Botanical Beauties

One of Harvard University's glass flowers, a Devil's bit with butterfly.

How is it possible that I have yet to visit Harvard’s glass flowers? My husband has been trying to get me there for years. People I hardly know insist that I go. I’ve read all about the collection and it’s been on my mind for ages. I can almost smell the glass flowers. I’m smitten from afar.

The university commissioned German glassmakers Leopold Blaschka and his son Rudolph to create the botanical collection—some 4000 pieces in all—between 1887 and 1936 in order to use the models for teaching. (Most similar collections were done is wax or papier-maché.) The lot encompassed a huge number of plant species, all done to scale, as well as 65 replicas of diseased fruits, including a mold-covered strawberry

Will I actually go to see these beauties this spring? I ache to do it.