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Sustainability

May 2013

Professor Plant’s Promise: Late flowers won’t get left behind

Posted by Catalena Angele on 2 May 2013

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Nick and Pat Bean in a field of Tenby daffodils at their farm - Springfields Fresh Produce in Manorbier near Tenby. This is where your daffodil bulbs come from!

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Nick and Pat Bean

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Flowers at Rogiet Primary School in Wales.

Hi Super Scientists,

4116 of you have helped with the Spring Bulbs investigation this year – which is truly FANTASTIC! I am very, very busy this week getting your certificates ready to send out to you!

But for some of you the investigation is not over yet… your flowers are still not open.

What do you do if your flowers have not yet opened?

Please keep sending in flower data! If your flowers have not opened and you would like to carry on with your investigation then please do! When they open you can still record the flowering date and plant height on our website.

So why have a deadline?

I have to write a special report every year that gives a summary of all the data sent in so far. I need to write that report now. All records sent in before the deadline will be included in this years report.

What happens to records sent in after the deadline?

Records sent in after the deadline will be added to our database and will be included in next years report. All the records that you send are very important and will help the investigation to be more accurate in the future. I promise you that your data will not be lost or wasted.

Who are the people in the photo??

I would like to introduce you to Nick and Pat Bean who own the farm, Springfields Fresh Produce, where your daffodil bulbs come from! These are pictures of them in a field of Tenby daffodils that they have grown on their farm.

Whose has sent in flowers records for the first time?

Thank you to the following schools for sending in their flower records: Gladestry C.I.W. School, Williamstown Primary, St Athan Primary, Ysgol Hiraddug and Bwlchgwyn CP School in Wales, Hawthornden Primary School, Ladybank Primary School, Tynewater Primary School and Torbain Primary School in Scotland, and Larkrise Primary School, Britannia Community Primary School and Thorneyholme RC Primary School in England.

Well done too to all the schools that keep sending in more and more flower records to make our investigation more accurate!

Many thanks,

Prof P

April 2013

Super Scientist Awards 2013

Posted by Catalena Angele on 22 April 2013

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Pupils at Oakfield Primary School in St Mellons, South Wales

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Pupils at St Josephs RC Primary School in Penarth, South Wales

Eighty five schools across the UK will be awarded Super Scientist Certificates from Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales this year, in recognition of their contribution to the Spring Bulbs – Climate Change Investigation!

Huge Congratulations to all these schools! They are listed below, is your school listed?

Over twice as many schools took part in the Investigation as last year, which is fantastic news! It’s wonderful to have so many of you helping with this really important study.

Thank you to every one of the 4116 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 around the middle of May.

Many thanks to the Edina Trust for funding this project and helping to make this all happen.

Super Scientist Winners 2013

Well done to our three winners for sending in the most weather data! Each will receive a class trip of fun-packed nature activities.

  • SS Philip and James Primary School in England
  • Williamstown Primary School in Wales
  • Wormit Primary School in Scotland

Runners Up

Each school will receive a gift voucher to purchase lovely things for your gardening projects.

  • Balcurvie Primary School in Scotland
  • Sofrydd Primary School in Wales
  • Stanford in the Vale Primary School in England

Highly commended

Each school will receive certificates, pencils, flower seeds and herb seeds.

  • Balmerino Primary School
  • Blaenycwm Primary School
  • Britannia Community Primary School
  • Coed-y-Lan Primary School
  • Coppull Parish Primary School
  • Dunbog Primary School
  • Freuchie Primary School
  • Glyncollen Primary School
  • Henllys CIW Primary School
  • Oakfield Primary School
  • St Athan Primary School
  • St Joseph's RC Primary School (Penarth)
  • St Roberts Roman Cathlic Primary School
  • Torbain Primary School
  • Tynewater Primary School
  • Westwood CP School
  • Ysgol Gynradd Talybont
  • Ysgol Nant y Coed
  • Ysgol y Ffridd

Schools with special recognition

Each school will receive, certificates, pencils and flower seeds.

  • Brynhyfryd Junior School
  • Bwlchgwyn CP School
  • Darran Park Primary
  • Gladestry CIW School
  • Greyfriars RC Primary School
  • Hawthornden Primary School
  • Kilmaron Special School
  • Lakeside Primary School
  • Llangan Primary School
  • Magor Church in Wales Primary School
  • Milford Haven Junior School
  • Newburgh Primary School
  • Newport Primary School
  • Rhydypenau Primary School
  • Rogiet Primary School
  • St Mary's Catholic Primary School (Wales)
  • St Mary's RC Primary School (England)
  • Stepping Stones Short Stay School
  • Thorneyholme RC Primary School
  • Ysgol Bodafon
  • Ysgol Bryn Garth
  • Ysgol Clocaenog
  • Ysgol Deganwy
  • Ysgol Hiraddug
  • Ysgol Porth y Felin

Schools to be awarded certificates

Each school will receive Super Scientist Certificates and pencils.

  • Archbishop Hutton's Primary School
  • Auchtertool Primary School
  • Cadoxton Primary School
  • Christchurch CP School
  • Duloch Primary School
  • Eyton Church in Wales Primary School
  • Freckleton CE Primary School
  • Fulwood and Cadley Primary School
  • Harwell Primary School
  • Holy Family RC Primary School
  • Hywel Da Primary School
  • Ladybank Primary School
  • Ladygrove Park Primary School
  • LasswadePrimary School
  • Lever House Primary School
  • Manor Primary School
  • Medlar with Wesham CE Primary School
  • Nether Kellet Primary School
  • Northbourne CE Primary School
  • Park Primary School
  • RAF Benson Primary School
  • Rishton Methodist Primary School
  • Sherwood Primary School
  • St John's Catholic Primary School
  • St Nicholas Primary School
  • Stepaside CP School
  • Tor View Community Special School
  • Weeton Primary School
  • Windale Primary School
  • Ysgol Capelulo
  • Ysgol Gymunedol Dolwyddelan
  • Ysgol Iau Hen Golwyn
  • Ysgol Morfa Rhianedd
  • Ysgol Pencae

Well done, you have all done an AMAZING job.

Daffodil Drawing Competition 2013

Congratulations to the following pupils who produced some excellent botanical drawings! 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize winners will receive a bird watching kit with mini binoculars.

  • 1st: Oliver – Stanford in the Vale Primary School
  • 2nd: Sam – St Joseph's RC Primary School (Penarth)
  • 3rd: Daniel (age 6) – Stanford in the Vale Primary School

Runners Up

All will receive flower seeds for your garden.

  • Etward? (age 6) – Stanford in the Vale Primary School
  • Finlay (age 7) – Stanford in the Vale Primary School
  • Jemima – St Joseph's RC Primary School (Penarth)
  • Joe – St Joseph's RC Primary School (Penarth)
  • Joshua – St Joseph's RC Primary School (Penarth)
  • Joshua (age 7) – Stanford in the Vale Primary School
  • Larson (age 11) – Stanford in the Vale Primary School
  • Leo – Stanford in the Vale Primary School
  • Nathan – St Joseph's RC Primary School (Penarth)
  • William  (age 5) – Stanford in the Vale Primary School

Many Thanks

Professor Plant

Please send your flower records

Posted by Catalena Angele on 17 April 2013

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Hibernating animals like bats, frogs and lizards woke up then went back into hibernation because it was too cold! Image courtesy of Bat Conservation Trust

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Common frog, Rana temporaria

The extended deadline for flower records is Friday 19 April – that is this Friday bulb buddies! Please remember to send me your records on the website.

Remember to check the bulb-blog next week as I will be announcing the Competition winners!! Winners for the Flower Drawing Competition and the Win a Nature-Activity Trip will be announced on Monday 22 April.

Whose flowers have opened this week?

Lakeside Primary, Ysgol Bryn Garth, Christchurch CP School and Rhydypenau Primary School in Wales, Manor Primary School and Coppull Parish Primary School in England and Wormit Primary School in Scotlandhave all sent in flower records. Well done and thank you to these schools!

There has been a lot in the news recently about the cold and snow, and how late flowering is this year. Did you know it was the coldest March in the UK in over 50 years? And guess what? March was colder than the winter months of December, January and February! No wonder some of our flowers are late to open this year.

See BBC News or Met Office News for more information on these cold weather stories.

In March The Guardian reported that plants are late to bud and flower this year, especially in Scotland, and that hibernating animals like bats, frogs and lizards woke up then went back into hibernation because it was too cold!

Unfortunately, cold weather can lead to an increase in local air pollution. This is because we generate more pollution by using more heating, but also because when the air is cold and still, pollution particles build up in the atmosphere rather than evaporating or being blown away.

Many thanks

Prof P

Easter in the Tŷ Gwyrdd - Corkboards and tomato seeds.

Posted by Hywel Couch on 15 April 2013

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Ty Gwyrdd in the snow earlier this year.

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Tomato Plant starting to sprout

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Happy cork board makers!

Another busy Easter fortnight has been and gone, one which saw over 4000 people visit the Tŷ Gwyrdd at St Fagans. Between the 25th of March and the 4th of April we ran a range of workshops from upcycling corkboards to planting tomoato seeds via an April Fools day quiz. 

One of our workshops, Grow Now, Eat Later, was designed as a way to encourage visitors to think about growing their own food. There was a chance for families to plant a few tomato seeds to take home with them. Hopefully, over the coming months, with the right kind of nurturing, these seeds will grow into healthy tomato plants and will eventually produce a crop of delicious tomatoes. I’ll let you know how my own attempts fare! 

For 2 days we were joined by Wood for the Trees Wales who held an Up-Cycling Workshop in the Tŷ Gwyrdd. This involved creating notice boards from old picture frames and cork tiles. This was an extremely popular activity with all who visited, in fact we used up every single picture frame and every scrap of cork tile! If you are interested in similar workshops, visit Wood for the Trees Wales’ Facebook page for more info! 

As Easter Monday fell on April the 1st, we thought it was only right to hold an event for April Fools day. We created an quiz around the house so that visitors could test themselves to find out if they were Eco Cool or indeed an April Fool. Luckily it turned out most of our visitors were indeed Eco Cool… with only a few exceptions. After completing the quiz there was a chance to make badge to show off your eco credentials to friends and family. 

As part of the Making History Project, the use of the Tŷ Gwyrdd will be changing. As the main visitor entrance is being upgraded, the Tŷ Gwyrdd will form part of a temporary entrance to St Fagans. 

Over the years, we’ve had a fantastic time running numerous workshops in the Tŷ Gwyrdd and meeting literally thousands of wonderful poeple. Thanks to the many, many people who have helped us achieve this. Rest assured, lots of our workshops will continue, albeit in different locations throughout St Fagans Museum. Watch this space!

Lots more of your comments

Posted by Catalena Angele on 9 April 2013

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A member of the Gardening Club at Stanford in the Vale Primary School measuring his daffodil.

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A member of the Gardening Club at Stanford in the Vale Primary School measuring some more daffodils.

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Crocuses growing at Stanford in the Vale Primary School.

Thankyou very much to the Gardening Club at Stanford in the Vale School for sending me in these lovely photos of pupils and their daffodils! You look very scientific measuring your daffodils!

Wow! This blog looks quite long again! I just really wanted to reply to lots more of your wonderful comments from before the Easter hols…

Your weather comments:

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Two crocuses have opened up today! Our last day of term! Prof P: Great news! I hope more have opened when you get back to school.

Henllys CIW Primary: All children have taken their plants home for the Easter holidays. We had our first crocus flower open yesterday hopefully everyone will keep an eye on their plants during the holidays and record when they open. Prof P: I’m glad you could take your plants home, I look forward to receiving your flower records.

Westwood CP School: No readings on Friday - school closed due to snow. No flowers open before Easter Break. Teacher took readings for last 2 weeks to send from home. Prof P: Thanks for the update, do you have some flowers now Westwood?

SS Philip and James Primary School: We can't believe this is our last week of measuring and sending in our weather data. Thank you, goodbye and Happy Easter!
From the Super Scientists at Phil and Jim! Prof P: Thank you too Phil & Jim Team Super Scientists!

St Joseph's Primary School (Penarth): Most of our crocus bulbs have opened but, sadly, not our daffodil bulbs. We have left our pots at school over the Easter holidays because the eco committee are planning to plant them around the school later. Hopefully, there will be some beautiful daffodil flowers when we go back? Happy Easter! Prof P: That sounds like a lovely idea St Joseph’s. I like the sound of your eco committee, they sound great!

Coppull Parish Primary School: We are all very disappointed as so far we have no flowers. We think we will get maybe 2 or 3, because only one pot is showing any signs of growth. Prof P: I hope they flower eventually Coppull Parish.

Stepping Stones Short Stay School: School finished today on Thursday 28th for the Easter holidays, so we have no records for Friday 29th. Today the first crocus that we have been watching opened fully, at last! Prof P: I’m very pleased for you!

Manor Primary School: Friday 29th: School was not open due to being Good Friday. Happy Easter all. School is back on Monday 15th April. All the pots have shoots but nothing is open yet. Prof P: Thank you for the update Manor Primary! Happy Easter to you too.

Newport Primary School: Week 12:Really cold all this week with snow every day. Week 13: A balmy 5 degrees today. Prof P: Brrr! I have seen on the TV how snowy it has been in Scotland.

Milford Haven Junior School: The quadrangle garden was flooded on Friday due to heavy rainfall at night. Prof P: Did anyone get wet feet?

Ysgol Porth Y Felin: to pp, unfortunately this is our last week doing professor plant. I am here to thank you for joining in our school. nothing is really wrong so, happy easter from ysgol porth y felin. Prof P: Well done bulb buddies! I have enjoyed doing this experiment with you, thanks for your help.

Wormit Primary School: We go on holiday today for our Easter Break. Our crocuses have not flowered yet because we think it has been too cold. We are glad that you have extended the date for recording their flowering dates! We will keep an eye on them over the Easter break- P7 and Mrs Wright :) Prof P: Fingers crossed that your flowers open before the next deadline. Happy holidays!

Balcurvie Primary School: This is our last weather entry as we are off school for the Easter holidays tomorrow. Yeah! Prof P: I hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Greyfriars RC Primary School: we are off school on Friday so today is our last day at school and were off school tomorrow so this is our last weather report for now. The bulbs have grown a lot and they are all in bud. We're taking them home for the holiday. We will record flowering dates. They are getting taller and are getting ready to bloom mine is looking awesome we are very excited about our bulbs. Prof P: Excellent work Greyfriars!

Glyncollen Primary School: Thank you for the bulbs. We are amazed at how tall our crocus grew. We are very happy as the daffodils are the national emblem of our country Wales. We have had a wonderful time doing the investigation. Our crocuses have grown well. We are very sad that everything has now finished. Bye bye from year 4 Prof P: The daffodil is such a beautiful sunny flower to have as the national emblem of Wales isn’t it Glyncollen? I love it.

Thorneyholme RC Primary School: Yo Pro P!!! We have had a lot of snow so unfortunately our bulbs are taking a long time to grow. HAPPY EASTER!!!! Thanks for letting us participate in this project. It has been EPIC!!!!!! Hopefully our bulbs will have grown over the Easter holidays. Thanks and bye bye. Thorneyholme. :)  Prof P: I am so glad you have enjoyed the project! Happy Easter to you too.

St Mary's Catholic Primary School: Dear Prof Plant, Our school was closed due to heavy snowfall overnight 21st-22nd March. Our crocus bulbs had just begun to open! and we were very excited and looking forward to taking our pots home for the Easter holidays. Sadly because of the closure the pots remain at school!!! Prof P: I’m sorry that you couldn’t take your plants home, but don’t worry, maybe they will wait until you get back to school and then flower?

Britannia Community Primary School: Still no flowers and very cold! Prof P: Stay wrapped up warm Britannia bulb buddies, and keep watching!

Ysgol Nant Y Coed: Today is the last day of term so we're all taking our bulbs home. All the daffodils have opened or are in bud. We'll record when they flower at home. We've really enjoyed taking part in the project and hope the data we've sent will be useful. Prof P: The data you send in will be VERY useful Ysgol Nant y Coed, thanks for all your hard work.

Many thanks

Prof P

Happy Easter!

Posted by Catalena Angele on 4 April 2013

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Happy Easter bulb buddies!

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Easter chicks!

Thankyou so much for all your weather records and for the flower records you have sent so far!

Thankyou for all the great comments you have sent too! I have had so many comments in the last two weeks that I haven’t had time to blog them all, so I thought I would do a special blog this week with lots more of your comments.

Whose flowers have opened this week?

St Robert's R.C. Primary School, Rogiet Primary School, Glyncollen Primary School and Brynhyfryd Junior School in Wales, SS Philip and James Primary School in England and Balcurvie Primary School in Scotland have all reported that their flowers have opened! Great job! Well done and thank you for sending in your records.

Your flower comments:

SS Philip and James Primary School: The crocuses needed some sun for them to open so that we could see the anthers and define them as 'flowering'. Prof P: You are quite right. The sun is shining here in Cardiff today, is it sunny where you are?

Balcurvie Primary School: Mine was the first crocus to flower and just in time for the holidays! Prof P: Hooray, that’s great news!

St. Mary's RC Primary School (Lancashire): Grown to 490mm Planted On The 12th Dec 2012. Prof P: Wow that is a tall daffodil!

Hywel Da Primary School: All daffodils open during the week of 18th to 22nd March. Prof P: Thanks for your report Hywel Da.

Archbishop Hutton's Primary School: On Monday 11th March when we came into school there was about 15 crocuses which had flowered over the weekend. Prof P: That must have been a pretty sight!

Oakfield Primary School: This is our first daffodil to flower called twix. (18.03.2013) Prof P: What a great name!

Newburgh Primary School: It's our first flower and its called 'Craze Crocus'! (18.03.2013) Prof P: That’s a great name too!

Ysgol Iau Hen Golwyn: Flowers are very late opening. Daffodils have not opened yet. Prof P: I hope they flower for you soon.

Rogiet Primary School: Our crocus plants are very small we thought they weren't going to flower but today we found a very small one! It is only 9cm high. Prof P: Well done Rogiet for spotting it!

Magor Church in Wales Primary: Daffodils have not flowered yet. (13.03.2013) Prof P: Thank you for that very valuable record, maybe they will flower soon.

Ysgol Bodafon: It is a beautiful daffodil flower. There are 5 heads of the crocus flowers. Prof P: I think daffodils are very beautiful too.

Greyfriars RC Primary School: We haven't had much rain for 3 weeks but have been watering the bulbs. Our watering can leaked all over the floor. We now have a new watering can! Prof P: Oops! Well done for looking after your bulbs so well.

Your weather comments:

Glyncollen Primary School: Thank you for putting our message on your blog. We brought the crocus into class and tried your experiment. It was very cold outside and our crocus hadn't opened but when they came into the warmth they opened. When we took them back out they closed up again. We have got a lot to do this week. We have to research what the mystery bulb is, although they have nearly opened. We have to measure the final height of both flowers and send you photos. We have also got to send you labelled drawings of our daffodils. Our teacher says we deserve a holiday after all our hard work.Yr.4 Glyncollen. Prof P: Wow Glyncollen, you really have been working super hard – your teacher is right, you do deserve a holiday, and luckily it is Easter break! Well done for doing the crocus experiment – I am really pleased that it worked for you.

St Athan Primary: not too sure of rain readings for this week as the gauge has been tampered with over night during the last two weeks. We are sure it's not the pupils during school time as it's been checked prior to staff leaving sorry about that. The children are upset about their part of the experiment being inaccurate despite my assurance that these things happen sometimes! Prof P: I am very sorry that someone has been tampering with your rain gauge. If you need a new one for the project next year I can send one. Please don’t be upset St Athan pupils, I know that you have all been working very hard. I am very grateful for all the records you have sent in, you are all super scientists!

Darran Park Primary: Our crocuses have flowered this week, but as of yet the daffodils have not opened. They have been slow in growing. We are hoping that they will be ready to flower when we come back to school. We are on holiday as from today, for two weeks. HAPPY EASTER TO YOU ALL .from year 5 children in Darran Park Primary. Prof P: Happy Easter to you too year 5!

Stepping Stones Short Stay School: heavy rainfall over the weekend before Monday 18th, therefore the high measure by Monday afternoon. Heavy snow early on Friday 23rd, some melting by 2:30PM, measuring 3mm. Prof P: Excellent weather reporting Stepping Stones.

Tynewater Primary School: None of our flowers are out yet and we are on holiday for two weeks now for Easter. I am going to move our potted bulbs into a sunnier spot (in front of a south facing wall) for the holidays and hope that they are flowering by the time we get back on the 8th April. Do you want us to let you know what happens? Prof P: Yes please do let me know what happens!

Ysgol Y Ffridd: Yn anffodus toes yr un o'n blodau ni wedi tyfu. Athro’r Ardd: Mae’n flin gen i glywed hynny Ysgol Y Ffridd, ond nawr mae ganddoch chi dair wythnos arall i anfon eich cofnodion blodau. Gobeithio y bydd rhai o’ch blodau chi’n tyfu yn y tair wythnos nesaf. Da iawn chi am eich holl waith a daliwch ati i wylio’ch planhigion!

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Dear Professor, Another week of strange, cold weather, snow at the beginning of the week, bitter cold winds, then today blue skies in the morning, which then has started to rain! I have sent the children home with their daffodil pots, and I have asked them to record the day the flower opens. Happy Easter to everyone and lets hope we do get some sunny weather over the holidays! Regards Stanford Gardening Club Prof P: It’s great that the children have taken their plants home! I hope you have some Easter sunshine in Oxfordshire to help them open.

Sofrydd Primary School: there have been snow showers through out this week. Prof P: It has been a very snowy March in some parts of Wales!

Ysgol Gynradd Talybont: This year we moved the thermometer to a different part of the garden nearer to the plant pots and it was directly in the afternoon sun, so we do not think it is a true reflection of the temperature. Prof P: Hmm, well done for thinking about your experiment so scientifically Ysgol Gynradd Talybont, I am very impressed.Maybe that wall IS a bit warmer than the rest of your garden, but it does sound like you have found a nice sunny spot for your plants to grow!

St Nicholas Primary School: We have daffodil flowers and our couple of crocuses that weren't eaten by squirrels have flowered! Prof P: What cheeky squirrels!! I suppose they must have been very hungry. I like squirrels a lot but they are not very good scientists!

Many thanks

Prof P

March 2013

Well done bulb buddies!

Posted by Catalena Angele on 26 March 2013

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My crocuses have finally flowered and my daffodils have opened too!

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Prof Plant's daffodil

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Prof Plant's crocus

Well done to everyone who has sent in weather and flower records this week! Because flowering is so late this year we are extending the deadline for Flower Records to Friday 19 April. Hopefully this will give some of your plants a bit more time to grow!

The deadline for Weather Records is still the end of this week – so please send them in by Friday 29 March. Please also send me your pictures for the drawing competition by Friday 29 March too.

Thank you so much for all your hard work and for helping me with this very important investigation! Everyone who has sent in records will receive a Super Scientist Certificate and a fabulous Super Scientist red pencil! The school that sent in the most Spring Bulbs weather data will also win a Nature-Activity trip!

I will announce the winner on the 22 April, and the runners-up will get lovely prizes too. I will send certificates and pencils to schools on 6 May and will send the results of the Spring Bulbs investigation at the end of May.

You can take your plants home for holidays if you like, or keep watching them in school. If your flowers have not opened by the deadline please record this on the Flower record form and send it in. Every year we have some bulbs that do not flower. If this happens to your bulb it can feel a bit sad, but this is very important scientific information too and you will still receive your certificate and pencil, of course!

Whose flowers have opened this week?

Hywel Da Primary School, Ysgol Gynradd Talybont, Coed-y-Lan Primary, Darran Park Primary¸St Joseph's Primary School (Penarth) and Henllys CIW Primary in Wales, Stanford in the Vale Primary School, Archbishop Hutton's Primary School, St. Mary's RC Primary School (Lancashire) and St Nicholas Primary School in England, have all reported that their flowers have opened! Congratulations and thank you for sending your records.

Did you know?

  • Snow is not unusual in March or April. In fact, it is more likely to snow at Easter than it is at Christmas!

I got this fact from Derek the weatherman! Derek says that this week may be cold with easterly winds but it may turn a bit milder by Good Friday.

Do you fancy going for a walk in the woods to look for wild spring flowers? Why not have a look at the Woodland Trust website to see what signs of Spring you can spot - from catkins and tree blossom to hearing a cuckoo or spotting a bumble bee.

Your questions, my answers:

Tynewater Primary School: We've had quite a lot of snow this which is still lying although beginning to melt. Our bulbs are barely showing through the earth - even the ones in the pots. We are on holiday for the next two weeks and if the bulbs are not showing any progress we will move them where they get a bit more sun than they do at the moment. Sorry again that we are irregular with our data. We are still keeping the information. Prof P: Thanks for the fantastic update TynewaterSchool, I hope that the new flower record deadline will give your flowers a little more time to grow.

Glyncollen Primary School: Nearly all our daffodils are open. Our crocuses have also opened. We still don't know what our mystery bulbs are. We hope we don't get any snow! Prof P: Wonderful news! I bet they look beautiful!

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: A mixture of cold winds, rain and a hopeful spring day, which turned to rain! Stanford Gardening Club. Prof P: Great weather reporting Stanford in the Vale!

Newport Primary School: It snowed at the beginning of this week and was really cold especially in the morning. The wind was very chilly. By the end of the week it warmed up a wee bit. Prof P: You are very dedicated scientists to keep sending your weather reports when it’s so cold and snowy - well done Newport Primary.I hope you all have nice warm coats on when you go outside to record the weather!

Oakfield Primary School: What do you think about this week’s rainfall? Prof P: We had a lot of rain on Friday in Cardiff, didn’t we Oakfield? My rain gauge was quite full too.

Greyfriars RC Primary School: crocuses are starting to grow. Prof P: I am very glad, please keep sending in your records Greyfriars, you are doing a great job.

Newburgh Primary School: Our first crocus has flowered! We recorded this at the end of the day on Friday so we'll send details on Monday. Prof P: Hooray! And thank you for sending your crocus record – you can see it on the map. If you zoom in and click on the flower it will say the name of your school!

St Joseph's Primary School (Penarth): With only a week to go before the end of term, we are very keen for our bulbs to flower. We are keeping an extremely close eye on our pots and are ready to photograph the bulbs at the first sign of a flower! Prof P: Fingers crossed for you St Joseph’s. Please do send me your photos, even if your flowers open after the deadline.

Many thanks

Prof P

1 week to go...

Posted by Catalena Angele on 21 March 2013

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2013 crocus results — Only ten schools have reported crocus flowers so far this year.

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2012 crocus results — Look how many schools crocuses had flowered by this time last year!

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Professor Plant

There is now only one recording week left to go until the end of the Spring Bulbs project! This means only one week until the deadline for sending in your records!

Whose flowers have opened this week?

In England RAF Benson Primary School is the first English school to send in flower records! In Scotland Newburgh Primary School have now had flowers and in Wales Ysgol Iau Hen Golwyn, Magor Church in Wales Primary, Ysgol Bodafon, Rogiet Primary School and Oakfield Primary School have all had flowers. Well done and thank you for sending your results.

How are your plants getting on? Compared to last year our flowers are very late indeed!

By this time last year crocuses had flowered in 27 schools, but so far this year only ten schools have reported that their crocuses have opened!

By this time last year 26 schools had sent daffodil records, but so far this year we have only had daffodils opening at one school!

What do you think might be the cause? Many of you sent me comments about the cold weather and snow we had in February and your weather records show that we have not had much rain recently. When you have all sent in your weather records I will look for clues to explain why our flowers are late…

Weather Scientists at the Met Office say that average winter temperatures in the UK have been ‘mild’ this year – this means that winter has not been that cold compared to winters in the past. They also say that in January and February the UK had less rain than usual. I wonder if your weather records will agree?

Interesting Facts:

  • The scientific study of the weather is called Meteorology and scientists who study the weather are called Meteorologists!
  • When does spring start? When Meteorologists record the weather they say that spring begins on 1 March and ends on 31 May. But many other people say that the start of spring is the spring equinox on 20 March – this week!

Would you like to do a Super Scientific Investigation with your plants? I have put together some great ideas for experiments you can do in your school! Can you trick your crocus? Can your daffodil move? Click here to have a look: Professor Plant’s investigation ideas

Your questions, my answers:

Ysgol Nant Y Coed: Some pupils have 6 crocuses in one bulb. Prof P: Gosh that is unusual!

St Mary's Catholic Primary School: Our flowers are being very shy and staying out of sight! Prof P: That’s very sweet! Hopefully they will feel a bit braver soon and show their faces!

Greyfriars RC Primary School: We are having fun are you? Prof P: I am so glad! Yes I am having fun with my bulbs too, thanks for asking!

Newport Primary School: Weather just got colder this week. Crocus bulbs are through but there are none flowering just now. Prof P: Good work Newport Primary, flowering is very late indeed this year.

St Joseph's Primary School (Penarth): We are disappointed that our bulbs have not flowered yet but we can see that some of them are growing well and are nearly ready to flower. Hopefully we will have some interesting pictures to send you next week. Prof P: I hope so too St Joseph’s! I would love to see your pictures.

Gladestry C.I.W. School: went to Cardiff on a school trip on thurs Prof P: I hope you had fun in Cardiff.

Glyncollen Primary School: Our daffodils and crocuses have opened. We will send you photos this week. Prof P: Hooray! I look forward to seeing your photos.

Coppull Parish Primary School: Sorry for not doing the weather on Monday. Prof P: That’s okay Coppull Parish, thanks for letting me know and keep up the good work.

Bwlchgwyn C P School: we have 30 shoots. Prof P: That’s great news!

Thorneyholme RC Primary School: Hi p.p on Friday we got 220mm of rain. Prof P: That really is a lot of rain!

Ysgol Porth Y Felin: To p.p we didn't have a record on thursday because of a school trip, and we’ve started measuring the tallest plant which is now 21.5cm tall. Prof P: Did you have fun on your school trip? Good measuring Ysgol Porth Y Felin.

Many thanks

Prof P

The Final Countdown!

Posted by Catalena Angele on 7 March 2013

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Super Scientist Certificate — Will it have your name on it?

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Super Scientist Pencil

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Professor Plant recording the weather with a Super Scientist Pencil!

Hi bulb buddies,

Time is ticking on and all your weather reports and flower records need to be sent in by Friday 29 March. This means there are only three weeks left to send in you data!

Don’t worry if your flowers have not opened yet, three weeks is a still a long time. Based on the results from previous years most of your flowers will have opened by the end of March.

Every pupil whose school has sent in records will be awarded a Super Scientist Certificate like the one in the picture! But there’s more… each of you will also get a very special prize… a Super Scientist pencil! – perfect for recording the results of your experiments. So don’t miss out, remember to send in your records!

Whose flowers have opened this week?

In last weeks blog Ysgol Nant Y Coed was the first school in Wales to report that flowers had opened and this week lots more children at that school have reported flowering too! Gosh Ysgol Nant Y Coed, your flowers are doing very well. I wonder if the sun has been shining more in Llandudno?

Greyfriars RC Primary School in St Andrews, Scotland has also reported crocus flowering and Milford Haven Junior School in Wales has sent in records of a crocus and a daffodil flowering! Well done to both schools.

When your daffodils open remember to get drawing! You can send me your pictures and enter the Daffodil Drawing Competition. I am looking for beautiful pictures but they must also have clear labels which show the different parts of the Daffodil. You can look here to see some wonderful examples of winners’ drawings from previous years.

Your questions, my answers:

Rhydypenau Primary School: We had rain over the weekend, that is why our gauge was full. Prof P: Thank you for the explanation Rhydypenau, that's really helpful!

Ysgol Nant Y Coed: Some of the crocus bulbs have flowered so we're sending that information now too. Prof P: Fantastic news! Thanks for your flowering records.

SS Philip and James Primary School: We really enjoyed doing it and remembered to do it every day, we hope that we can do it again soon. Phil+Jim bulb team Prof P: I am so pleased that you are enjoying it so much – I love recording the weather too!

Henllys CIW Primary: still no flowers. Prof P: It's exciting to see your flowers open, but your report that they have not opened is very valuable scientific information too! It could tell us a lot about how cold it has been this winter or how much sunshine we have had.

St Joseph's Primary School (Penarth): We have noticed that our plants continue to grow but we are keeping a very close eye on them to see which one will flower first - we can't wait! Prof P: I feel the same every morning when I look at my plants too.

Greyfriars RC Primary School: 11 daffodils are in bud. A's crocus is the only one growing but all the other daffodils but A's, why is A's daffodil not growing? Prof P: This is a very good question! I’m sorry that your daffodil is not growing A, you haven’t done anything wrong! I am glad your crocus is growing instead. Sadly we do have a small number of bulbs every year that do not grow, it happened to some of mine last year. The reason it happens is unclear. When a daffodil doesn't make a flower gardeners say that the plant has gone 'blind' - as it has no flower head.

Ysgol Porth Y Felin: we had our holidays on the 11 - 15 week so we'll skip a week. everythings ok there hasn't been much rain and the temperature has been a little high!
from porth y felin. Prof P: Many thanks!

Kilmaron Special School: The school was on holiday on Thursday and Friday. On Wednesday we had very heavy snow and although the rain gauge only had 3mm in it there was almost 6cm of snow by 2pm. The gauge is in quite a sheltered place as we had problems with a pupil seeking it out and emptying it. Prof P: Good idea to move your rain gauge to keep it safe.

Glyncollen Primary School: We hope our flowers open this week as well. Prof P: Fingers crossed!

Kilmaron Special School: Still no signs of our crocus bulbs although the ones planted years ago in our other raised beds are blooming and the ones in the grass next to our raised bed are almost out. Prof P: Keep watching them Kilmaron!

Many thanks

Prof P

The 1st flower records for Scotland and Wales!

Posted by Catalena Angele on 5 March 2013

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The flower bud on my crocus is starting to look purple, so maybe it will open soon.

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I can see the flower buds on my daffodils but they are still green.

Congratulations to Tulliallan Primary School for sending in the very first Spring Bulbs flower records of the year! Tulliallan’s first crocus and daffodil opened only a day apart, with their crocus flowering on 17 January and their first daffodil flowering on 18 January.

As Scotland is further north than England and Wales they generally have colder weather and more snow in winter. This usually means that plants flower later. Last year flowers opened earlier in Wales and England, so it is quite a surprise that our first flower record this year is from Scotland! But that is the wonderful thing about being a scientist – experiments can often have surprising results!

The second school to send in flower records was Ysgol Nant Y Coed in Wales. Three children’s crocuses opened on the same day on 1 March – St David’s Day! These were the first records for Wales – well done Ysgol Nant Y Coed!

I wonder where flowers will open next?

When your flowers open please send me your flower data, you can see where flowers have opened by looking at this map

TOP TIPS:

  1. Every pupil in the class can send in their flower record! 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 website can calculate the average flowering date for your school.
  2. Daffodils tilt their heads downwards just before opening. This prevents them from filling with rain after they open.

I would also really love to see photos of your flowers. If you have photos please ask your teacher to email them to me!

My plants here in Cardiff haven’t flowered yet. The bud on one of my crocuses is starting to look a bit purple, so maybe it won’t be long. I can see the flower buds on my daffodils too but they are still green.

Your questions, my answers:

St Nicholas Primary School rain gauge stolen. Prof P: Sorry to hear that St Nicholas Primary. I have put a new one into the post for you, I hope it arrives soon.

Ysgol Y Ffridd Glawiad Dydd Llun yn llawn ers y gwyliau. Athro'r Ardd: Mae'n rhaid ei bod hi wedi bwrw hen wragedd a ffyn yn yr ysgol dros y gwyliau! Diolch am roi gwybod i fi.

Milford Haven Junior School Temp in playground was much colder because of the wind chill factor. Prof P: Brrrr! I hope you were all wrapped up warm when you went outside to play.

Ysgol Porth Y Felin to pp we have a problem with one of the plants. It has creamy browny little things in the pot that look like mini shell pastas. We don't know what they are. ysgol porth y felin. Prof P: Gosh, they sound curious. I wonder if they could be the brownish leaves that protect the plant just before the shoots start to grow? Maybe you could take a photo and ask your teacher to send it to me? I might know what they are if I saw them!

Ysgol Nant Y Coed We have buds on the crocus and daffodils now but none of them have opened yet. The mystery bulb has grown the biggest! Prof P: That’s great news! Keep an eye on them and let me know as soon as they open.

Darran Park Primary Mystery plant has grown quite well the rest of the bulbs are slowly growing. Prof P: Thanks for your plant update Darran Park Primary.

Glyncollen Primary School Many thanks for our new rain gauge. You also sent us a new thermometer but on a slip of paper in the box it said St. Mary's. We were wondering if it was meant for us or should we send it back to you? Can you please let us know. The leaves on our flowers are growing well. Bye for now - Yr.4 Prof P: Oops! I sent out two rain gauges on the same day and things must have got mixed up. Sorry Glyncollen. I have emailed your teacher about the thermometer – thanks for letting me know about the mix up.

Greyfriars RC Primary School Dear Professor Plant, we are a bit confused because only one crocus is flowering and only one daffodil is flowering. Prof P: Congratulations Greyfriars School! You are now the second Scottish School to have flowers! You now need to enter you flower data on to the website to make it OFFICIAL! Remember: You can enter flower data as soon the very first flower opens. You record the date it opened and the height of the tallest part of your plant. Then as each new flower opens you can enter its data on the website too – you don’t have to wait until they are all open. Plants grow at different rates – some grow quickly, some take longer to grow - just like children!  I am sure your other flowers will 'catch up' soon.

Many thanks

Prof P

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