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Catalena Angele, 9 April 2013

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

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

Happy Easter!

Catalena Angele, 4 April 2013

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

Happy Easter bulb buddies!
Easter chicks
Easter chicks!

Well done bulb buddies!

Catalena Angele, 26 March 2013

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

My crocuses have finally flowered and my daffodils have opened too!
Prof Plant's daffodil
Prof Plant's crocus

1 week to go...

Catalena Angele, 21 March 2013

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

2013 crocus results — Only ten schools have reported crocus flowers so far this year.
2012 crocus results — Look how many schools crocuses had flowered by this time last year!
Professor Plant

The Final Countdown!

Catalena Angele, 7 March 2013

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

Super Scientist Certificate — Will it have your name on it?
Super Scientist Pencil
Professor Plant recording the weather with a Super Scientist Pencil!