While helping type up a science book (Furneaux Nature Book) in the Ambleside Online typing forum...
I came across a short paragraph that really spoke to me. We live in a big city...there are hardly any beautiful fields to explore. After the book explained that if the circumstances (rain or otherwise) call for observation of a plant in doors...it went on to explain this:
"The study of plants thus isolated from their natural surroundings is, however, far less instructive and much less interesting than the study of the same species in their natural habitats, and every available opportunity should be secured for the observations of plants under their natural conditions, even if there is no better ‘field’ than a patch of waste ground, a weedy wayside, or the neglected corner of a garden." [p116]See the last two lines? (emphasis mine) That patch of weeds outside is a better observation than a picked plant brought inside.
ANYWHERE that there is plant life outside to observe...observe it there.
No matter WHAT it looks like.