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Leaves live a thankless life. They go unnoticed while providing shade and cleaning the air, and are often the subject of our groans and grumbles in the fall while being raked away. Outside of brief odes to colorful autumn foliage, their quiet, everyday beauty is usually unsung.

Overleaf is an extraordinary celebration of that most obvious and overlooked part of a tree. It features over seventy brilliantly rendered studies of the leaves of thirty-seven tree species found across North America and Europe. Susan Ogilvy’s paintings are lovely and uncluttered, resembling real-life pressings captured between the pages. The artwork is accompanied by Richard Ogilvy’s thought-provoking text, which provides a vignette for each tree that explores its particular relationship with the environment, its style of growth, the history and mythology surrounding it, and the uses that birds, insects, and humans make of it. He reflects on the detailed complexity of our woodlands and forests and thoughtfully explores our place among them. Just as individual leaves create a cohesive shade, the range of these portraits provides a compelling vision of our relationship with trees. Overleaf is a thoughtful collection that will have readers taking a second look at the world above. 

176 pages | 74 color plates, 70 line drawings | 9 x 8 1/4 | © 2013

Biological Sciences: Botany

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew image

View all books from Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew


“Thinking to glance at a sample of the contents, I ended up, an hour later, having studied every lovely print and read every word.” 

Matthew Parris, columnist, Times (UK) and Spectator

"Overleaf by Richard and Susan Ogilvy pays homage to the tree in a series of botanical illustrations and fascinating, fact-filled descriptions."

Country & Town House

Table of Contents




The Trees


References and Further Reading

Online Resources



About the Authors

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