Diary

Vasculum

21 September 2019 | Diary

To the Botanical Gardens to volunteer as a guide for Doors Open Day.

I show thirty lusty octogenarians (and my pal Graeme) around the botanical library, a place I know well having catalogued the entire collection as a side-project. Hypocrite idler, I know.

The visitors are fresh from a tour of the fern house, so there are books about ferns on display as well as a vasculum (collecting box) of the sort used during the Victorian fern Craze.

I show a few other highlights including an encyclopedia of exotics, an 1860 book about agricultural pests in which all of the critters are drawn to scale, and, my favourite, an 1853 volume of pressed seaweeds.

No your hobby is boring.

Towards the end, Graeme picks up a book about mushrooms. Apparently it “just fell open” on a chapter about magic ones.



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