Adventures in Plant Collecting, Part V: Mounting your plants

When your plants are dry, it is time to mount them. The idea is to make them as beautiful as possible, arranging them so that all the features show–like a good botanical illustration, not one of the human female’s whiteboard scribbles. Do a test layout, making sure your plant will fit on the paper. Use the good stuff. This acid-free mounting paper will be around long after the human female is but an unpleasant memory. Don’t forget to leave room for the label. My dearest Sigyn has a fine eye for this sort of work.

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Once you are satisfied with the arrangement, glue the plants in place. Regular school glue is fine. There are also fancy herbarium glues, but the human female says they taste bad. (I don’t even want to know…) Weigh the plants down so that they dry flat and in good contact with the glue. Large washers are perfect for this.

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Most glues dry within twenty-four hours. While Sigyn waits for my magic to dry this plant more quickly, she is looking at a fine old herbal with hand-written text and hand-tinted illustrations. There is a cyclamen…

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…and a daisy. Hmm. This is a European herbal and the daisies do not look like the local ones. Ours are not pink.

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Wait! Go back! Sigyn, what’s that last illustration?

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A Scythian Lamb? A Vegetable Sheep? I must obtain some examples of this wondrous plant-beast which bears live sheep! If I plant them in the front yard, not only will I never have to pull weeds again, they may eat all the human female’s favorite blossoms! Sigyn can pet them and talk to them, and their bleating may keep the human female awake of nights. I like this plan…

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