I remember an interview I saw of R. Crumb. He used to have a collection of photos for reference for his drawings and comics. He had thousands of them; telephone poles, hydrants, street lights so on so forth.
I have been collecting 3D plants as much as I can, but this thread just hit me in the head like a brick... Have no idea why it never occurred to me to have things like Hannes just posted. Will have to work on that now too!
Looks like you made it past the "what to do" hump, Hannes. Looking good.