Amgueddfa Blog: Spring Bulbs

Hello again Bulb Buddies!  Eagle eyed weather watchers like yourselves have had plenty to keep up with recently.  We’ve seen all sorts of weather recently, from snow and frost to glorious spring sunshine.  You might be wondering how all these different types of weather will affect your Baby Bulbs – don’t worry Bulb Buddies, your Baby Bulbs don’t mind going with flow when it comes to the weather.  They can cope with cold, resist rain and handle the heat with ease!

Speaking of the weather, I’d like to say a huge thank you to all Bulb Buddies and their teachers for continuing to upload their weather data when possible.  Please don’t worry if you can’t do so at the moment – we understand everybody’s circumstances are unique and this is absolutely fine!

Many Bulb Buddies have reported beautiful blossoms on their crocuses and daffodils which is fantastic news! It must be such an amazing feeling to see your hard work beginning to pay off.  I always love to hear about Baby Bulbs which have grown into beautiful blossoms so remember to make a note of the date you first notice a flower and let me know by entering the date into the Spring Bulbs website. Every Bulb Buddy is looking after their own Baby Bulb, so in a class of 25 Bulb Buddies for example, that would be 25 dates to enter into the website.  Teachers - if you notice lots of flowers when you return to school you can submit that date you return to school as the flowering date, just leave me a comment in the website to remind me!

Please don’t worry if your Baby Bulbs haven’t flowered yet, they might have been put off slightly by the recent cold weather.  I’m sure they’ll flower in the next couple of weeks as the weather gets warmer!

Of course many Bulb Buddies are still away from school and their Baby Bulbs.  Please don’t worry if you haven’t seen your Baby Bulbs in a while, they will be OK in school!  Fingers crossed Bulb Buddies will be back in the classroom before long, but until then I’ve thought of some fun activities for Bulb Buddies to try at home!  These activities are all about the weather and gardening and will definitely help if you’re missing your Baby Bulbs.  Why not give them a try and share your hard work on Twitter?  My handle is @Professor_Plant and remember to use the hashtag #BulbBuddies!

Thank you all so much for your hard work and dedication Bulb Buddies, teachers and parents.  You’re all Spring Bulb superstars!

Happy Gardening!

Professor Plant.

Happy New Year Bulb Buddies!  It’s February already which means spring will be here before we know it.  Some of you may have noticed shoots from your bulbs by now – if so then you’re well on your way to some beautiful blossoms.  Don’t worry if you can’t see any shoots yet, some bulbs take a little longer before they’re ready to sprout, especially if it’s cold outside.

We all know this spring will be little different from other years.  I’m sure many of you Bulb Buddies will be missing your classroom and playground if you’re learning at home.  Perhaps some of you are also thinking of your Baby Bulbs back in school without anybody to look after them – don’t worry, your bulbs will be safe and sound, especially if they’re outside. 

Even though we’re not all in school at the moment Professor Plant still needs your help to collect the weather data and my goodness what a lot of data there is to collect!  It’s very important that we keep a note of rainfall and temperature as our bulbs grow because this will help us to understand our results better in the spring.  I’ve thought of a few ways you might be able to keep your Baby Bulbs happy and help Professor Plant to carry on collecting weather and flower data.  I’d be over the moon if you could help by doing one of these things if you’re able to:

 

Professor Plant’s ideas for continuing to collect data at home:

  • Could Bulb Buddies/parents safely collect their pots and take them home to monitor their growth?
  • Could a Bulb Buddy who lives close to school safely collect the weather equipment and take weather records at home?
  • Would a teacher still attending school be happy to collect weather and flower data with any Bulb Buddies still in attendance?  Data collected could be submitted to the website or collected for the original class to submit on their return to school.
  • Is there someone with access to the school who might be willing to monitor the plants?

 

What else can Bulb Buddies do from home?

  •  It’s very important to collect weather data for our bulbs –perhaps you could keep a weather diary for Professor Plant?
  • The MET office Weather Observation Website will have temperature and rainfall data for your area, perhaps you could make a note of these every day?
  • Bulb Buddies and parents learning at home should keep checking the Spring Bulbs website for learning resources and activities to try at home
  • Why not share your hard work on Twitter?  My handle is @Professor_Plant

 

Thank you all so much for your help Bulb Buddies, you are all doing fantastic work with this investigation and I definitely couldn’t do this without you!  I’d also like to give a special thank you to the teachers and parents too – we’re so grateful for your help overcoming everything this term throws at us.

Happy gardening everyone!

Professor Plant.

close up of daffodils

Hi Bulb Buddies,

Thank you for all of your hard work collecting weather data over the last few weeks. The next week for weather records will be 4-8 January. When entering data to the website please enter 'no record' for the dates that you weren't in school to take readings.

There's no need to take your pots home with you over Christmas. So long as they are in a safe place in the school yard where they are unlikely to get blown over by the wind, they will be fine. The bulbs are insulated by the soil and can withstand the winter weather.

The weather has been mild in many places again this autumn/ winter, and it will be interesting to see how this effects our plants.

Have a lovely break Bulb Buddies.

Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year from

Professor Plant & Baby Bulb

Hi Bulb Buddies,

I've enjoyed reading your comments and seeing all the photos you've shared of planting day. I'm glad that you had so much fun planting your bulbs and that you are excited about taking weather records. My favourite comment this week came from Pearson Primary; they were happy that it had rained because it meant that they could take rainfall readings.

Here are some of the comments you've shared with your weather data so far:

Weather data

Pearson Primary School: Yay it finally rained a bit. Professor Plant: It makes me very happy to think that being able to take rain measurements means you are happy to see it rain. Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies.

Our Lady of Peace Primary School: Hi Professor Plant its K* and A*, we are having so much fun doing this job thank you again from K* and A*. Professor Plant: You are welcome Bulb Buddies, I’m glad you are enjoying the project!

Llanbedr Church in Wales Primary: We may need to look at the location of our rain catcher. Professor Plant: If you have noticed that the rain catcher is being blocked in some way then it would be good to find a new location. Well done for observing this Bulb Buddies.

St Joseph's Primary (North Road): We've really enjoyed planting our bulbs and have set up our rain gauge. We're really looking forward to collecting our data! Professor Plant: Fantastic work, I’m happy that you are enjoying the project.

Ochiltree Primary School: So fun and I enjoyed checking the measurements so much. Professor Plant: Fantastic, keep up the good work!

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: A mild week with sunshine outbreaks - cannot believe we are in our 3rd week of observations! Professor Plant: Time flies when you are having fun, keep up the great work Bulb Buddies.

St Peter Primary School (Plumbridge): We enjoyed our first week recording. It was very fun recording the temperature and rainfall. Professor Plant: I’m glad you are enjoying the project, you really are super scientists!

Your plants

St Patrick Primary School (Drumgreenagh): We enjoyed taking the temperature and the rainfall this week. We can`t wait until they bloom. We look at how they are doing every now and again. We hope we done a good job at looking after them. Professor Plant: It sounds like you are doing a fantastic job Bulb Buddies.

Coastlands School: It has been very wet this week here in Coastlands! We are wondering if this will affect the growth of our plants. We know our plants need water, but surely not this much! Professor Plant: Hi Bulb Buddies, thank you for your weather data and for the concern you’ve shown for your bulbs. It is possible for plants to receive too much water and this can cause damage and stunt growth. The plant pots you use have holes in them to help drain excess water. I would only worry if you notice that the soil becomes saturated and that puddles form on the surface for long periods of time. I would also like to check that you are entering your rainfall in mm and not cm measurements, as your rainfall does not seem to be overly high.

Llanedeyrn Primary School: On Monday we noticed a tip appearing from one of the pots - a daffodil bulb. Through the week 6 more tips of the daffodil bulbs are appearing. Professor Plant: Fantastic work Bulb Buddies. Maybe you could take photos before you finish for the holidays and compare them when you are back in school!

Arkholme Primary School: A lot of leaves fell on the bulbs this week which gives them a nice blanket. It's been very wet this week but four bulbs have sprouted. Professor Plant: Well done for watching your bulbs closely and spotting the first signs of growth.

St Mary Primary School (Co Down): Hello Professor Plant. We have planted our bulbs and we are waiting and watching for them to grow. We can't wait to see the flowers bloom. Professor Plant: I’m glad to hear you are keeping a close eye on your plants Bulb Buddies, keep up the good work.

Carnbroe Primary School: No shoots have come out the plants yet. Professor Plant: Well done for keeping watch of your plants Bulb Buddies.

Ochiltree Primary School: I really enjoyed planting the bulbs it was really fun and exciting. Professor Plant: I’m glad you are enjoying the project Bulb Buddies.

Weather observations

Proffessor Plant: Thank you for your detailed weather observations Bulb Buddies. It’s fascinating to get a weekly overview from across the UK!

YGG Tonyrefail: Wel am wythnos wlyb!! Gobeithio cawn wythnos brafiach yr wythnos nesaf. 

Darran Park Primary: We have had a mixture of sunshine, clouds, fog and rain showers this week.

Livingston Village Primary School: It was really foggy on Monday and Tuesday. 

Ysgol Bro Pedr: It's been a mixed week - lots of rain and some sunshine - no need to water the bulbs. 

Moffat Academy: H*, A*, R* and F*. November 9th: mild and cloudy with a warm sun. November 10th: dark sky with lots of clouds. November 11th: warm but very cloudy. November 12th: sunny with a very cold wind. November 13th: heavy rain but sunny periods. Professor Plant: Thank you for the daily overview Bulb Buddies, keep up the good work.

Pil Primary School: There was more rainfall this week. The temperature went from 16 at the beginning of the week to 13 at the end of the week. We liked putting the information in. Professor Plant: I’m glad to hear that you are enjoying taking weather records Bulb Buddies.

Sheuchan Primary School: Today was a bright sunny day but it has the lowest temperature. 

Newbuildings Primary School: Lots of rain in Northern Ireland as well as some lovely sunshine! 

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: It's been a mild week with outbreaks of sunshine! 

Holy Cross Girls Primary School: Wednesday was a very wet day, so we didn't get to check our plants until Thursday. It was a cold week, Tuesday was the hottest temperature. 

Litchard Primary School: It’s been a mild week this week. It’s been wet with some lovely sunshine during the day.

Newbuildings Primary School: Newbuildings has had a lot of rain this week. The heaviest rainfall was on Thursday and Tuesday was the warmest day. No sign of any shoots on our bulbs yet! 

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: We observed our first frosts this week - it’s been a cold week! 

Holy Cross Girls Primary School: Wednesday was a very wet day, so we didn't get to check our plants until Thursday. It was a cold week, Tuesday was the hottest temperature. 

Hi Bulb Buddies, 

I hope that planting day went well and that you are enjoying documenting weather data for our investigation. 

I want to say a big thank you to you all for your hard work on planting day. Together we planted over 18,800 bulbs across the UK! Your fantastic planting day photos show that you had a great time.  

Weather records started on 2 November. There is a resource on the website with more information on keeping weather records. I’ve attached this here in case you haven’t already seen it. This resource helps you to answer important questions, such as why rainfall and temperature readings are important to our investigation into the effects of climate on the flowering dates of spring bulbs.  

Use your Weather Chart to log the rainfall and temperature every day that you are in school. At the end of each week, log into your Spring Bulbs account on the Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales website to enter your weekly readings. You can also leave comments or ask questions for me to answer in my next Blog. 

Let me know how you get on and remember that you can share photos via email or Twitter. 

Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies, 

Professor Plant 

 

Comments shared with the first weeks weather data:

Planting bulbs

St Patrick Primary School: We planted the bulbs on 3 November 2020 as it was a sunny day. We had so much fun planting the bulbs, it was a great experience for our class. Professor Plant: I’m glad you enjoyed planting your bulbs Bulb Buddies. I hope you enjoy taking weather records too! 

Our Lady of Peace Primary School: Thank you for sending us bulbs we really enjoyed planting them from K and A. Professor Plant: You are more than welcome Bulb Buddies, thank you for taking part in the project.  

Arkholme Primary School: We planted our bulbs before the half term holiday. The rain gauge and thermometer are set up and we enjoyed collected the information. Professor Plant: Fantastic work Bulb Buddies, it sounds like you have everything under control. Thank you for sharing your weekly data. 

Livingston Village Primary School: We had lots of rain over the weekend so that is why our rainfall was so high on Monday. We have had some of our bulbs dug up so we used our night vision camera to watch and see what was happening. We saw a squirrel and a bird digging at our bulbs! Professor Plant: I’m sorry to hear your bulbs were dug up, but what exciting detective work to find the culprit! I'd love to see the video footage if you are able to share it. It’s likely that the bird was making the most of the newly turned soil to look for food. Squirrels do eat some spring bulbs , but they are also known to dig up bulbs when looking for somewhere to store their food for the winter! If you find that your bulbs are dug up again, apparently sprinkling chilli flakes or powder in the area will deter squirrels.  

Coastlands School: Our professor plant has been wondering if the frosty mornings might effect the growth of our bulbs! Professor Plant: Hi Bulb Buddies, that's a good question. We expect that the weather will affect the growth of our plants and that they will flower earlier if we have a mild winter. Your bulbs will be nice and warm in the soil for the winter. You might like origami booklet resource on the Spring bulb website, this looks at the secret life of a bulb and what your bulb does in winter. 

Collecting weather data 

YGG Tonyrefail: Helo Athro'r ardd. Dyma ein canlyniadau cyntaf ni o YGG Tonyrefail. Rydw i'n falch o gael gweld yr heulwen!!! Professor Plant: Diolch Cyfeillian y Gwanwyn, daliwch ati gyda'r gwaith da. 

Steelstown Primary School: Our first week of weather watching was good fun. We had to set an alarm to remind us to do it at the same time every day. Professor Plant: Setting an alarm is a great idea Bulb Buddies! Thank you for sharing your data. 

Pearson Primary School: The children loved going down to the garden every day to check the temperature and to see if their plants are growing yet. As yet we have had no rain here, so hopefully we will get some over the weekend and the children can measure the rainfall next week. Professor Plant: I’m glad that the class are enjoying the project. I love that they are hoping for rain so that they can take rainfall readings! Fantastic work Bulb buddies. 

Pil Primary School: There was a lot of rain on Monday! We liked recording the results. Professor Plant: I’m glad you are enjoying taking weather readings. Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies. 

Sheuchan Primary School: Very wet start to week. Monday's rainfall figure includes from 2pm Friday to 2pm Monday. Professor Plant: Thank you for emptying the rain gauge on the Friday Bulb Buddies, keep up the good work. 

Carreghofa Primary School: It hasn't rained much this week but on Monday Mr Roberts empty the funnel out so mondays results was not accurate. Professor Plant: Thank you for letting me know Bulb Buddies, keep up the good work. 

St Mary Primary School (Co Down): Hello Professor Plant. We are the eco ambassador and the science champion in our class. We ae going to help our class observe the rainfall and the temperature this year to see the flowers grow. Professor Plant: Thank you for taking on leading roles with this project Bulb Buddies. I look forward to your updates on how the investigation is going at your school. 

St Peter Primary School (Plumbridge): We enjoyed our first week recording. Professor Plant: Fantastic Bulb Buddies, thank you for sharing your data. 

Weather observations 

Professor Plant: Thank you to the following schools for the detailed weather observations they have shared with their weekly data. Keep up the great work Bulb Buddies. 

Oystermouth Primary: Very dry end to the week in Mumbles. Temperatures appear high but it was much colder in reality. 

Porthcawl Primary: After loads of rain for the whole of half term and the start of the week it has been amazing sunshine since Wednesday 

Moffat Academy: At the weekend it was so rainy it filled up the rain-gage. The rest of the week was pretty dry. It felt very cold, though it was considerably warm temperature wise. Mostly cloudy through the week, with a bit of sun. Frost on the fifth, and mist or fog on the sixth. 

Newbuildings Primary School: The sun has been shining brightly in Newbuildings today! Monday and Tuesday have been very wet Thursday has been the hottest day of the week. Our bulbs are snug asleep in their little plant pots! 

Litchard Primary School: It's been frosty every morning with some ground frost. All the temp and rainfall has been the same and its sunny every afternoon. 

High Cross Primary School: We have noticed it has got colder this week. 

Ysgol Bro Pedr: It's been quite a cold week, but it's been really sunny towards the end of the week. 

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: We observed our first frosts this week - its been a cold week!