At my time, we had a really long summer vacation from school, but it included some duties. We had to collect our own herbarium, 120 wild flowers and plants when I was at that age, in three years' time.
Then we had to identify them, write (in ink) the plant's name, its Latin name, the Latin family name and description of the place where we found it, as well as the date. As you can see, I was a very stylish little girl, because I had green ink in my Mont Blanc fountain pen.
In autumn we then had to bring our herbariums to school to be inspected (some naughty pupils used old plants their elder sisters or brothers had collected), and then there was the examination, to show we actually knew our collection and all the names. I still remember lots of them. When I collected mine, we didn't take the plants with their roots, and so our herbariums were smaller than those of my elder sisters and brothers.
I liked learning the names, and when we got married my husband and I started our new herbarium. We got about 80 plants but also three children and less time. But as long as one of us can bend and pick the flowers, we can continue this hobby if we like. When the children were little, I used to teach them the Finnish names of any wild flowers we saw on the roadside on our way to the library or village center. I don't think they minded this, because at least Kaija has continued on this path with her Botanical brooches and journals. For some reason none of my links in the text seem to work, but if you go to paperiaarre through the (working) link on the right, you find the way to her etsy shop and the Botanical series.
Sunday, 24 February 2008
Yesterday I was working on my new book for more advanced readers. The first picture reminded me of my schooltime herbarium. Coltsfoot, this is, I just checked it in the dictionary. I had never known that before, but for at least 46 years I have known that leskenlehti's Latin name is Tussilágo fárfara.