Amgueddfa Blog: Spring Bulbs

The Spring Bulbs for Schools project allows 1000s of school scientists to work with Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales to investigate and understand climate change. School scientists have been keeping weather records and noting when their flowers open since October 2005, as part of a long-term study looking at the effects of temperature on spring bulbs.

Certificates have now been sent out to all of the 4,907 pupils that completed the project this year. See Professor Plant's report to view the finsings so far.

  • Make graphs & frequency charts or calculate the mean.
  • See if the flowers opened late in schools that recorded cold weather.
  • See how temperature, sunshine and rainfall affect the average flowering dates.
  • Look for trends between different locations.

I would like to thank all of the Super Scientists that participated this year!

Professor Plant


One hundred and forty schools across the UK are to be awarded Super Scientist Certificates on behalf of Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales in recognition for their contribution to the Spring Bulbs - Climate Change Investigation.

Huge Congratulations to all these schools!

A big ‘thank you’ to every one of the 4,907 pupils who helped this year! Thank you for working so hard planting, observing, measuring and recording - you really are Super Scientists! Each one of you will receive a certificate and Super Scientist pencil, these will be sent to your school by mid-May.

Many thanks to the Edina Trust for funding this project.

Super Scientist Winners 2016

Each will receive a class trip of fun-packed nature activities.

Ysgol Pentrefoelas - Wales

Biggar Primary - Scotland

Carnforth Primary - England

Runner's up:

Ysgol Nant y Coed - Wales

Severn Primary - Wales

Abbey Primary School - Scotland

St. John the Baptist Primary School – Scotland

St. Nicholas' Primary School - England

The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School - England

Highly commended schools:

Alexander Peden Primary School

Allensbank Primary School

Arkholme C of E Primary School

Asmall Primary School

Bacup Thorn Primary School

Barsail Primary School

Bent Primary School

Betws Primary

Bickerstaffe CE Primary School

Blackwood Primary School

Braidwood Primary School

Breckon Hill Primary School

Broad Haven Primary School

Burnside Primary School

Calderwood Primary School

Castlepark Primary School

Chapelton Primary School

Coedpenmaen Primary School

Coppull Parish CE Primary School

Darran Park primary

Drumpark Primary ASN School

Dykesmains Primary School

East Fulton Primary School

Glebe Primary School

Glengowan Primary School

Grange Primary School

Hay on Wye Primary School

Henllys Church in Wales Primary School

High Mill Primary School

Hudson Road Primary School

John Cross CE Primary School

Kelly Street Children's Centre

Lanark Primary School

Law Primary School

Llangors Primary School

Llanharan Primary School

Loch Primary School

Lynnfield Primary School

Maesycoed Primary School

Mellor Saint Mary CE Primary School

Milton of Balgonie Primary School

Murray Primary School

Nantymoel Primary

Netherburn Primary School

Newmains Primary School

Newport Primary School

Our Lady of Peace Primary School

Pirnmill Primary School

Rougemont Junior School

Silverdale St. John's CE Primary School

St. Charles Primary School

St. Cuthberts RC Primary School

St. Joseph's Primary School

St. Paul's CIW Primary School

St. Peter's Catholic Primary School

St. Robert's Catholic Primary

Staining C of E Voluntary Controlled Primary School

Stanford-in-the-Vale Primary School

Stonehouse Primary School

Trellech Primary

Underbank Primary School

Ward Jackson Church of England Primary School

Wormit Primary School

Ysbyty Ifan

Ysgol Bro Tawe

Ysgol Deganwy

Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Llantrisant

Ysgol Gynradd Llandwrog

Ysgol Rhys Prichard

Ysgol San Sior

Schools with special recognition:

Arkleston Primary School

Beckford Primary School

Brisbane Primary School

Carnbroe Primary School

Castlepark Learning Centre

Dasfen Primary School

Glencairn Primary School

Hakin Community Primary School

Kirkfieldbank Primary School

Lamlash Primary School

Mossend Primary School

Orchard Meadow Primary School

Penygawsi Primary School

Shakespeare Primary School

St Athan Primary School

St David's RC Primary School

St Michael's RC Primary

St. Aidan's Primary School

St. Bernadette's Primary School

St. Columbkille's Primary School

St. Michael's CE Aided Primary School

St. Oswalds V A School

Wellpark Children's Centre

Willow Lane Catholic Primary School

Woodlands Nursery Centre

Ysgol Esgob Morgan

Ysgol Hiraddug

Schools to be awarded certificates:

Colinsburgh Primary School

Bryn Celyn Primary

Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor

Condorrat Primary School

Corsehill Primary School & Nursery Class

Craigbank Primary School

Holytown Primary School

Howwood Primary School

Inchinnan Primary School

Ladywell Primary School

NPTC Group Newtown Campus

Our Lady & St. Francis Primary School

Pontrhondda Primary School

Rashielea Primary School

Rhos Helyg

Rigside Nursery

Rogerstone Primary School

Saint Anthony's Primary School

St. Aidan's Primary School

St. Bridget's Primary School

St. Brigid's Primary School

St. Mark's Primary School

St. Mary's Primary School

St. Paul's Primary School



Tongwynlais Primary School

Whitelees Primary School

Ysgol Coed y Gof

Ysgol Ffridd y Llyn

Ysgol Iau Hen Golwyn

Ysgol Mair

Ysgol Pencae

Thank you for all your hard work Bulb Buddies,

Professor Plant

There have been lots of comments about the warmer weather we have had over the last week. The MET Office reported that Thursday the 17th of March was the warmest day of the year so far with temperatures reaching 17 degrees. Silverdale St. John's CE School commented that “Thursday was the hottest day since December”. Many of you also made a connection between the warmer weather and your plants at long last coming into bloom!

Ysgol Pentrefoelas: Cawsom glaw dydd Llun a Dydd Mercher cawsom wythnos sych a braf redden yn ein t-shirt. Wythnos braf ers hir iawn. Wedi bod yn aros yn hir am y blodau i agor. O'r diwedd! Rydym ni wedi cael wythnos gynnes, sy'n helpu i'r blodau dyfu.

The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School: Most of the crocus bulbs have now flowered and we have been busy measuring them. 3 of the daffodils in the bed have also flowered and there are a lot more in the bed and the pots which will flower soon. The weather is starting to get warmer now.

Arkholme CE Primary School: It was a warm week and some of the bulbs have started to bud and we are going to be watching them carefully.

The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School: Lots of flowers this week so we have been busy measuring them. Most of the bulbs have flowered and they look very pretty. The weather is getting warmer and we have had some sunshine. We think that Spring is nearly here.

Professor Plant: Thank you for your up-date The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary. I would like to share your comment from week 9 here, this shows how quickly the weather changes, as in week 9 you were reporting wind and snow! The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School: It was very exciting this week, as we noticed that nearly all the crocus plants had buds. It has been very windy this week and there has been heavy rain during some nights. This morning it snowed. When we went to check the plants this afternoon, the snow was almost all melted and 3 crocus flowers were out so we were able to measure our first flowers.


I’ve enjoyed receiving updates on your plants, thank you Bulb Buddies!

Severn Primary: Lots of yellow and purple flowers - we have taken photos!

Stonehouse Primary School: Everyone was so excited when we went round for our dinner and passed the pots and saw our first crocus open.

Shakespeare Primary School (270mm):  Dear professor plant the daffodils are doing really good mine's the tallest so far. From S

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Flowering this year is a bit later, compared to last years!

Maesycoed Primary: Our crocuses have finally flowered hooray!!!


I have also enjoyed hearing about the different experiments you have been doing:

Mellor Saint Mary CE Primary School: When I moved my crocus into the light it flowered faster

Darran Park Primary: This week's growth has been 12cm so it has increased by 2 cm in a week

Maesycoed Primary: All of our class daffodils and crocuses have now flowered but the other class we were experimenting with, their daffodils haven't flowered but their crocuses have. Their yard is in shade most of the day and is cooler than ours.

The Bulb Team Rougemont Junior School: We planted 25 bulbs in a grid and all of the daffodils have flowered well and they are looking very healthy. Our daffodils in pots are slow to flower and look very small. We will send you a photo of our grid.

Professor Plant: I’m excited to hear you have been comparing plants in the ground to plants in pots Bulb Team. I would very much like to see a photo of your planting grid! I’m surprised to hear about the difference in size between your daffodils. Perhaps some of the mystery bulbs (Tete-a-Tete Daffodils) I sent you were mixed in with the Tenby Daffodil bulbs?

The Bulb team Rougemont: We are interested that our daffodils have small heads is this because they are a particular variety?

Professsor Plant: Hi Rougemont Primary. You were sent Tenby Daffodils, Whitewell Crocus and the mystery bulbs were Tete-aTete Daffodils. Tete-aTete are a miniature daffodil and so will be much smaller that the Tenby Daffodils.

Rougemont Junior School: My crocus is very thin and does not have many leaves. Why is this?

Professor Plant: Hi Rougemont Primary. Your Crocus plants will be much smaller than your Daffodils. They are small, thin, delicate looking plants. The leaves are also quite different to those of your daffodil, and are much thinner. If you have found that your Crocus is thinner and has less leaves than the others planted by your class, it could be because your bulb was smaller. Plants are all unique and even the same types of plant will be slightly different from one another.


And I have been interested to receive updates on the weather in your areas. St. Michael's Primary School reported severe flooding: "On Wednesday 9th March we had lots of rain which caused some flooding in Marston and the surrounding area". And about other activities you are involved with, Drumpark Primary ASN School reported that they had been “busy preparing for our Fairtrade Bake-off. We won a special trophy for doing extra hard work!”. Well done Bulb Buddies!


Many of you were very excited to let me know that your plants were the first to flower at your school:

F from Ysgol Pentrefoelas (10th March): Hwre! Dyma'r blodyn cyntaf i agor o'r holl botiau!!

C from Newmains Primary School (14th March): Our first daffodil!!! The same pot also gave us Crocus number 1.

R from St. Michael's Primary School (11th March): This is our first flower!

L from Bickerstaffe CE Primary School: Mine was the first to flower.

Willow Lane Catholic Primary School: This is our first crocus bulb to flower


Some of you let me know that your plants haven’t yet flowered. Hopefully your plants are just taking their time, but if you haven’t had any sign of growth yet it is unlikely that your plants will grow now. I planted four pots with one Daffodil and Crocus in each. One of my Daffodils didn’t grow a bud and so couldn’t produce a flower, and one didn’t sprout at all. Sometimes this can be a result of poor conditions, such as not enough light, water or warmth. Sometimes it’s the soil or a defect with the bulb. I’m sorry if your plants don’t flower, I know it’s disappointing.

T from St Robert's R.C Primary School: I'm still waiting for my Crocus to flower!

E from St Robert's R.C Primary School: I'm still waiting for my daffodil to flower.

Bent Primary School: Our bulbs are growing slowly. They are about 9 cm high.

Brisbane Primary School: Our Daffodils still show no sign of growth!! We think the soil and location has worked against us.

East Fulton Primary School: All of our bulbs are growing but three!

Burnside Primary School: Most of our crocuses in the pots died even though we watered them and took care of them. DEAD.

Professor Plant: Hi Burnside Primary. I can see from the flowering records that 25 of the Crocus at your school have flowered! The life-cycle of these flowers is quite quick and they only flower for a short period. But the bulb itself will have stored lots of nutrients to help it grow again next year. There’s information on how to care for your bulbs so that you can re-plant them next year here: . You can also look at the 'make your own origami booklet' resource on the Spring Bulbs for Schools website. This tells the story of 'the secret, undercover life of a bulb'.

Arkholme CE Primary School: Some of the bulbs from last year have flowered.

Professor Plant: I’m glad Bulb Buddies, maybe you can re-plant this year’s bulbs for next year too!


We also had some lovely comments sent in with the flower records. Thank you to everyone at St Robert’s Primary School, I have included your comments below.

"I can't believe it!!!"

"I liked the project!"

"I liked growing the bulbs!"

"Thank you for the bulbs!"

"Thank you Professor for the bulbs!"

"Thank you very much for my lovely bulbs!"

"I want to say thank you for my bulbs!"

"I like my pretty Crocus."

"I would just like to say that I think my Crocus is very pretty."

"This was so much fun thank you!"

"I would like to say that I liked planting my flowers thank you!"

"I loved doing this thank you. I really enjoyed planting the bulbs."

"I love my flowers thank you!"

"This was an amazing experience. Thank you!"

"I thought it was cool!"

"I love my Crocus!"

"Thank you for sending us the items to do this project!"

"I love my Daffodil Thank you!"

"Thank you Professor I love my Crocus"

"Thank you for letting me take part."

Professor Plant: You are welcome Bulb Buddies. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the project and that you care for your plants.


Gwaith da iawn Cyfeithion y Gwanwyn. Good work Bulb Buddies.

Hi Bulb Buddies,

I would like to congratulate schools that have entered flower records to the National Museum Wales website:


School Name

Average Flowering Date

Stanford in the Vale Primary School

23 Feb 2016

Broad Haven Primary School

23 Feb 2016

Ysgol Nant Y Coed

25 Feb 2016

Hakin Community Primary School

29 Feb 2016


School Name

Average Flowering Date

Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Llantrisant

31 Jan 2016

Hakin Community Primary School

5 Feb 2016

Burnside Primary School

16 Feb 2016

Ysgol Nant Y Coed

22 Feb 2016

Ysgol Gynradd Llandwrog

22 Feb 2016

Stanford in the Vale Primary School

24 Feb 2016

Broad Haven Primary School

25 Feb 2016


Watch your plants closely Bulb Buddies, you could see flowers any day now! Please remember to share your flower records on the Museum website. My last blog and the resource on the website entitled ‘keeping flower records’ give you advice on how to do this. Once all the plants have flowered and everyone has entered their flowering records, we will be able to work out the average flowering date for the Crocus and the Daffodil. We will then be able to compare our findings to those of previous years.

We had predicted that plants would flower earlier this year due to a mild December, but a colder January – March and lower sunlight hours could have impacted on our bulbs. In my next blog, I will look at averages and compare the weather so far this year to the same period in previous years.

There have been some lovely comments over the last few weeks, which have shown a lot of care and concern for your plants. I would like to say a big thank you to all of you for looking after your plants so well.

Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies.

Professor Plant

Arkholme CE Primary School: It was so wet that we had to call off our football match on the field. The weather got a bit milder for most of the week though but our bulbs are doing very well despite the weather conditions.

Professor Plant: Hi Arkholme Primary, I’m glad to hear your plants are growing. I’m sorry you had to call off your match because of the bad weather. Ysgol Pentrefoelas also reported wet and cold weather, and had to play in their hats and scarves: Ysgol Pentrefoelas: Cawsom wythnos wlyb arwahan i ddydd Iau. Disgynnodd y tymheredd yn ystod yr wythnos ac roeddem yn chwarae yn ein capiau a sgarff!


Blackwood Primary School: We have noticed that some of the plants have been growing in the plant pots.

Professor Plant: Fantastic Bulb Buddies, keep a close eye on them and remember to read the ‘keeping flower records’ resource on the website.


East Fulton Primary School: School started back on Wednesday. Some of our plants are showing through the soil.

Professor Plant: Exciting news East Fulton. Watch them closely because they will grow quickly!

Coppull Parish Primary School: Sorry we didn't do Friday. This is the best job EVER.

Professor Plant: Thank you for letting me know and don’t worry about Friday’s data. I’m very happy to hear that you are enjoying the project! If you think that studying the Weather is the best job ever maybe you will become a Meteorologist when you are older!


St Robert's R.C Primary School: We had an INSET day on Friday 12th so we couldn't send the data. Sorry professor!

Professor Plant: Thank you for letting me know St Robert’s RC Primary. Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies.


Shakespeare Primary School: Dear Professor Plant, The temperature has actually been okay this week. But on Tuesday there was a LOT of rain wow I still cannot believe how much rain there was, can you?

Professor Plant: Wow Shakespeare Primary, you must have had some bad weather to collect a high rainfall reading! I hope this week will be dryer for you!


St. Mark's Primary School: The thermometer broke and we were trapped outside in the pouring bucketing rain on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and A refused to wear a jacket on all days.

Professor Plant: Hi St Mark’s Primary, I’m sorry to hear that you were caught in the rain. Thank you for continuing to take weather readings despite the bad weather! Have you fixed or replaced your thermometer? I hope A has started to wear a jacket – it’s been very cold!

Rougemont Junior School: The water in the measuring funnel froze. Which must mean it's getting quite chilly. We melted the ice. That was really fun.

Professor Plant: Hi Rougemont Primary, well done for remembering to take the rain fall reading after the ice had melted. I’m glad you enjoyed the experiment. Keep up the good work!


Drumpark Primary ASN School: We can see the leaves sticking out but not all of them yet.

Professor Plant: It won’t be long now Drumpark. There are some fun experiments you can try once your plants are a bit bigger, have a look at ‘Professor Plant’s investigation ideas’ on the website.


Henllys CIW Primary: We had a minus 2 reading this week brrr but it was before our recording time.

Professor Plant: I hope it starts to get warmer for you Henllys. Well done for taking your readings at the same time each day, and for also looking at how the temperature changes throughout the day. Why do you think it is colder in the mornings than it is in the afternoons?


Severn Primary: We wonder if plants can get too much rain?

Professor Plant: Hi Severn Primary, this is an interesting question! Plants can get too much water. The plant pots you are using have holes in the bottom to drain the excess water so that they don’t become water-logged. You should only water your plants when the surface of the soil is dry. If the soil is damp then your plants won’t need extra watering. Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies.


Craigbank Primary School: This week, there was snow and our plants were covered in ice. Our ice melted and we had a lot of water in our rainfall collector.

Professor Plant: Well done for letting the ice melt before taking your readings Craigbank Primary. Did you notice if the reading was higher before the ice melted or after?


Broad Haven Primary School: A really cold frosty morning on Wednesday ice on the playground. Will it affect our bulbs?

Professor Plant: Hi Broad Haven Primary. Lots of schools have reported colder weather through weeks 2-6. Frost can affect your plant. Usually, cold weather would mean that your bulbs would take longer to grow. However, because we had such a mild December your bulbs will have started growing earlier than normal and should now be sturdy enough to survive short periods of cold weather.


St. John the Baptist Primary School: J saw some flies today and says that the country is warming up and the flies are coming out of hibernation - it is much warmer today! H says it is already starting to turn spring because it has been mostly sunny this week. But, it really snowed on Saturday and some children built snowmen and went sledging but the snow melted very quickly and was away by Monday. The sun is very bright today and it made L's eyes a bit sore. R says it was boiling today compared to what it has been. Interestingly, M saw a bee in her garden this morning, it tried to land on her finger! She says it was a very big bee perhaps a queen.

Professor Plant: Wow St John the Baptist’s, what a busy week! Well done for noting changes in the weather and looking out for the first signs of spring! There are lots of early signs of spring as a result of mild weather throughout December, but the cold snaps keep reminding us that it is still winter! Hopefully the weather will start to get warmer soon!


The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School: The weather this week has been variable. We have had sun, rain and snow. The plants have not needed watering but have not grown very much more. On Wednesday we found that the rain gauge had disappeared and we found it on the other side of the garden with a crack in it. We think someone had been playing with it! Fortunately, we don't think it rained that day so no results were lost.

Professor Plant: Hi The Blessed Sacrament Primary, I’m sorry to hear about your broken rain gauge! Do you need another one if it is cracked or have you already replaced it? Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies!


Ysgol Rhys Prichard: It was -6 degrees on Wednesday morning. Frost on the ground all day in the shade.

Professor Plant: My gosh Ysgol Rhys Pritchard, -6 is very cold! I see it warmed up slightly by the time you took your weather readings. Well done for checking on the thermometer throughout the day to see how the temperature changes.


Coppull Parish Primary School: Hello! This week it has been very very cold and muddy we are also training people to do the rain gauge and we are upset that were not gonna do the rain gauge any more! Thanks for the opportunity! Thanks so much from J and L!!!!

Professor Plan: I’m glad to hear you are enjoying the project J and L. Well done for taking the skills you have learnt and training other people to use the rain gauge. You really are Super Scientists!


Stanford in the Vale Primary School: What a bitter cold week! All our water butts have been frozen solid, we have had lots of fun playing with the ice we have found around the school grounds, and endless experiments!

Professor Plant: Hi Stanford in the Vale Primary. I’m glad you have been having fun despite the cold weather! I’d love to hear more about the experiments you have been doing with ice! There are lots of great weather experiments to be found on the MET Office website:


Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies!!