Wednesday Flower Study #5-Pink Petunias

Confession: My petunias are from the garden nursery. I don’t really much like petunias but they are a happy spring flower that has brightened up our front and back decks with their cheerful blooms. My eldest son helped me pick the color and I am surprised that he picked pink because he usually picks much richer primary colors in flowers.

I don’t blog much about my oldest son because he is a very busy twenty-one year old young man who has a full-time job as a computer programmer and goes to college in the evenings. When he isn’t working or at school, he is sequestered away working on complicated homework or his various artistic ventures. Usually on the weekends, he spends his Sundays with us and for our family that means worshiping together and then spending some family time at home in the yard or outside hiking or walking the dog. My oldest is always up for a little time on the trail. He lives and works in a very technological world but he is still connected to the outdoors and feels the need to be refreshed by the sky, trees, and birds. We have some of our best talks as we share our outdoor time.

Anyway, back to our weekly flower study.

As always, we found something interesting in the Handbook of Nature Study about our subject. The story of our modern petunias is interesting and we talked about colors of petunias that we have seen in our area. We also learned that petunias are in the nightshade family. The petunia gives off its perfume at nightfall, perhaps to attract the hummingbird moths to feast on its nectar.

“With their long feeding tubes the hummingbird moths have little difficulty in securing the nectar, but bees also will work industriously in the petunias. They will scramble into the blossoms and, apparently complaining with high-pitched buzzing because of the tight fit, rifle the nectar-wells, that seem to be better adapted to insects of quite different build.”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 583

The lesson suggests that each child have their own flower for observation and that they have access to a petunia bed to observe the habits of the plant. We will be adding a few more petunias to our flower garden so we can observe all the interesting tidbits contained in the Handbook of Nature Study.

There are lots of suggestions for sketches in this lesson. We will be adding to our journals as the spring and summer go by. I found a coloring page for petunias if you would like one for your nature journal.

So now it is your turn to pick a garden flower and pull out the Handbook of Nature Study and see what you can learn this week. We will be moving on to buttercups this week. We have been observing them on our hikes for a few weeks now and it is high time that we take a few minutes to really study them. You can pick any flower you have in your yard or that you have access to and can observe up close. Even if you don’t do a formal study…take a few minutes this week to share a flower with your child. After all, it is spring now!


  1. Thanks for sharing your study. It is inspiring to see your son has such a love of nature even in his busy life – your efforts must be paying off.

  2. Hi Casey,

    I got to thinking yesterday as I wrote the post that a lot of people have a certain impression of our family. I wanted you all to know a little about my oldest son who although he lives a very busy life, finds time to be outdoors with his family.

    Thanks for the comment,

  3. Anonymous says:

    I really love this entry. It makes me want to go out and get Petunias.

    Usually I like to do a formal, well-prepared Nature Study, but other times, like my entry for this week, I like to go for an unplanned, unprepared walk just to discovery whatever is there. Nature Study is versitile that way, huh?

  4. Phyllis,

    I really enjoyed your slideshow of spring flowers. The tulips were gorgeous.

    Thanks for sharing your flowers,
    Barb-Harmony Art Mom

  5. After four days of heavy rain, we were so happy to get out and study some flowers today!

  6. We have some petunias just starting to come up. The sprouts are so tiny, just like the seeds.

  7. Well my flowers aren’t petunias, but at least we could learn about some flowers. I was glad that this post was on cultivated flowers, since we’d gone searching for wild flowers earlier and came up with…drum roll…dandelions.

    But we were so privileged to go see fields of tulips and then learn all about them.


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