The Creative Art of Leaf Manipulation

Pictures by Maria Lamb | A very good turnout for the out of doors workshop on leaf manipulation for customers of the Calusa Yard Club.


It was an thrilling Monday morning as members of the Calusa Yard Club moved from an indoor Zoom format to an outside workshop on the Creative Art of Leaf Manipulation. Each individual participant introduced leaves from their backyard garden this kind of as assorted kinds of palm fronds, dracaena, aspidistra, sansevieria (mom in legislation tongue), ginger, and crimson ti leaves just to name a few.

Held at Mackle Park and employing 1 of the out of doors picnic tables, fourteen customers altered foliage they brought by folding, twisting, rolling, slicing, pleating, braiding, or wiring. For the beginners, it was like learning a new language. Manipulated leaves can be applied to increase a floral structure to give it depth, a new innovative glance, or the WOW issue for the visual affect it requires.

Customers who are into floral layout are often looking for new methods to make their floral patterns standout. Who realized you can do so numerous inventive things to a leaf? Connie Lowery, Jackie Purvis, Sue Oldershaw and Sara Wolf shown how to slit a leaf down the center, curl it or tuck it back again in to reveal a new twist or intriguing visible outcome. 

Many of these leaves came abundant from the garden and it was ok to “mess up.” You just start out all above once again. Aspidistra leaf was incredibly adaptable – you can make a ribbon or ripple style and design, or you can roll it, crisscross, weave it or even string or pleat it.



Equally Sara Wolf and Jackie Purvis advised checking out many You Tube tutorials as a supplement to the workshop. The much more trial and glitches, the simpler it will be to manipulate several sorts of leaves. Backyard club members practiced chopping, bending, looping and braiding palm fronds and pandanus leaves. To the creator, it was not as effortless as it appeared. Her braiding approach saved unravelling! The members arrived absent with a much better appreciation on the “101 artistic ways” to braid a palm frond. 

Jennifer Ferrier keeping a collection of her braided leaf creations. This one is for her Grandma.

If you were effective braiding your palm frond, you can take it house and the braid will continue to be even when dried. You can also spray paint it and use it as an accent in your floral preparations.

This is the past floral structure event for the Calusa Backyard garden Club users and they will not meet yet again until eventually Oct 2021 to start their new year. Even though forced to share most of their workshops by means of Zoom, that did not discourage club customers from sharing their floral patterns with each and every other during the monthly conferences. The informal Zoom classes provided discussions on horticulture, floral design and style and the setting.

Club users also experienced a virtual photographic tour of members’ gardens courtesy of Sara Wolf and Susan LaGrotta. This was incredibly well-known with customers not getting capable to satisfy individually and pay a visit to each individual other.

During the yr, the previous Saturday of each individual thirty day period is focused to the routine maintenance of the Butterfly Backyard garden at Calusa Park on Winterberry Push. A team of dedicated users make confident that there are loads of nectar and host crops for the lots of butterflies that go to the yard. 

The Calusa Backyard garden Club is a member of the Florida Federation of Back garden Golf equipment. Membership is open to all those interested in horticulture, floral style and design and the environment. For far more data, go to or pay a visit to the Club’s Fb webpage at Calusa Backyard garden Club.



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