Garden Flower-Learning Our Parts Green Hour #13

We have so many garden flowers blooming right now that it is hard to pick one to draw for our nature journal….too many choices. Not a bad problem but still not enough time to do all that we want to.

Here is my son’s day lily drawing.

Here is my azalea drawing.

We have had fun looking closely at all the flower parts and deciding how each insect is attracted to each particular flower.

That was our formal nature study this week….we have spent parts of every afternoon in the garden watering, weeding, and putting in more seeds and seedlings. Now that the hot weather has hit, we will see them come to life. The sunflowers are growing so fast I think you could sit and watch them get taller.

We will be putting some flowers in the press this week and I will share a fun project that I found to do with them in my next Outdoor Hour post.

Here is an entry from challenge #12 that I wanted to share with you. I love this idea and I am going to be doing it in my garden over the weekend.
Chocolate on My Cranium’s Challenge #12 -Focus on Flowers
Make sure to scroll down to the photo with the kids and the wheelbarrow!

Outdoor Hour Challenge #14: Pressing Flowers

“If the mother lacks a knowledge of plants, a good field guide will be indispensable, especially if she can find one that includes little facts and fun things about the plants. To collect flowers, press them and glue them to cardboard with the name in English, what kind of habitat it grows in, and when it was found…This is fun and educational.”
Charlotte Mason volume 1, page 51

We are now three weeks into our eight week focus on garden flowers. By now you should have had time to find some garden flowers to observe, perhaps have planted some seeds of your own, learned a few names for flower parts, and are ready to start a pressed flower collection.

Outdoor Hour Challenge #14
Pressing Flowers

1. Gather a few common materials to use for pressing flowers. For your outings, select an old phone book or an old reading book that you can use to press flowers between the pages as you collect them. This will help transport your flower specimens home to where you can put them into a press. There is no need for anything fancy. We have been using cardboard, copier paper, and rubber bands to make a handy flower and leaf press. See video for an explanation: Making a Simple Flower Press.

2. Take your 10-15 minute outdoor time to look for some garden flowers in your local area. Observe your seeds that you planted in challenge 12, if you did that part of the challenge. Remember to use the correct labels for the plant parts that you read about in challenge number 13. Gather a few flowers to bring home to press in your own flower press.

3. Follow up in the Handbook of Nature Study with any flowers that you saw during your Green Hour time and that are listed in the table of contents. Use the observation ideas for your next outing to learn more about that particular flower.

4. Give an opportunity for a nature journal entry. Work on drawing another garden flower. Remember that we will be working on flower drawing skills in week 15. If you have seeds growing, record their progress in your nature journal.

5. Add any new flowers to your list of garden flowers. If you are making field guide cards for your garden flowers, add another card this week. If you make one card per week, by the end of this focus period you will have eight cards completed.

6. Take the flowers that you gathered during your nature time and add them to your press. There is a definite technique for getting them to lay flat as you place them between the paper and the cardboard. Some flowers are better at laying flat and others you will have to squeeze sideways. Experiment as the next few weeks go by.

I made a two minute video explaining how to make a very simple flower press for this week’s challenge. Please watch the video and you will see that anyone can do this and be successful:
How to Make a Flower Press

This challenge is part of my Garden Flowers ebook. This ebook has ten garden related challenges that will walk you through a study of garden flowers using the Handbook of Nature Study. In addition to the challenges already written, there will be more photos, nature journal examples, book lists, and totally new notebook pages designed to go with each of the Garden Flower Challenges.

Ultimate Ebook Library @handbookofnaturestudy

Watching New Ferns Unfolding: Yosemite

This past weekend we took a hike at Yosemite National Park. The ferns were all coming to life and unrolling their new growth. I found the soft greens a delight for the eyes.

“All of the parts of the frond of a fern are tightly folded spirally within the bud and every fold of every leaflet is also folded in a spiral. But the first glance at one of these little woolly spirals gives us but small conception of its marvelous enfolding. Every part of the frond is present in that bud, even to the fruiting organs…”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 698 in the section “How a Fern Bud Unfolds”

Here is a look at what the fern looks like after it unfolds. Beautiful.