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Baby bulb
Baby bulb

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March 2012

Bulb buddies relax...

Posted by Danielle Cowell on 29 March 2012
Watering at Stanford in the Vale School
Mystery bulbs at Glyncollen Primary.
Pupils drawing at Stanford in the Vale School
Pupils with their flowers at Glyncollen Primary.

Dear Bulb Buddies

I can't believe that we are now in our final week of recording!

This is the 20th week of record keeping - so congratulations to every school scientist that has been out in the rain, snow and finally this amazing warm March weather to keep records.

Top temperature recorded in schools = 25C last friday at Glyncollen Primary School, near Swansea.

I really hope you have enjoyed the experiment and learned about keeping plants, your local weather and climate change. Thanks so much for helping me with this important investigation. I will be awarding all who have kept records with Super Scientist Certificates - which will be sent to your school by the 14th of May together with a summary of the investigation results.

Please make sure all your records are sent in this Friday together with any drawing competition entries you may have. Please see pictures of pupils drawing their flowers in the sunshine!

If your flower hasn't flowered yet but it does have a bud then please take it home over Easter and jot down the date it opens. If sadly, your flower hasn't opened and doesn't have a bud then please send a in a no flower record and you will of course still recive your certificate.

Record breaking weather!

A temperature of 22.8C (73F), the highest in the UK, was recorded at Fyvie Castle in Aberdeenshire, beating the previous March record of 22.2C in 1965.

Porthmadog in Gwynedd was the warmest place in the UK on Saturday with temperatures soaring to 22.2 Celsius, 72 Fahrenheit. That's about 12 degrees above the seasonal average and warmer than Malaga in Spain!

I look forward to sending you your certificates and seedlings in May. Enjoy your Easter break, many, many thanks. Professor Plant.

P.s I will be blogging next week too for schools that haven't yet broken-up for the holidays - so please send in any comments.

Your comments:

Woodplumpton Primary: Two of our crocus bulbs did not open. Eleven of our daffodils have not opened yet. We are going to take them home today but will watch them and record the date and height if they do flower and send the results after Easter. Our mystery bulb opened! It's a yellow tulip! Ans: many thanks Woodplumpton!

Struan: Unfortunately someone snapped my flower. Ans: Very sorry to hear this Struan - and thanks for sending in your record.

Glyncollen Primary: We have had a lovely,mild week and today it is very warm. Our plants are growing well. We will be sorry to finish this investigation next week but we are going to tell Yr.3 all about it ready for next year. Thank you very much. Ans: Thank you Glyncollen I look forward to sending you your certificates and working with your school next year.

Really warming up know, and children upset to hear about the hosepipe ban, as we have little rain water in our water butts! Gardening Club, Stanford in the Vale Primary School. Ans: Yes we haven't had much rain this year. Hope you get some rain to fill up the water butts.


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Spring maps & polar bears

Posted by Danielle Cowell on 22 March 2012
Polar Bears -see the sun for the first time in six months.
Crocuses at Fulwood and Cadley School.
Average crocus records sent in from schools so far.
Crocuses at Brynhyfryd Junior School
» View full post to see all images

This is the first official week of spring. It's called spring equinox, which means that the day and night are almost the same length.

At the North Pole, the polar bears are celebrating the first appearance of the sun in six months but at the South Pole the penguins are preparing for six months of darkness. I picked this up on Derek the Weatherman's blog - what a fascinating thought.

In the UK, school scientists are mapping spring by posting results to show when there spring flowers open - as part of a long term study into climate change. Despite the initial early start to the spring I think our results will show that our flowers have come late this year, because of the late frost. The results are flying in this week - 203 sent in so far! Many schools are still waiting for their flowers - hopefully they will come soon.

Please take a look at the beautiful pictures sent in by Fulwood & Cadley School and Brynhyfryd Junior.

What is the mystery bulb?

Ysgol Porth Y Felin: On Monday it was very rainy and we think the mystery bulb is
a tulip. Glyncollen Primary School: We found out that one of our mystery bulbs is a tulip. Our daffodils and crocus look lovely in the Spring sunshine. Ans: Both schools are correct - Welldone!

Your comments:

Fulwod and Cadley reported: All our crocuses have flowered now but 15 of our daffodil plants have no buds at all. We think, that they are unlikely to produce any buds now, we would be grateful if you would let us know what you think?

Ans: I agree, if there are no buds by now, sadly it is unlikey that they will flower. This has happenend to a few of mine too. The reason this has happened is unclear. When a daffodil doesn't make a flower gardeners say that the plant has gone 'blind' - as it has no flower head. This normally happens if the bulb has been flowering for a few years or if there is too much nitrogen in the soil - but this doesn't normally happen with a new bulb. This seems to have happened to my bulbs that started to grow really early - end of Decemeber early Jan. They grew tall then we had the frost and they seemed to stop growing taller - until much later. The hours of sunshine is a big factor with dafs - so we will have to look at all the records to see if there are any trends before we can make any conclusions.

Channelkirk Primary School asked: We measured the height of our plants in cm, but the site has it as mm. Should we measure the flower only? Ans: No, please measure the height in mm if possible or simply convert to mm. Thanks Prof.P

Ysgol Bro Cinmeirch: Tyfodd ccenin pedr mae o yn 215mm a dyfodd y grocws 35mm. Tyfodd cenin pedr arall 85mm a tyfodd y crocws 120 mm. Ateb: Sylwadau gwych!

Ysgol Nant Y Coed: I think that it's great to learn about rainfall and how it works their magic with flowers It's fun experementing on this and it's a experience for children to learn to measure. Ans: Glad you enjoyed - thanks for helping me. Prof. P

Ysgol Nant Y Coed: It was a very good experiment! Ysgol Nant Y Coed. I like the experiment!!!!!!!!!!! Ans: Glad you enjoyed the experiment! Thanks so much for helping me with this. Prof. P


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1st Flower in Scotland!

Posted by Danielle Cowell on 12 March 2012
Blooming daffodil.
First flower in scotland.
Flowers at Eyton Primary.
Daffodil trumpet.
» View full post to see all images

Congratulations to Gordon Primary School for sending in the 1st flower record for Scotland! Despite having problems with vandalism this week they have manged to re-pot thier flowers and send in their records. Truely fantastic scientists - keeping at the work despite the dissapointment - well done Gordon Primary!

By looking at the map and the flowering dates it seems that the flowering has slowly moved across the the country from the South West to the North East. But that many of the areas far from the sea are still waiting for flowers.

Question for the week: Why do spring flowers near the coast open earlier than those inland? I will reveal the answer next week.

All my flowers have opened now and at the weekend it really felt like spring. The sun was shining and my daffodils were blooming. It really made me happy to think that the most of the winter is now behind us and we can look forward to the summer! The flowers have also opened in Eyton Primary - thanks for the pic.

Slug attack! Some of my daffodils have been eaten by slugs -see pic.This hasn't happened to me before - very annoying. I took the slugs down the bottom of my garden far away from my daffodils. Fingers crossed they will keep off.


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1st Flower in England!

Posted by Danielle Cowell on 5 March 2012

The first English Crocus recorded has popped up in Fulwood and Cadley School - on the 2nd of March. 

Congratulations also to Ysgol Bodfari & Lakeside Primary who have reported daffodils and crocus flowers opening this morning.

I wonder when the flowers will open in Scotland? It's so exciting having schools in three countries taking part in the Spring bulb investigation this year! Many thanks to the Edina Trust - for making this possible!

Keep watching this map to see where the flowers open and please send any pictures you have to me and the local press.

All the data that is sent in is used to create an average flowering date for each school. Watch the crocus chart and daffodil chart to see the tables change as the data comes in. It is really important that each pupil sends in their record - so the web can calculate the average flowering date for your school.

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More flowers on the map

Posted by Danielle Cowell on 2 March 2012

Flowers have popped up all over Wales this week. Crocus opened in Milford, Oakfield, Windsor Clive, Christchurch and Lakeside Primary. Daffodils opened in Ysgol Glan conwy and Christchurch! I wonder if the next flower will open in Scotland or England. Keep watching this map to see.

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1st Daffodil opens in Wales!

Posted by Danielle Cowell on 1 March 2012
Daffodil bud developed and ready to tilt it's head. Only 10cms tall!
Crocus shoots begin to show flower buds!

At long last we have our first flower record! Ysgol Glan Conwy reported their 1st Daffodil on the 24/2/12 - just in time for St.David's Day. If your flowers have opened - please send in your record in so we can all see them on the map. If you have any pictures - please send them in too.

Glyncollen Primary School: Some of our daffodils and crocus have opened over half term. We enjoyed looking after them at home. Ans: Brilliant news, please send your records in!

Woodplumpton Primary School: Very exciting update- three crocuses about to flower! We can see the purple petals and think they will pop open in the next couple of days. They have developed really quickly after appearing through the ground. Ans: Brilliant news! Can't wait to see them on the map!

My bulbs are almost open - see my pics. My daffodils are really short this year only 10cms tall. Has anyone else noticed this?

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