"...To make collections of wild flowers for the several months, press them, and mount them neatly... affords much happy occupation and, at the same time, much useful training..."
- CM Vol. 1
"And, having made the acquaintance of a wild flower, so that they can never forget it or mistake it, they should examine the spot where they find it, so that they will know for the future in what sort of ground to look for such and such a flower. 'We should find wild thyme here!' 'Oh, this is the very spot for marsh marigolds; we must come here in the spring.'"- CM
Ann Pratt says, "The sweet blue and white violets are among the first favourites of our childhood. We find them in March; hence our old writers called them the March Violet; but they are still more abundant in April than in the earlier month. They grow on way-sides, and many a copsewood in England might remind us of the poet’s description:-
“There the purple violets lurk,
With all the lovely children of the shade."
We use a hard cover notebook with thick paper to mount them in as well as a field guide that is specific to our state and has large colored photographs. I often try to find some interesting tidbit about the flower or how it got it's name to make it come even more alive to my son.
Anna Botsford Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study has a wonderful little lesson on violets that, after reading it, makes me want to head back out and take a closer look!
Oh, and here's a little wildflower story for you- We live in the country, so it's ok to not mow your lawn if you don't get to it right away in spring. That's what happened to us the spring we built the house. We were busy so the front yard ended up looking less like a golf course and more like a hay field. But there was a bonus- I learned where all the patches of wildflowers grow in the yard. The Ox-eye Daisies are by the dead apple tree, the Oriental Poppies are along the grove, the milkweed is on the side by the row of evergreens, and the mullien is right out the front yard. As it just so happens now, I'm known to mow around the patches of wildflowers that happen here and there. The yard might look a little different, but my son has flowers right out his front door and I don't even have to water them!