Bulb-blog: Spring Bulbs

Bulb-blog

Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales and The Edina Trust would like to congratulate the thousands of pupils from across the UK who achieved Super Scientist recognition for their participation in the Spring Bulbs for Schools Investigation 2020-2021.

A big congratulations to you all. Thank you for working so hard planting, observing, measuring and recording, you really are Super Scientists!

Winners of the Spring Bulbs for Schools Investigation 2020-21

Runners up for the Spring Bulbs for Schools Investigation 2020-21

Highly Commended for their participation in the Spring Bulbs for Schools Investigation 2020-21

Schools recognised as Super Scientists for their participation in the Spring Bulbs for Schools Investigation 2020-21

Schools to be awarded certificates for their participation in the Spring Bulbs for Schools Investigation 2020-21


Thank you Bulb Buddies,

Professor Plant

 

The Spring Bulbs for Schools investigation started in 2005 and has been engaging KS2 pupils with science, climate change and the natural environment for sixteen years. The 2020-21 project met with many challenges that inspired us all to work in new and inventive ways.

Schools across the UK have shown determination and versatility in meeting challenges caused by the pandemic and resulting restrictions. We are grateful to all schools who continued to collect and share weather data. In many cases this was achieved by asking pupils who lived near the school to take the weather equipment home. These pupils were responsible for recording and uploading the data on behalf of their school during lockdown.

We will be meeting a few of these Spring Bulbs for Schools Champions through Blog posts. Our first Champion is Riley, who has been taking weather readings for Stanford in the Vale Primary School.

Q. What sort of year have you had with lockdown?
A. I’ve had a mixed year, I have been glad to go back to school as I didn’t really like homeschooling. I was glad to see all my friends!!

Q. Why do you think the project is important?
A. I think that the project is very important. As well as helping with your maths skills, it also makes you get out into the garden and have fun.

Q. How did you help to continue the project?
A. This year I have been helping with the project by doing the weather measurements from home. I think that it is important to keep the project going even during lockdown!

Q. What do you enjoy about taking the measurements?
A. I enjoy seeing the differences in the weather each day, I like it how you can get really varied days in the temperature and rainfall. No day is the same!

Q. What have you noticed about your weather and flower measurements this year?
A. I have noticed this year that we have had some very hot days this year with some temperatures reaching up to 25 degrees in March!!

Q. What are you most looking forward to doing after lockdown?
A. The thing I am most looking forward to is seeing all my family and friends again!! It seems like so long since I last saw them!!

Thank you Riley.

Thank you for all of your hard work Bulb Buddies,

Professor Plant

 

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.

 

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