Collecting Autumn Leaf Colours

Autumn leaf colours on a tree branchThe flowers are fading but the colours of autumn are blooming right now. I gave my kids a simple task when we headed off for a walk – collect as many leaf colours as you can find. We then sorted them in colours and patterns when we returned home.

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”  Albert Camus

Autumn reflections Wakehurst pondInstead of just heading off to the woods near us, I decided to take them to a park or garden where there would be an amazing palette of foliage colours on display. I chose Wakehurst Place, Kew’s country garden in West Sussex.

All we needed to bring were bags for collecting leaves. Of course I reminded Luce and Theo only to pick leaves that had fallen on the ground and not still clinging to tree branches or shrubs.

Autumn leaf colours collectingAnd wow we found a rainbow of colours! The big hit was the Japanese maple trees with their carpet of red leaves underneath. Autumn leaf colours collecting Japanese mapleAutumn leaf colours maple in grassBut suddenly every leaf was like a potential jewel for them to pick up as treasure. We found russet, brown, purple, yellow, red and every hue in between. We also searched for samples showing the changing colours in one leaf.

“How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.” John Burroughs

Autumn leaf colours brown redAutumn leaf colours in waterAutumn leaf colours fading brownsAutumn leaf colours browns yellowsAutumn leaf colours mixedAutumn leaf colours yellows and orangeAutumn leaf colours yellow brown purpleAutumn leaf colours rain drops

Not surprisingly my children didn’t want to stop. Every time they spotted another tree or path with different colours off they went in pursuit of more leaves to add to their collection. Finally I persuaded them to rest by suggesting it was time for a hot chocolate in the cafe. Yes that worked and I was able to relax with a cup of tea!

Back home it was time to sort out the collections. Theo wanted his leaf collection to be displayed in order of colours.Autumn leaf colours collection brownsAutumn leaf colours collection orange red leavesAutumn leaf colours collection

Luce’s collection also included flowers and petals she found on the ground.Autumn leaf colours collection petals and leavesAutumn leaf colours varietyAutumn leaf colours in piles

And then finally we made a collage with all the remaining leaves.Autumn leaf colours collection collage

Last year we went on a walk for autumn leaves where we learnt how to identify which trees they came from by their colours. This time we just had fun collecting as many leaf colours as possible. But I wasn’t surprised when Luce and Theo started asking me lots of questions such as why leaves fall, why leaves change colours, which type of trees lose leaves, why leaves fall in autumn…Luckily we have lots of nature books at home!

Ideas for where to visit for the Autumn season’s best colours in UK:

  • The botanical gardens in Kew and Wakehurst 
  • The National Trust recommends these places for autumnal colours.
  • RHS highlights arboretum gardens for autumn displays.

27 thoughts on “Collecting Autumn Leaf Colours”

  1. Wow these pictures are just gorgeous! And the colours! I have been meaning to visit Kew Gardens for years now, would really love to make a visit this autumn. Another place in London I’ve heard is exceptional in autumn is the Kyoto Garden, that might be nice to visit too 🙂 #countrykids

  2. Oh I love theis super colourful post! We live nesr Stour head and every year I am too late for all the beauty! By the time I get there evereytwhere is just brown and muddy! Thankyou for the nudge, think we’ll head over this week!

  3. what a handy list of sites at the end there. I can see why you chose Wakehurt Place, what a wonderful display of colours. It looks like you timed things just right too, autumn has been more stunning than ever this year with the mild dry days, however this past week I feel the best has gone, here on the farm they are falling thick and fast in the weekend winds. Glad you got out to make the most of them and well done the kids for all the great questions too. Thank you for sharing on Country Kids.

  4. There are so many jewels in nature. It’s lovely to be able to collect. Judging but the howling wind I can hear the last of the leaves maybe down today!

  5. Your collage is so beautiful!!! I love the maple tree it’s such a stunning colour. What a lovely autumn walk and a great thing to do with your foraged goods. xx #countrykids

  6. Stunning pictures, how beautiful autumn is this year and great idea of making art displays with the leaves. I’m going to collect some today even though it’s a little bit damp out there.

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