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Two years ago when I was working in the Czech Republic I was given a leaf rose at one environmental education centre. It was very pretty and I took a photo to remind me to create them the following autumn.

Whilst I was in Australia last year, I spent a lovely morning at the Spirit of Play Community School. The children in the P1 class were really into making things with the leaves such as the example above which was made with a big nasturtium leaf. The children also used them as cups to collect water.

Earlier on this week, whilst on a walk I started to mess about with the fallen leaves and that’s when I was reminded of the leaf roses. In the photo above, I simply put the leaves in size and then pinned them together with a hawthorn thorn.

In my neighbour’s garden there is a beautiful maple tree. This was an opportunity to experiment as a lot of leaves fall into our garden. Luckily, if you go onto YouTube there’s loads of videos all showing you how to create maple leaf roses.

Typically though, none answered my questions such as:

  • Is a particular size of leaf best? Most were being created with huge leaves
  • Is it good to order leaves in size and to work in ascending order of size when creating a rose?
  • Can you use other leaves?
  • Do the leaves need to be dried first or are they better picked and rolled fresh?

So I just got on and experimented with my freshly collected leaves. After several mis-trials, I began to get the hang of it. Basically you fold a leave in half, roll it up loosely. Do this with a few more and then wrap a few whole leaves around the outside. The videos all used florist’s wire to tie the leaves underneath. I liked using elastic bands. I think the stems of the maple leaves could work too.

All in all it’s a lovely activity and worth having a go with children.

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Felicity Robinson November 18, 2017 at 21:32

I made these with teachers a while ago during one of my outdoor learning training sessions for school garden clubs and they loved the idea. So much opportunity for sorting and vocabulary etc. as well as fine motor skills. We found it best to use large leaves folded in the middle and smaller leaves for the outer ‘petals’. Very satisfying!

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