Outdoor Hour Challenge: Violets Nature Study

Outdoor Hour Challenge

Violets Nature Study

I love violets! In the summer, we have thousands of them that come up all over the yard. They are in the flower beds, in the lawn, and even between the pavers of our walkway! I love their happy colors and I’m anxious to see them again once the season changes.


Most of our violets are transplants from a friend that have gone wild and reseeded themselves. But, we do have one native violet that grows as a wildflower along the edges of our property. It is the goosefoot violet and it’s yellow.

goosefoot violet

I need to be careful when I’m weeding along the fence because I could easily weed them right out of the flower bed. Learning their leaf shape, a distinctive “goose print” shape, has helped me to let them be when I’m cleaning out the weeds. Plus, it helps me remember its name! The goosefoot violet is one of our spring ephemerals and signals us that spring is on its way, making it a very welcome flower when we see it starting to bloom.

fragrant violet

I think Anna Botsford Comstock had a love for violets as well. When you read the lesson in the Handbook of Nature Study you can hear her appreciation for their form and beauty. She does mention the fact that not all violets are fragrant. This was a surprise to me because our violets in California all had that distinctive violet perfume fragrance. The goosefoot violet has no fragrance at all. Turns out, Anna was helpful in giving us some valuable information in order to correctly identify the wild violets.

Violet Nature Study @handbookofnaturestudy

View the original challenge here: Outdoor Hour Challenge – Violets.

Make sure to check your local field guide to see which violets are native and then be on the lookout for some to observe in your nature study. As suggested in the original challenge, look for “johnny jump ups” in your garden nursery as a substitute for wild violets.

Violets notebook page 2

Violets notebook page 1.pub

If you have access to the Winter Nature Study Continues ebook, there are two notebook pages to choose from for your nature journal.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Winter Nature Study Continues ebook

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020

To purchase an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership, click on over to the Join Us page at any time. You can use the discount code NATURE5 to receive $5 off your Ultimate Naturalist Library membership.

Members can download and use any of the wildflower challenges from the three ebooks available in the Member’s Library.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Wildflower Set 1 Ebook

OHC Wildflower Set 2 @handbookofnaturestudy

Outdoor Hour Challenge Wildflower 3 Covermaker




Garden Flower Nature Study Planning

Garden Flower Nature Study Planning

This is the season for planning your garden whether it’s a flower garden or a vegetable garden. Anticipating the colorful flowers, the delicious tasting fruits, and the many hours of happily tending the garden is more than half the fun in my opinion. Paging through seed catalogs or scrolling your favorite gardening sites online can fill your cold winter days with pleasant thoughts of things to come.

I’ve already started my garden planning for the year and put in my seed order to Renee’s Garden Seeds. If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you already know that I love this seed company. I always have great results from their products and they are my go to place to purchase seeds for the garden.

Because of our short growing season here in Central Oregon (less than 60 days), our garden is mostly flowers now and not veggies. But, I have decided to try a green bean and broccoli raab crop this year as an experiment. I will keep you posted on our results.

Renees Seed Packets

Want to know my list of seeds?

4th of July Heirloom Cornflowers

Lace Perfume Fragrant Dianthus

Lace Mantle Sweet Williams

Rainbow of California Poppies – We grew these last year in our garden and they are gorgeous!

Lemon Queen Sunflowers – These are the sunflowers suggested to grow as part of the Great Sunflower (bee counting) Project.

Classic Slenderette Green Beans – We’re going to try this variety because of its short growing to harvest time.

Early Rapini Heirloom Broccoli Raab – This is another crop we hope we can grow here in our cooler climate.

Astia Container Zucchini – I grew this in California in a big pot on my back deck. I’m hoping to have some success with it here in Oregon.

Sweet Greens and Reds lettuce mix – This is another variety of a lettuce we grew last year from Renee’s.

Garden Babies Butterhead container lettuce – This is a new lettuce for us and I’m hoping it produces a few heads for us to enjoy.

Cinnamon Sun Sunflowers – I’m excited to try a new color of sunflowers in this year’s garden.

Chocolate Daisy - This is an old favorite that I want to try this year in our new garden box. (It does have the fragrance of chocolate!)

I am eagerly awaiting their arrival! It will be a while before I can actually plant them, but I can dream about the warm summer afternoons in the garden while I wait.

Handbook of Nature Study Flowers chart with Outdoor Hour Challenges

Maybe you would like to start dreaming and planning for your summer flower garden nature studies. I have completely updated my chart of garden flower topics from the Handbook of Nature Study. Each flower has an Outdoor Hour Challenge associated with it on the website and an ebook with notebook pages to use for your study. Use the links in the chart to decide on which flowers you will study this summer!

Download a copy here: Handbook of Nature Study List of Garden Flowers with the Outdoor Hour Challenge.

Ultimate Naturalist Library members have access to all the ebooks required. If you’d like to purchase an annual membership, click the link above and then use the discount code NATURE5 to receive $5 off your membership.

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020

All memberships are valid for one year after your purchase. The library of ebooks, the newsletters, and all the printables will be only a few clicks away.

Ambleside Online Approved @handbookofnaturestudy

For those of you following the Ambleside Online nature schedule, the spring topic is garden flowers and weeds. Please feel free to combine your nature study with the Outdoor Hour Challenges found in the archives.




March Nature Study – New Printables, Plan, and Planning Page

March Nature Study Plans – Outdoor Hour Challenge

I cannot tell you how excited I am that we’re continuing with our early spring wildflower studies! Although we don’t have any wildflowers blooming yet in Central Oregon, I know that making a pre-study of any topic makes it more likely I’ll recognize that subject in the future when we do see it on our travels.

Don’t forget to use the Plant Family notebooking pages that are in the Member’s Library to enhance study of any wildflower you encounter.

violet nature journal page

Note: Violets are in the violet plant family and bleeding hearts, Dutchman’s breeches, and squirrel corn are in the poppy family).

3/5/2021 – Violet Nature Study

3/12/2021 – Bleeding Hearts Nature Study

3/19/2021 – Dutchman’s Breeches and Squirrel Corn Nature Study

3/26/2021 – Early Spring Grid Nature Study

March Quick Observations nb page image

Drawing Leaves observation veins notebook page

New Printables in the Members Library

Leaf Veins Observation and Drawing notebook page: Once the spring leaves start to emerge, collect a few to draw on this notebook page. Research the vein patterns to help your children go a little deeper in their study of leaves and plants.

March Quick Observations notebook page: You still may be experiencing colder temperatures so a quick walk may be a great start to your spring nature study. Use this new notebook page to make simple and quick observations of 1 plant, 1 tree, 1 bird, and 1 unusual or extraordinary thing you discover on your weekly nature walks. I created two versions of the page for you to choose from depending on your family’s interests and ages.

Printables for Members Button

Click the graphic above to view the complete list of printables available as part of an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership.


March 2021 nature planner page

Members also have access to the Nature Planner pages in their library. Print out this month’s page and use it to stimulate your weekly nature study time.


Join Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020

If you’d like to have access to the member’s printables and the newsletter archive, I invite you to join with an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership. Your membership will be valid for one year from the date of purchase. Click the graphic above to see the many benefits of an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership.


Outdoor Hour Challenge Winter Nature Study Continues ebook

The Outdoor Hour Challenges this month are from the Winter Nature Study Continues ebook.