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Renee’s Garden Seeds – July 2016 Results

End of July Garden Update

-Renee’s Garden Seed Review for 2016

Please note that I received free seeds as part of a promotional privilege from Renee’s Garden Seeds. I am going to share my honest opinion of seeds we have used for many years.


What did we plant this year?

Blue Lake Heirloom Pole Beans – So far we have only lush looking plants and no beans to harvest. We planted these on 5/23 so we should have seen some beans forming. I’m not sure what is going on with these.

Renees Garden Slenderette green beans

Classic Slenderette Bush Beans - This are a winner! We have been enjoying this easy to grow and pick variety for over a month now. They are tasty, tender, and I find them super easy to pick. The plants are compact and have given us an abundance of beans.

Pandorino Italian Grape Tomato - I planted these in the wrong spot and they are shaded by the zucchini. The plants are starting to look great so maybe there is still hope that they will produce some tomatoes soon.

Renees Garden raven zucchini

Raven Dark Green Zucchini – Yum, yum! We are eating this zucchini every other day now that it is producing. The plants look great and the zucchini is easy to pick and tastes delicious!

 Renees Garden Lion Zinnia

Sundancer Sunflowers - These are growing well but no blossoms yet.

Scarlett O’Hara Heirloom Morning Glory – This is such a pretty color flower and it is just getting started blooming. I am going to enjoy it for some time to come.

Snow Sonata Knee High White Cosmos - These are something new we are trying and they look healthy…hopefully some flowers soon!

White Wonder – Heirloom Double Feverfew I can’t find any of these growing in the box…maybe I’m missing them and they will come up later.

Mighty Lion – Butterfly Zinnia Amazing flowers! This is my favorite new zinnia ever. The flowers are so large and orange that you can’t help but be happy when you see them in the garden.

Paradise Mix Echinacea – Butterfly Flowers This is another one that doesn’t seem to have grown.

White Bishop’s Lace- Butterfly Flowers Pretty flowers! This is another new flower in the garden box and you can be sure it will be grown again!

I am loving my garden this year…in the actual square foot garden boxes. The last few years with the drought we have been unable to plant a real garden so this is a delight.


If you are creating a garden journal or using your garden as your nature study subject this summer, I highly recommend the notebooking pages linked below. Please note these are my affiliate links.

Note these are affiliate links to products I love!
Wildflowers, Weeds, & Garden Flowers Notebooking PagesNature Study Notebooking Pages

Download a FREE sample of A-Z Animal Notebooking Pages from









Garden Seeds Project – Photo, Journal, Plan

Garden Seeds Journal Plan @handbookofnaturestudy

We received our seed order from Renee’s Garden and it inspired us to get out into the garden and start our spring clean up. The end of March and the beginning of April is the time we can get out and start weeding the boxes and dreaming of the summertime garden goodness that will be coming fast!

Garden Clean Up March 2016 (12)

Here’s the garden before the clean up.

With all of our children living away from home, the garden chores all fall on my husband and I. I have a hard time bending over for very long so I decided to work a half hour every afternoon and with three days of doing that and one rather long afternoon with my husband, we finished the initial clean up.

Garden Clean Up March 2016 (1)

Here is the after image.

Now we can make a list of things we still need to do to get the boxes ready including a good composting. The drip system needs a bit of revamping as well but we have a month or so before we will need to have the irrigation ready.
Renee Garden Seeds and Plants March 2016 (6)

In the meantime, I will be planting several veggies in containers up on our deck where I can nurture them through the early spring. I will also be planting veggies in the garden boxes but I have enjoyed watching and eating the veggies on our back deck in the past few years and don’t want to miss that experience this year.

Garden Planning Nature Journal Idea @handbookofnaturestudy

As part of the Garden Seeds Challenge, I started on a Garden Planning page in my nature journal. I sketched a few of the seeds we will be planting this year and included some of my garden growing thoughts too!

We looked up our hardiness zone to remind ourselves of when we can plant each of the vegetables we have on our list: Plant Zone Hardiness Calendar.

We can usually count on having a good garden if we get our seeds in the ground by May 1st. I don’t ever plant anything fancy so here is our list for 2016.


  • Lettuce: Baby Leaf Lettuce,
  • Green Beans – French Mascotte (container bush beans), Classic Slenderette (bush beans), Blue Lake pole beans.
  • Tomatoes – Litt’l Bites Cherry (container), Pandorino (Italian grape tomato)
  • Squash – Astia (container zucchini), Raven zucchini
  • Baby Bell peppers


  • Sunflowers- Bird and Bee Pollinator Mix, Sundancer.
  • White Bishop’s Lace
  • Zinnias
  • Echinacea (Paradise mix)
  • Snow Sonata Cosmos
  • White Wonder Feverfew
  • Grandmother’s Pincushion scabiosa

 Garden Clean Up March 2016 (15)

After all of that work, it is so nice to sit with the feet up and enjoy a cool drink as you survey all your hard yardwork.

Gardens ebook Outdoor Hour challenge

If you are a member here on the Handbook of Nature Study, you will find this archive challenge in the Garden Flower and Plant Ebook in your library. In the ebook you will find a custom notebook page designed for use with this particular challenge.

Garden Seeds Study Notebook Pages

PLUS there is a new printable in the member’s library for sketching your garden seeds too!

Handbook of Nature Study Ultimate Naturalist Library




Outdoor Hour Challenge – Garden Seeds

Outdoor Hour Challenge Garden Seeds Observations @handbookofnaturestudy

Outdoor Hour Challenge
Garden Seeds – Observations
Archive Challenge

Now that spring is really here, let’s get our gardening started! Of course, that means picking seeds and for all nature loving families we can make that into a simple and meaningful nature study. Taking time to note the differences and unique shape, size, and color of flower and vegetable seeds will make an impression on your young naturalist. Even if you just pick one kind of seed and do a thorough job with your observations there will be long lasting benefits to this type of seed study.

Garden Study – Seeds and Observations


You may also want to use this printable activity if you plan on visiting a garden nursery.

Gardens ebook Outdoor Hour challenge

If you are a member here on the Handbook of Nature Study, you will find this archive challenge in the Garden Flower and Plant Ebook in your library. In the ebook you will find a custom notebook page designed for use with this particular challenge.

Handbook of Nature Study Ultimate Naturalist Library