Ours was filled with flowers, autumn leaves, pebbles, sea shells, feathers, seed pods, seed heads, bits of birds' egg shells and sometimes excitingly, a bird's nest or a mermaid's purse from the seashore. The teacher would write neat little labels so we knew what the various things were, and it would gradually evolve over the seasons.
When I trained as a textile designer, a lot of time was spent studying and drawing plants to use in designs for fabrics, wallpapers and other surface patterns. I began to collect old books with engravings and illustrations of plants and flowers as they were a great resource for designing. This old book, for teachers to use, was found in a Manchester jumble sale years ago.
Glancing through it just now I was surprised to notice that besides having the scientific information I expected, on the next page were poems that related to the botanical specimens too! I don't remember ever being taught bits of poetry in science lessons. I would have liked it, though if we had been.