Amgueddfa Blog: Spring Bulbs

Hello Bulb Buddies,

An exciting number of schools have reported that their Daffodil and Crocus plants are growing. Some schools have noted that their plants look close to flowering. With that in mind it is a good time to discuss the next part of the project –  flower records! There is a resource on the Spring Bulbs for Schools website entitled ‘keeping flower records’. This document tells you how to keep flower records, the equipment you must use and the methods for collecting information.

The resource pack sent to your school in October contained a Crocus flowering chart and a Daffodil flowering chart. You can use these to record the dates that your flowers open and the height of your plants on these dates. You can then enter your flowering date and the height of your plant on this date to the National Museum Wales website. Once the first flowering date has been entered for your school, a flower will appear on the map on the Museum website to show where your school is!

Last year some schools were confused and entered the height of their flowers weekly. You can monitor how tall your plants are growing each week and let me know in the ‘comments’ section when you enter your weekly weather records. But, the ‘flowering date’ and the height of your plant on the day it flowers are to be entered on the NMW website only once the flower has opened. 

Look at the picture of Daffodils at St Fagans National History Museum. This picture was taken on a cold day, so the flowers haven’t fully opened. But you can still tell which ones have flowered by looking closely at the picture. If you can clearly see all of the petals then your plant has flowered. Before flowering the petals are held tight in a protective casing. 

The picture to the right shows a flower bud. Once the flower has matured inside the bud (and the weather is warm enough) the casing will begin to open. This can take a few hours or a few days! If you watch your plants carefully you might see this happening! Once you can see all of your petals and the casing isn’t restricting them at all you can measure the flowers height and enter your findings on the website.

Have you compared the heights of the flowers in your class? Are there big differences in the size and maturity of the plants, or are they all very similar? What about the plants planted in the ground? Are these any bigger than the ones in your plant pots? Why do you think this is? You can let me know your thoughts in the ‘comments’ section when you enter your weekly weather records!

Once the bulbs start to grow send your stories and pictures to our bulb-blog and follow Professor Plant on Twitter

Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies!

 

Thank you for updating me on how your plants are doing Bulb Buddies:

Ysgol Deganwy: Most of the plants have started to grow.

Henllys CIW Primary: About all the bulbs have sprouted.

Ysgol Pentrefoelas: Dim glaw. Braf efo awyr goch bob nos a bob bore! Deilen 3 Cenin wedi dod i'r golwg yn y potiau. Wedi bod yn gynnes a phawb yn chwarae "British Buldogs" bob dydd heb gotiau!

Carnbroe Primary School: The week started off really cold and frosty but as the week went on the temperature rose and we had some rain. More shoots are beginning to bud. We are hoping that our bulbs will flower soon.

Arkholme CE Primary School: It has been wet and mild this week, and most of the bulbs have sprouted already. The crocus bulbs and daffodils have sprouted as well as the ones in the pots, and the ones in the ground have grown the quickest as well. Best wishes E and A.

Trellech Primary School: We have noticed that our bulbs have started to appear above the soil. We think it is because it has been a lot milder this week.

Trellech Primary School: We really enjoyed collecting the data.

Our Lady of Peace Primary School: I can't believe it is nearly over. We are enjoying it.

Auchenlodment Primary School: We have started to measure the shoots and are excited to see how they grow. 2 of the mystery bulbs have just started to sprout. No sign of the daffodils we planted in the ground.

Boston West Academy: This week we only have two more to start sprouting; it’s also been very cold and hot but also very wet. One of our mystery bulbs are nearly starting to flower☺!!!

St Robert's R.C Primary School: It's been a dry week this week. There a few signs of growing!

Ysgol Deganwy: Nearly all of the plants are growing.

Carnbroe Primary School: We didn't have lots of rain this week and it was very cold. Our bulbs are beginning to sprout.

Tonyrefail Primary School: On Tuesday we noticed 4 of our Daffodil plants have stated to push up through the soil. Yeay!

Garstang St. Thomas' CE Primary School: We've had some frosty mornings but our daffodils are still starting to appear through the soil. The ones in the garden are growing faster!

Henllys CIW Primary: It was pretty cold but no rain. Quite a few plants are growing!

St. Nicholas Primary School: The bulbs have sprouted.

Arkholme CE Primary School: This week has been dry and cold. We have been checking our bulbs all week but because of the cold they haven't grown much. Have a good week.

Ysgol Deganwy: The plants have started to grow and it's been super cold!

St Ronan's Primary School: Most of the daffodil in pots, are at least 2 to 3 cm.

 

Hi Bulb Buddies,

Thank you to those of you who have shared your photos, I’ve posted some of these to the right. It’s exciting that some of your plants have started sprouting. In my last Blog I asked whether you thought that the Crocus or Daffodil would flower first. Now I thought we could take a closer look at the plants themselves, to help us decipher which is which. I’ve attached photos of a young Crocus plant and Daffodils to the right, these are labelled so that you can tell which is which. What are the differences between these two plants?  

Can you tell whether your Daffodil, Crocus or both are sprouting? How tall are they? It’s interesting to compare the height of the two plants, and to see how much they grow each week.

Watch your plants closely so that you can record the date that your plant flowers, and it’s height on that day. You can then upload your flower record to the website. There’s a resource entitled ‘Keeping Flower Records’ under ‘Teaching Resources’ on the Spring Bulbs webpage: https://museum.wales/spring-bulbs/

Another resource that would be interesting to use now that you can see your plants are growing is  ‘Make your own mini-origami booklet’. This resource looks at the lifecycle of a bulb.

If you complete any of the activities from the website or create your own in class, please share them with us. It’s always interesting to see the work you are doing.

Thank you for sending in your weather updates. I’ve answered some of your comments below.

Your comments:

Comments about the weather:

Ysgol Pentrefoelas: Dim llawer o law a chynnes. Pawb yn ymarfer pel-droed at y twrnament ac felly yn gallu bod allan bob dydd. Llawer o blant wedi cael balaclafas capiau anifeiliaid i gadw eu pennau'n gynnes.

Athro’r Ardd: Gobeithio gwnaethoch yn dda yn y twrnamaint! Rwy’n hoffi meddwl am bawb rhedeg o gwmpas hefo capiau anifeiliaid gwahanol! Am anrhegion da i gael am Nadolig!

Arkholme CE Primary School: We had quite a wet week. It was fairly warm and some bulbs are sprouting from last year.

Broad Haven Primary School: We hoped we would have snow. But we just had a really cold wind -Northerly- and a bit of sleet. The sea was very rough and the waves came over the road.

Darran Park Primary: The temperature has lowered throughout the week. There has been a little amount of rain.

YGG Tonyrefail: It wasn't very wet this week but it was quiet warm.

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Hello, the mornings of this week have been very cold and icy. We have had a rainy week this week. bye,bye

Auchenlodment Primary School: It has been a very warm week even though it's January!

Broad Haven Primary School: A cloudy week until today it is very sunny but cold

Comments about the project:

Ysgol Bro Ogwr: Yr wythnos yma fe dorrodd y dyfais i gasglu dwr ar ddydd Iau pan ddaeth y glaw. Roedd split ynddo a mae'r athro wedi defnyddio duct tape i rhoi fe yn ol at ei gilydd. Fe all hyn olygu bod ein canlyniadau ni ddim yn hollol gywir.

Athro’r Ardd: Diolch am roi gwybod am y broblem. Da iawn i'ch athro am drwsio’r mesurydd glaw . Gadewch i mi wybod os ydych yn angen mesurydd glaw newydd.

Comments about your plants:

Ysgol Pennant: Maer bylbiau yn dechrau tyfu!

St Clare's Catholic Primary School: Some of our bulbs have started to shoot this week!

Ladygrove Park Primary School: nothing growing yet

Professor Plant: Don’t worry Bulb Buddies, I’m sure you will see something soon!

Garstang St. Thomas' CE Primary School: It was a really rainy week but it was quite warm outside. We have noticed some of our bulbs are growing because we can see pointy green shoots poking through the soil!

Arkholme CE Primary School: The bulbs in the pots are just starting to sprout and look healthy. We have just noticed that last years plants are also growing. As usual the days in January have been wet so we think that helped them to grow.

Henllys CIW Primary: Our biggest plant is a daffodil that is 2.5 cm tall.

What interesting weather we’ve been having Bulb Buddies! A number of you commented on how warm December was, and you were right! Looking through our results from 2011 to 2016, we can see that December 2016 was the second warmest since the project began. Only December 2015 had higher temperatures! This month also saw the lowest rainfall since the project began, and average sunlight hours.

Why not work out your average readings for November and December and compare them to the average readings shown in the table?  

I have received a number of reports that shoots have begun to appear in your pots! Do you think that Crocus or Daffodils will appear first? Why not look through last year’s report and compare the average flowering dates for Crocus and Daffodils to help you decide which will flower first!

My bulbs have begun to grow too, I’ve attached photos of them to the right. Please share your photos with me so that I can post them in my next Blog.

 

Your comments:

 

A number of you have commented on how warm December and the first week of January were:

Ysgol Pentrefoelas: Pawb allan yn chwarae yn y cae drwy'r wythnos gan ei bod yn braf iawn ac awyr glir bob dydd. Pawb yn rhyfeddu wrth weld mynyddoedd Eryri i gyd efom copaon clir drwy'r wythnos. Tywydd anhygoel o braf.

Athro’r Ardd: Rwy’n falch i glywed oedd gen ti dywydd braf. Mae’n siŵr oedd o’n rhyfedd weld y mynyddoedd heb eira ym fis Rhagfur. O be rwy’n dallt, bydd yr eira yn ôl wythnos yma!

Auchenlodment Primary School: What a warm week for December!

Lawhead School: We had very little rain this week and it was quite sunny too.

Hudson Road Primary School: Lots of warm days but quite windy!

Trellech Primary School: It was a lot warmer this week compared to last week. We can’t wait for our bulbs to grow.

Broad Haven Primary School: This week has been warmer and we have had fog. We break up next week.

Darran Park Primary: The temperature has risen over the week. Not much rainfall this week, quite a dry week.

Boston West Academy: There was barely any rain this week and all of the other weeks did have a lot of rainfall. The temperatures are very weird because they were on and off.

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Hello, this week it has been warm, amazing because it is getting closer to Christmas. Some of the bulbs have started to pop up. Merry Christmas from Stanford!

YGG Tonyrefail: It was quite a warm week for December.

Severn Primary: We are surprised the plants are beginning to come up because it was so cold last week. It was much, much warmer this week. We had misty rain which didn't seem to end up in the collecting jar.

St Robert's R.C Primary School: Not too cold for the start of the year.

 

Many of you have written to let me know that your plants have started to grow! Fantastic news Bulb Buddies!

Beulah School: Mae rhai o'n bylbiau wedi dechrau tyfu.

Pirnmill Primary School: 20th December 2016. We noticed that three of the daffodils planted in the open ground had shoots poking through the soil. Is this too early?

Professor Plant: Hi Pirnmill Primary. A few schools have reported that their flowers have begun to bud! Mine have just poked their heads out of the soil! They began to appear about this time last year, but this is earlier than preceding years. Well done for looking after them so well!

Auchenlodment Primary School: We started back at school on Thursday. Some of our bulbs have started to sprout, we are all very excited!

Broad Haven Primary School: A frosty start to the week on Tuesday. On Friday it rained all day. Green shoots are appearing.

 

Thank you for all the updates and feedback on the project:

St Paul's C.I.W. Primary: Hello Pr.plant we have had a good week one girl who is a rainfall child said she is having a good time but she is sad that after Christmas she is not going to be a rainfall child so can you stop Mr. Wilson from trying to do that thank you for all your help from K and A.

Professor Plant: Hi K and A. I’m glad to hear that you are enjoying the project! Please thank the rainfall child for all her hard work. Hopefully she will have another role taking readings or logging data! If she is really enjoying the project she could always take her own readings at home. The Met Office have a website where people can share readings they’ve taken: http://wow.metoffice.gov.uk/ Maybe Mr. Wilson would be able to help her the first few times she enters data!

Coppull Parish Primary School: We had a mini disaster this week. The folder with results in was left out overnight in the rain. Although every page was completely sodden, and the file had to be binned. The relevant information was rescued by a group of y5 children including R, M and L.

Professor Plant: Hi Coppull Parish, I’m sorry to hear you’ve had trouble! I’m glad you managed to rescue your readings, well done all! The term planner and other resources are all available on the website, so you can print out new copies if these were badly damaged: https://museum.wales/spring-bulbs/

Tonyrefail Primary School: We lost the rain gage for Monday Tuesday Wednesday sorry

Professor Plant: Not to worry Tonyrefail Primary, I’m glad it turned up! Thank you for letting me know.

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Hello,Did you have a nice Christmas? Monday, Tuesday we were all off school so that’s why it said no record. It has been really icy in the mornings. Bye Bye.

Professor Plant: Hi Stanford in the Vale Primary. I had a lovely Christmas thank you, did you? Thank you for letting me know why there were missing readings. Keep up the good work!

 

Thank you for all the updates on the weather where you are:

Ysgol Pentrefoelas: Cawsom law mawr iawn Dydd Iau a dydd Gwener. Dymsa'r tro cyntaf inni fethu mynd ALLAN i chwarae y tymor yma!

Garstang St. Thomas' CE Primary School: It was cold and rainy on Tuesday and we stayed in at playtime.

Carnbroe Primary School: Monday was freezing and the ground was solid but the other days were mild and the soil in our plant pots was moist. No sign of our plants blooming.

Darran Park Primary: This week there was quite a lot of rain.

St Paul's C.I.W. Primary:  Hello pr.plant rainfall on Monday we put was 50 but 60 is the real number bi.

Barmston Village Primary School: We have had a big change in temperature this week and got very wet on Thursday!

Arkholme CE Primary School: It has been cold and a bit wet apart from Tuesday. Hopefully it will snow soon .we have enjoyed it.

 

Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies,

Professor Plant

Hi Bulb Buddies,

Today is the last day for collecting weather data before Christmas! Most schools will finish for the holidays on the 16th of December, and will start back on the 3rd or 4th of January. The next week for weather records is 2nd-6th 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 extremely mild again this winter, and it will be interesting to see what the effects of this are on our plants! November 2016 saw lower temperatures and less rain than last year, but far more sunshine! In November 2015 the UK had 35.6 hours of sunshine, this year we had 74.6 hours, that’s more than double! Although temperatures were lower, it was still warm for the time of year. And although it was dryer, there was still a substantial amount of rain. These are good conditions for our bulbs, and if this pattern continues, we may see our flowers bloom earlier than last year!

Have a lovely break Bulb Buddies.

Happy Christmas from

Professor Plant & Baby Bulb

 

 

Hello Bulb Buddies,

A big thank you to all the schools that sent in their weather data last week. Especially to those who left comments! Some of the comments last week noted that the weather has been getting steadily colder, and that temperatures increase throughout the day. For this reason I thought it would be interesting to talk a bit about the seasons!

There are four seasons in the year. Winter, spring, summer and autumn. We are in winter, which is the coldest season.

Spring starts around 20th March (the Spring Equinox), this is when most flowers bloom, the weather gets steadily warmer, and many animals have their young. Lambs in the fields are a good sign that spring has arrived!

The summer comes in full force from June to September, and this is when we have the warmest weather and the longest daylight hours. Luckily for you, it’s also when you get your longest school holidays!

Autumn takes hold from late September, and this is when the days become shorter and the weather begins to get colder! This is when the leaves change colour from green to oranges, reds and browns and fall from the trees. And when animals like squirrels hoard food for the long winter ahead. Winter arrives again in December, and stays until mid-March.

Do you know why we get seasons? What causes the weather to change so dramatically throughout the year? Well, it’s because the Earth is turning around the Sun at an angle. The picture below shows the earth in relation to the sun. The earth turns (rotates) on its axis (imagine a line joining the North and South poles) as it moves around (orbits) the Sun.

It takes the Earth 365 days to travel once around the sun. The length of a planets year is the time it takes for it to complete one orbit of its star. So a year on Earth is measured as the passing of 365 days. 

The picture above shows the Earth’s rotation around the Sun. The axis is shown by the white line at the North and South poles. You can see that the axis (white line) is at a different angle to the Earth’s orbit (shown by the white arrows). This means that each day we are at a slightly different angle to the Sun than we were the day before. This is what causes a difference in the number of daylight hours we get. Fewer daylight hours (winter) means less light and heat, making this time of the year colder. More daylight hours (summer) means more light and heat, which makes it warmer!

Many of you have noticed that temperature increases throughout the morning, and decreases in the late afternoon. This is because the heat from the sun gradually warms our surroundings throughout the day. Materials and living things absorb this energy, and become warmer themselves, heating the air around them. The sun is at its highest point around noon, so this is when the earth gets the most light and heat energy from the sun. In the afternoon the heat and light from the sun gradually decreases. However, the materials and living things around you will continue to radiate heat, gradually cooling throughout the afternoon and evening. This is why the temperature is often higher between 2-3pm than it is at midday. This is also why temperatures are lower in winter than they are in summer, because the days are shorter and as such our surroundings receive less heat and light energy from the sun.  

The UK is in what is known as the ‘North hemisphere’, this means we are closer to the North Pole than the South Pole. Notice that in the picture the North pole (the white line pointing up) is leaning towards the Sun in summer and away from the sun in winter. This angle is what causes the change in daylight hours as the Earth orbits the sun over the course of the year.

Other countries experience the changes in daylight hours at different times of the year. In Australia it is summer in December! And in Iceland they have continuous sunlight for days in a row in the summer and darkness for as long in the winter! Imagine having sunlight at midnight!

Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies,

Professor Plant

 

Your comments:

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Hello, This week it has been very frosty and cold. In the mornings it has been frosty but got warmer at lunch times.

Ysgol Bro Ogwr: Mae'r tymheredd yn newid yn y prynhawn.

Hudson Road Primary School: It has been quite warm during the afternoons this week with bright sunshine.

Ysgol Glanyfferi: The temperature is getting colder as it's getting further into the winter.

Hudson Road Primary School: It has been really cold towards the end of the week, with very frosty mornings but it has warmed up through the day.

Betws Primary School: An extremely wet start to the week! The temperature is beginning to dip and winter is most certainly coming...

Stane Primary School: It's getting colder and colder every day! Get your hat, scarf and gloves on. Professor Plant: Great advice Stane Primary, make sure you stay warm!

Arkholme CE Primary School: We have had some frosty nights and most of the leaves have fallen off the trees. No change what so ever with the bulbs. Have a good day.

Broad Haven Primary School: Everything was frozen every morning this week. Frost and ice. The birds are hungry they are eating the sunflower seeds of the sunflowers we grew in the summer.

Hudson Road Primary School: Friday was a lovely warm afternoon and we did lots of garden maintenance getting ready for the winter and filled our bird feeders so they will have food in the cold winter days. Professor Plant: That’s lovely Hudson Road Primary. Well done for looking after wildlife in your garden.

Darran Park Primary: Despite the sunny weather, the temperature has been quite cold but not freezing Also the temperature has been quite consistent but it dropped a little bit on Friday. As well, to start the week off is has been raining, nevertheless, the rest of the week has been dry.

Carnbroe Primary School: The weather was dry but cold and damp this week. Although it didn't rain the soil in our plant pots was damp. Professor Plant: Hi Carnbroe Primary, well done for checking whether your plants needed watering. It’s likely that dew or frost has been forming on top of the soil this will be why the soil is damp even though it hasn’t rained.  

Bacup Thorn Primary School: We had a lot of snow Thursday night into Friday. Heavy snow throughout Friday making a wet but enjoyable time at break. We had some very large snow flakes falling.

Bacup Thorn Primary School: A cold start to the week, ending with an extremely wet day!

Darran Park Primary: The temperature has dropped and the rainfall has raised.

Ysgol Rhys Prichard: No rain in the week. Hotter on Monday than Thursday.

Auchenlodment Primary School: There is no record for Wednesday as we were off school for St Andrew's Day. Professor Plant: Hi Auchenlodment Primary, thank you for letting me know. A number of other schools let me know that it was St Andrew’s day as well.

Ysgol Pennant: Diolch am y Worm World! Dwin edrych ymlaen am y bylbiau i agor. Diolch am y bylbiau dwin hoffi cadw golwg ar y potiau. Professor Plant: Helo Ysgol Pennant, diolch am eich gwaith called ac am anfon lluniau! Cadwch ati gyda'r gwaith caled Gyfeillion y Gwanwyn!

Rougemont Junior School: Flowers are starting to sprout. Professor Plant: Wow Rougemont, that’s great news! A few other schools have said that their plants are sprouting, it’s earlier than last year so it will be interesting to compare the results!