Posted on Leave a comment

Outdoor Hour Challenge – Summer Bachelor Buttons

This week we’re starting to work through the Nature Study Continues – Summer! I invite you to join us for a fantastic series of nature study plans with the Outdoor Hour Challenge.

Now that it’s spring, it is so exciting to be starting off the series with a colorful garden flower.

“We call it bachelor’s button; but in Europe it is called the cornflower, and under this name it found its way into literature….Their tubes flare open like trumpets, and they are indeed color trumpets heralding to the insect world that there is nectar for the probing and pollen for exchange.”

Handbook of Nature Study

bachelor buttons

Use the suggestions in the Handbook of Nature Study linked below to take a look at some garden flowers this week. If you have access to the bachelor’s button, learn more in depth about the composite flower using Lesson 131 in the Handbook of Nature Study.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Bachelors Buttons @handbookofnaturestudy

Link to the Archive Challenge: Bachelor Buttons


Outdoor Hour Challenge Summer Nature Study continues cover

If you want to purchase the Summer Nature Study Continues ebook so you can follow along with all the notebooking pages, coloring pages, and subject images, you can join the Ultimate or Journey Membership Levels.

The rest of the topics in this summer series are:

  • Water lily
  • Lacewing
  • Willow
  • Larkspur
  • Fish: Common shiner, Johnny darter, sunfish
  • Pearly everlasting
  • Asters
  • Baltimore oriole
  • Caddisfly and water strider

Ultimate Naturalist Library September 2017 @handbookofnaturestudy

See the Join Us page for complete information.

Use this discount code to receive $5 off your Ultimate Membership:



Posted on Leave a comment

Outdoor Hour Challenge- Bachelor’s Buttons

Outdoor Hour Challenge Bachelors Buttons @handbookofnaturestudy

Outdoor Hour Challenge
Bachelor’s Buttons

Inside Preparation Work:

  • Read pages  578-579 in the Handbook of Nature Study (Lesson #160). This is a short lesson but still full of interesting tidbits about bachelor’s buttons, or cornflower.
  • Please note that this lesson refers you to Lesson #131 on composite flowers. You will be using the ideas in Lesson #131 to complete your Bachelor’s buttons study.
  • Video: Here is a nicely made video focusing on Bachelor’s buttons:

Outdoor Hour Time:

  • This is a perfect time of year to take a garden walk.
  • If you have your own flower garden, make a special point to prepare your child for a garden nature study by explaining what you will be looking for during your fifteen minutes outdoors.
  • If you need to visit a local flower garden, make sure to explain that you can’t always pick flowers if they belong to someone else without their permission.
  • Look for this week’s flower or look for plants at your garden nursery to observe.

Follow-Up Activity:

  • Create your nature journal entry featuring a Bachelor’s button or another garden flower you observed for this challenge. There are notebook pages in the ebook for you to use.
  • Advanced Study: Research the difference between annual flowers and perennials.

Handbook of Nature Study Ultimate Naturalist Library
If you want to purchase the Summer Nature Study Continues ebook so you can follow along with all the notebooking pages, coloring pages, and subject images, you can join the Ultimate or Journey Membership Levels. See the Join Us page for complete information. Also, you can view the Summer Nature Study Continues – New Ebook announcement page for more details.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Summer Nature Study Continues ebook

Posted on 3 Comments

Updated Wildside-New Garden Arch-Delighted Nature Mama

Arch frontyard - frame
This was a big week in the garden.

My dear sweet husband surprised me by making a new garden arch for my front yard. We had talked about adding a decorative arch, kicked around a few ideas, and then he added his creative touch. I love the way it makes a sort of  “window frame” to the lower part of the garden. He is going to fill in the bare spot with another sage. The poppies are filling in naturally and I think by next year they will be to this lowest part of the yard.

Arch frontyard closeup
He added a few of my favorite things….birds, butterflies, vines. (Maybe all this garden beauty will distract me from my neighbor’s falling down fence.)

Tilled Wildside
He didn’t stop there. He finished up the top terrace of the front yard….he eliminated much of my wildside garden but now it is going to be filled with more wonderful color. Just a note: He used the idea I found on Pinterest to spray a solution of vinegar and water on the weeds before trying to remove them. He sprayed last weekend and let it sit for a week. It was awesome how easy those weeds just hoed out of the ground. He was able to do this entire area in less than an hour! I didn’t get a “finished” shot….I will soon.

Yarrow in the Garden
We are adding more yarrow…a different color this time. The yarrow in our front yard is amazing right now…what a great performer with no water and lots of sunshine.

Yarrow Lavender and Poppies
Maybe someday this new section will be as colorful as the established part of the garden. Here is an image from the top terrace looking down onto the yarrow, lavender, butterfly bush, poppies, and dogwoods. We also added some lamb’s ear among the rock garden. I am going to see if spreads too much but it has added a new texture to the yard.

Switch gears now and head to the back butterfly garden.

Columbine red yellow beauty
The columbine is starting to bloom! This is such a wonderfully happy flower that loves my semi shady spot in the butterfly garden. Look at those colors!

Columbine red yellow
How about the shape? Isn’t it interesting to see how different the back of the flower looks from the front? I am adding this image to my nature journal…I think watercolors.

Swallowtail in the garden
Last but not least, I wanted to share another one of my swallowtail visitors to my back garden. This magnificent butterfly spent quite a bit of time yesterday fluttering among my potted plants. He seemed to like the bright pink dianthus the best.

So now you know what I am one delighted nature mama. I love this time of year!

Jami’s Tuesday Garden Party meme is open from Tuesday to Thursday so there is still time for you to jump in and participate!

Posted on 1 Comment

Wednesday Flower Study #8: Dianthus/Carnations/Bachelor’s Buttons/Cornflowers

Wednesday Flower Study Dianthus Carnations Bachelors Buttons @handbookofnaturestudy
We have two varieties of dianthus in our garden…one red and one white.

I have been thinking all along that they were the same thing as bachelor’s buttons but apparently not. See, I learned something this week. The dianthus in our garden are actually varieties of carnations. Bachelor’s buttons are composite flowers and carnations are not.

They smell like spicy vanilla…my favorite.

“Each bachelor’s buttons is made up of many little flowers…”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 579

Apparently I have no actual bachelor’s buttons in my garden.

I am thoroughly confused about the different names of these two flowers…..bachelor’s buttons and cornflowers.

as well as dianthus and sweet williams and then………..

there are carnations.

We are going to do some more research. 🙂 I am going to list some links below for my reference and you are welcome to read them if you are interested.

Bachelor’s Buttons/Cornflower
Sweet Williams/Dianthus or Carnations