Intricate Golden Labyrinths Created From Fallen Leaves of a Gingko Tree

Every year since 2013, Joanna Hedrick, a counselor at the Sacramento State University Student Service Center, celebrates the fall season in a special way. She rakes the golden leaves of the campus' gingko trees into elaborately artistic patterns, creating stunning pieces of environmental art.

Whether creating spiraling circles, a honeycomb, or a complex labyrinth, Hedrick carefully rakes the fallen leaves into intricate designs. She draws inspiration from environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy (whose visually striking nature art has also wowed us for years). With a background in landscape design and art, Hedrick sees her annual installations as a way to not only express her creativity, but to also transform the environment, drawing attention to its inherent beauty.

“[My art] is about taking something that’s already beautiful and making something unique—something you don’t just pass by,” she shared with Sactown Magazine. As she explained to the local publication, Hedrick estimates that it takes her two to three hours of meditative raking to complete each leafy installation.

So how did she get started on such a time-consuming project? The creative artist actually began in an unusual way. Looking for an interesting backdrop for family photographs, she originally raked together a golden masterpiece. After taking a photograph of her children, she was amazed to see how the design quickly gained positive feedback on campus and across social media.

Now, Hedrick creates about six designs annually as the trees shed their leaves, with the campus leaving each on display for about three weeks.

Each year Joanna Hedrick creates spectacular leaf art from the fallen gingko leaves on the Sacramento State University campus.

A post shared by Joanna Hedrick (@joanna_hedrick) on

Joanna Hedrick: Instagram
h/t: [this isn't happiness, Sactown Magazine]

Related Articles:

1,400-Year-Old Gingko Tree Sheds a Spectacular Ocean of Golden Leaves

People in Japan Are Turning Vibrant Foliage Into Stunning “Fallen Leaf Art”

Artist Arranges Blossoms and Leaves Into Exquisite Floral Portraits

Unexpected Land Art Beautifully Formed in Nature

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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