Manchester Museum at Maggie's. Week 2: Botany / by Lucy Burscough

This week's visitor from the Manchester Museum was Rachel Webster, Curator of Botany. The museum's herbology collection is enormous and filled with beautiful botanical drawings, thousands of examples of pressed plants from around the world and the hand written notes and cuttings from journals made by the Victorian gentlemen collectors who gathered them together.

Rachel has a multitude of objects to choose between and she did not disappoint with the selection that she made to bring to Maggie's. Each object told a wider story, some illustrated the changing environment of the area surrounding us, while others told of the Victorian passion for plant-collecting and the characters whose search for interesting specimens saw them creating global networks of fellow flower fanatics. We were able to peruse beautifully bound books of botanical drawings and a box of unusual looking sweetcorn cobs gave an insight into the processes behind the development of modern vegetable varieties! It was truly compelling talk, and very informally delivered to centre visitors as they relaxed on comfy sofas. Perfect for the homely atmosphere that is so much a part of Maggie's Manchester.