Amgueddfa Blog: Spring Bulbs

Flower Power

Thomas Lloyd, 25 March 2021

Hello again Bulb Buddies!

Lots of you have been in touch recently to let me know your Baby Bulbs have flowered which is wonderful news!  There’s not long left to enter your flower data into the Spring Bulbs website if you haven’t already – the deadline is Friday April 2nd, which also happens to be Good Friday so you can enjoy a well-earned hot cross bun after entering your data!  Please make sure your flower data is uploaded by this date for Bulb Buddies to receive their Super Scientist certificate!

Did you know you can leave me a comment when entering your flower and weather data into the website?  I really enjoy hearing about your experiences caring for your Baby Bulbs so do keep them coming in via the comments section of the Spring Bulbs website or even on Twitter.  Here are some of your comments over the past few weeks:

  • “ When we have a sunny day the crocus flowers are open like stars” – Class 2, Coastlands Primary.
  • It’s been lovely to witness during our observations how the flower closes when it has been cold and then see the flower open when the sun has been out!” – Amy, Stanford in the Vale Primary.

Well spotted Bulb Buddies!  Some flowers are quite delicate and will curl up to protect themselves from cold weather which could damage them. When temperatures rise they feel safe to “open like stars”!

Henllys CIW Primary have certainly had a mixed bag of daffodil results:

  • “Mine was really tall” – Aneurin
  • “Mine was really thin” – Emily
  • “Mine was really good until the wind broke it” - Oliver

Oh dear, I’m sorry to hear that Oliver! We certainly had some strong winds earlier this month which can be dangerous for tall daffodils.  It’s not your fault and you all did very well.

  • “My bulb opened today, but something has been eating the petals. Quite a few of our bulbs were taken by squirrels in the autumn because we captured some of them doing it on our night vision camera!” – Alexandra, Livingston Village Primary School.

Sadly this isn’t the first time I’ve heard of bushy tailed bandits stealing bulbs and there are more comment from LVPS about animals stealing bulbs for a free meal.  It’s easy to forget that plants are food for lots of creepy crawlies and other animals and at least you were able to provide a hungry animal with a meal.  I can’t believe you caught them red handed!  Do you have a photo you could share?

  • “It appears our bulbs in the ground opened first during February and are a much bigger plants than those in the pots. We have thoroughly enjoyed this project and a special mention must go to Riley (an ex-student of the school) for helping Mrs Finney with the weather and rainfall observations during lockdown.” – Mrs. Finney, Stanford in the Vale Primary School.

How interesting - bulbs in the ground have more nutrients and space to grow than potted bulbs so they often flower sooner and can grow taller if sheltered from the wind.  I’m thrilled to hear you’ve all enjoyed working on the project and what a fantastic effort from Riley!  I read all your wonderful comments about the weather and gardening and thank you so much for helping Mrs. Finney with the project over lockdown, what an amazing Bulb Buddy you are!

This year has been tough for everyone but you’ve all done fantastically well and seeing so many beautiful blossoms is a testament to your hard work and dedication.  Thank you so much again Bulb Buddies, teachers and parents!  We’re hoping to open applications for the 2021 – 22 academic year soon after the Easter holidays so if you’ve enjoyed being Bulb Buddies this year you can have the chance to look after some new Baby Bulbs next year!

Happy Gardening!

Professor Plant.

 

A Spring in Our Step

Thomas Lloyd, 3 March 2021

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.

Professor Plant Needs Your Help!

Thomas Lloyd, 9 February 2021

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

Happy Christmas Bulb Buddies

Penny Tomkins, 16 December 2020

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

Your Weather Comments

Penny Tomkins, 16 November 2020

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.