Magnolia leaves: roll ’em, roll ’em, roll ’em

A spray of rolled magnolia leaves adds a novel touch to this mantletop display by Sheridan Nurseries’ Jung Won Woo

The ideas were cool, and not just because the topic was winter decor. Yesterday evening at the Toronto Botanical Garden holiday open house, Sheridan Nurseries shared trends and tricks for prettying up the outside and inside of your home for special winter occasions. Yes, notes were taken.

Here’s just one small trick. Give the ubiquitous (at least in wintertime) magnolia leaf a new look by rolling it into a tube – with either the shiny green or the fuzzy brown side on the outside of the roll. In the arrangement above, all the leaves remain on the original branch. Each rolled leaf is tied with green floral wire. You’ll see a close-up in a couple of frames. And more ideas in the days ahead.

While you’re thinking about that, peek at Jung’s cute container – a large-scale fairy garden. Besides that trend, others in the arrangement include birch-bark items (like the little tree), unusual materials such as cotton bols, and the owl. Owls are big, I gather. All the arrangements became door prizes. I had to be quick with my snaps before they were whisked away. [Ed: Whoops! Too quick to hit publish. The demo was co-presented by Sheridan’s Laura Kerr and hosted by Charlie Dobbin.]
Back to the magnolia leaves, here in an easy vivarium display. It begins with corkscrew hazel twigs, wrapped in tiny, battery-operated string lights, fixed to a round of floral foam. A mini orchid, its pot removed, has its roots wrapped in moist moss. Green reindeer moss conceals all the joins. Then red balls and individual rolled leaves finish it off, topped by a glass dome.
Somewhat fuzzy closeup of individually rolled leaves. It’s easy to pierce the leaf base with the wire.
As a bonus, here one of my favourites among the wreathes in the TBG open house silent auction. No rolled magnolia leaves, but cinnamon sticks (also rolled) are a fragrant substitute.


    1. They are beautiful, Bren. I only wish we could actually grow them here. Always feel a little guilty using them in containers. But they do last and last.

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