Taking a leaf out of Nature’s book

by | Nov 7, 2012 | Uncategorized | 13 comments

 Today Mira and I are pressing leaves. We choose the ones we like best, pohutukawa, ivy . . .

 trying to find leaves that are in good shape. The lime tree leaves look as if they could cut your skin, but really they are very soft.

 We found a few toon leaves that are still pink. Most have turned to green.

 And bamboo leaves. Now they are a favourite because Mira knows all about them. ‘Pandas love bamboo leaves, don’t they?’ ‘Yes, but we’re not pandas.’ (giggles)

 The bougainvillea has flowers that look like leaves, and so they found their way into our bag.

Now they are all carefully arranged between sheets of tissue paper, and placed between the leaves of my heaviest book. We will wait for them to press flat. Then comes the next stage . . . ah, but that would be telling. Wait and see.
Selecting leaves with a four year old is a delicious thing to do. The variety and perfection of nature is everywhere, and in her spring guise, she is excelling herself. There’s nothing like the eyes of a child to keep me awake to the miracle that is all around, in every season.


  1. Unknown

    How exciting! I look forward to seeing what you and Miss 4 do with the pressed leaves…

  2. Hilary Melton-Butcher

    Hi Juliet – I can imagine you both had such fun running around collecting the leaves – aren’t they a good selection of colours and shapes .. I’m looking forward to part 2 ..

    How do you dry them .. between tissue between books?

    Cheers Hilary

  3. juliet

    Hi anon and Hilary, thanks for your comments. We had great fun collecting them, and making sure we had interesting ones.

    Hilary, I press them between tissues in the leaves of my heaviest books. The Oxford English Dictionary is the best of all for this, but it’s at the bach, so I’m using Marija Gimbutas ‘Civilisation of the Goddess’, with a few other weighty tomes on top. The weather has been fine and breezy, so the leaves are nice and dry for picking.

  4. Max

    What variety of shape and colour, even in spring! I love the translucent pink ones, my girl is all about the pink at the moment and would be overjoyed to find those!

  5. Hotly Spiced

    What a fun project to do with your granddaughter. I remember doing that as a child and it was always so much fun – especially the going back to see them pressed. Thanks for your lovely comments re my Waikanae post. I’m so overdue to go back there and experience it all again! xx

  6. Penny O'Neill

    I cannot wait to see what you and Mira do with these beautiful leaves. What a fun activity for you both, Juliet, and I couldn’t agree more with your statement that

    “There’s nothing like the eyes of a child to keep me awake to the miracle that is all around, in every season.”

    FYI – I’ve changed my email carrier and just wanted you to know that it is, indeed, me with the gmail address.

  7. juliet

    * Max, yes the variety is delightful and the pink appeals to this little girl too.

    * Charlie, we are having fun, and I’m glad you found my comment on your beautiful Waikanae post.

    * Penny, soon you’ll be doing all of these things with little Kezzie. Meanwhile your leaves have dropped and been swept up by your team of helpers. Thanks for letting me know about your change of email address. Can you send me your new one by email please?

  8. Vicki Lane

    I inherited my grandmother’s books and now and then will come across a pressed leaf that’s over a century old, quietly turning to dust between the pages. Shall take this post as a reminder to press some leaves of my own…

  9. juliet

    Vicki, how wonderful that those leaves can speak to you across the span of a century. Yes, why not press some of your own and leave them for others to find. What a nice thought that is.

  10. growMama

    oh, i can’t wait to see what phase two with the pressed leaves is! You’ve inspired me to get out my flower press again…’tis the crafting season with gifts to be made. xx

  11. juliet

    Thanks Anissa. I have to buy some glass for the next stage (hint)

  12. Ruth P

    Such special times to share with a little one – these activities and colours will rest and ripple through Mira’s heart as she grows and remembers time with you Juliet

  13. juliet

    These are special times indeed Ruth. I feel so lucky to have Mira in my life. Thank you.


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