A week before the lock down we gathered with Elmine’s family to celebrate both her parents’ birthdays. We met in Baarn, visiting the 18th century Groeneveld estate. Part of their collection was one of the three xylotheques in the Netherlands, all three made in the late 18th century. I never saw one of these fascinating things before: a series of ‘books’ about trees, where each book is made from the wood and bark of that tree, and contains a description of it, as well as dried leaves, flowers and fruits.

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