misty Willis
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you also! You are a Godsend! Thank you SO much for taking the time to create this detailed explanation. We are back to school January 6th and will begin work on our project shortly thereafter. I will send you a picture of the completed project. Wish me luck! πŸ™‚


12/27/19, 12:34 PM   VanDyke Gardens
I hope my photos help.  I applaud all beautification efforts. Happy for your students!!!


11/14/20  12:08 PM   Misty Willis
Hello again! My 6th graders last year started our garden mural. They painted the wall blue and added flowers and stems. Then we left for spring break and never came back because of covid. 😒 My 6th graders this year just finished painting the grass, clouds, sun, and butterflies. We still have to add the sensory touch items but I wanted to share the finished painting with you. It’s so cool to have a vision and then see it come to fruition. Thank you again for taking the time to help and inspire me.

11/18/20    8:30 AM   VanDyke Gardens
Hi Misty. I wanted to write and tell you how beautiful your mural is. I was very moved by your note when I got it the other night. Now that I can see the photos big on my computer and not just my phone, I can’t stop looking at them! The kids did a great job and it’s truly a beautiful and cheerful wall. It looks massive! How long is the painting? I love all the variety of fantastic and imaginative flowers and the butterflies are wonderful. All of your students should be very proud every time they see it. I love the idea of making the walls tactile, and I am sure the kids in the SPICE program will be grateful too. It makes me so happy to think I helped you in any way to accomplish this beautiful wall. I hope everyone who sees it feels happy too. Thank you so much for sharing this story with me. Would you mind if I shared our conversation on my website and facebook?

11/18/20  10:30 PM    Misty Willis
Thank you so much! And, of course you may share! Warmest regards, Misty


Posted in Our Garden.