I love collecting souvenirs from walks and travels: leaves, shells, feathers, stones. With autumn setting in, I thought this was a perfect way to celebrate the season. I made this piece with leaves I’ve collected from walks around Cambridge. The Oxalis triangularis (pretty flower-like leaf at the bottom) is a houseplant I dearly love and have managed to keep alive for almost a year now. The first leaf is from the gorgeous tulip trees that line the avenues in the Backs in Cambridge. The second is from my Pilea (Chinese money plant) — note how curly the edges are though they appear perfectly round on the plant. The third leaf is from the Beechwoods Nature Reserve near Great Shelford. I love looking up at beech canopies and how the angle of sunlight can change the colours! The cherry tree leaf (‘winds I’ve weathered’) is from the trees where I live, Cherry Hinton. I love how pretty cherry trees look in autumn, such beautiful gold-red shades! Both maple leaves are from trees in Cherry Hinton Hall Park. The oak has become a nice familiar tree, I picked up this classic beauty on a road near my place. The bracken fern leaf I found this autumn on a hike in Eskdale, Lake District – the plant that gives the hills their gold-brown colour. The second last leaf is from the mostly-ignored pile of leaves that collect below my Ficus houseplant, one I’ve had for over three years. The gingko (last leaf) is from trees somewhere in the town centre: I like how they’re one of the oldest species of tree (with all others in the family being extinct) but to me they always look fresh, new and welcoming.
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