Sweet Peas-Green Hour Challenge #15

My daughter helped me out this week by drawing sweet peas in her nature journal. She used colored pencils to make this beautiful drawing.

We also spent some time planting more seeds in the garden this week. We are using a fantastic idea I found on Cocoa’s blog for challenge number 12. If you go over to her blog, make sure to scroll down towards the bottom of the entry to see their flower garden project.

We prepared a small flower bed next to our morning glories, put some potting soil in the wheelbarrow, opened the packets of seeds and sprinkled them. We mixed up the seeds and the soil and then took handfuls and spread them on top of our new garden bed.


Here is the flower bed all seeded and ready for some water and sunshine.

We are hoping that we get a sort of wild looking mix of flowers here over the summer.

Here is a beautiful bloomer we have in a pot on the back deck. I just love the bold colors of this flower.

We are getting quite a collection of garden flower drawings in our nature notebooks. So much color and variety are found right in our own backyard.

Spring Walk: Thistle, Ladybug, Daisy

Yesterday afternoon was a perfect time to take a walk on our local walking/biking trail. The weather has been rainy the last few days and we were ready to get out and enjoy some fresh air. The clouds kept drifting in and covering the sun but it was still warm and spring-like.

Three of the children decided to come and we had an enjoyable time walking and talking and just spending time together….as they get older that doesn’t happen as often as I would like. My middle son brought his scooter and he was zipping in and out as we just walked along.

The photos in this entry are an experiment in uploading for me so forgive me if the captions are not exactly with the photos. :)

This is some kind of flowering clover…I think. It sure looks like some kind of clover but this is really close-up.

Look at this guy….after all my observations yesterday of the ladybug larva, I was happy to see this shiny insect as we walked along.

Then there was this daisy and I am pretty sure this is a Mariposa Lily.

Okay, this was definitely some kind of thistle.

Don’t you love the view from this part of the trail?

“The thistle is covered with sharp spines, and these serve to protect it from grazing animals. It has beautiful purple flowers, arranged in heads similar to those of the sunflower.”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 526

There is a whole section in the Handbook on thistles starting on page 524.

“Every child loves this flower (daisy), and yet it is not well understood. It is always at hand for study from June until the frosts have laid waste the fields. However much enjoyment we get from the study of this beautiful flower-head, we should study the plant as a weed also, for it is indeed a pest to those farmers who do not practice a rotation of crops.”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 522

There is a section on white daisies in the Handbook starting on page 522.

“The clovers enrich with nitrogen the soil in which they are planted. They are very valuable as food for stock. Their flowers are pollinated by bees.”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 594

There is a section on clover in the Handbook starting on page 591.

Sorry for all the vague descriptions but I didn’t have a lot of time this morning to get a firm identification on all of them. I will try to come back and update as I have the time to research.

This is a life project I decided.

Sweet Peas and Blackberries

This morning I was out in the yard for morning rounds and I noticed how many blackberries we are going to have on the vines. There are so many blossoms and when you examine the plant closely, there are tiny little berries forming already. I am in a constant battle with the blackberry vines in both my front and back yards. If left to grow, they would soon take over all the corners. We have worked for years to manage these creeping vines and I have come to accept that we will have few here and there and I will just be at peace with their beauty and their fruit. I love picking a handful of sweet berries as I roam around the yard.

There is no information on blackberries in the Handbook of Nature Study so I will need to pull out another gardening book that I have to learn more about them.

Do you see the little green berries starting there? So delicate and beautiful….and it holds the promise of a sweet treat in a few months.

Along the base of our foundation we always have sweet peas plant themselves and grow up among the bushes that border our house. This year they are pink.
“The sweet pea has some of its leaflets changed to tendrils which hold it to the trellis. Its flower is like that of the clover, the upper petal forming the banner, the two side petals the wings, and the two united lower petals the keel which protects the stamens and pistil.”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 589

You can clearly see all the parts of the sweet pea as described in the Handbook of Nature Study. I think we will use this flower for our Green Hour Challenge this week and try to draw it in our nature journals.

Can you believe how pretty these are? Such a pretty shade of pink.

If you have sweet peas in your neighborhood, you can use pages 588-590 to learn more about the sweet pea so you can share a few interesting facts with your children. There are also wonderful observation suggestions that you can use in your nature study.

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