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Leaf Magic 
by Barb Williams

At every season of the year there is Leaf Magic to be found at the Bellevue Botanical Garden. You will find leaves of different colors, shapes and sounds.

The Nature of Sitting by Pam Beyette

Treat yourself by sitting in the leaf chair opposite the Ground Cover Garden waterfall (this chair is actually an art piece titled “The Nature of Sitting” by artist Pam Beyette). As you sit, notice the colorful leaves as they whirl, dance and float to the ground during autumn. When you walk through the dry leaves, they crinkle underfoot making a delightful sound.

In winter, the evergreen trees sport leaves of different shapes and shades of green until their forms are magically transformed by the white, sparkling snow that lands on their upturned surfaces.

Spring brings new growth and leaves of many colors and shapes. Summer breezes whoosh through the Japanese Forest Grasses making soft sounds. Listen to the rustling sound of the leaves as they move in the treetops.

Look close to the ground in the Ground Cover Garden. Find the large leathery leaves of the Bergenia plants. Pull gently on a leaf and listen to it squeak, which gives it its other name — Pig-Squeak. As you look on the ground, perhaps you will find a leaf that has been turned into lace by the decomposing bacteria that feed on the soft tissues of the leaf leaving only the veins behind. This gives the leaf its lacy look. Artists turn these

Lacy leaf

leaves into art pieces by coating them with gold or silver. Designers use leaf designs on clothing and other items. Artists paint, draw and make art works based on leaves.

You can make your own leaf artwork by doing the following:

To make a leaf spatter paint picture, you will need:
  1. 1 small screen (that is bigger than your leaf) with semi-small mesh
  2. 1 toothbrush
  3. 1 piece of paper (8.5 “ x 11” or bigger)
  4. Several colors of tempura or watercolor paint
  5. Different flattened leaves, or cardboard cutout leaves (template)

To Do:

Mix the paint so that it is liquid, but not too runny. Place the leaf on the paper so that it is flat and securely fixed on the paper. Dip the toothbrush bristles into the paint and rub them gently across the screen. Watch the paint lightly spatter around the leaf or leaf template. Leave the leaf in place until the paint dries. Remove the leaf and look at your artwork. Enjoy a little Leaf Magic created by you!

Feature image © Matthew Omojola |

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