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Last year Staff from the Departments of Natural Sciences, and Learning, Participation and Interpretation took their I Spy…Nature themed pop-up museum out into the community. This year we have been delivering I Spy…Nature related workshops throughout March as part of the I Spy…Nature Exhibition outreach programme. Workshops at National Museum Cardiff allowed members of the public to carry out fieldwork within the museum, bringing the outside in! Visitors were able to explore the miniature world of British Slugs and Snails, go pond dipping, explore a rocky shore (utilising our brand new portable 3D Rocky shore) and go worm charming with our OPAL Community Science officer. During the middle part of March, staff ran a series of school workshops both at National Museum Cardiff and within a local primary school, where pupils could explore the seafloor, Fossils and Minerals before trying their hand at scientific illustration with a local artist.  The aim of these sessions was to inspire children to explore their natural environment and also to give them a chance to experience the work that museum scientists do. For British Science and Engineering Week, staff held an I Spy…Nature Open day in the main Hall at National Museum Cardiff, with a plethora of specimens from our collections and even a giant lobster, fly and squirrel!

 For more information on the I Spy…Nature activities see our Storify Story.

Our design inspiration
Our design inspiration

The youth forum in National Museum Cardiff has been working on lots of different projects, but RIGHT NOW they are putting together a publication to tie in with the upcoming contemporary ceramics exhibition Fragile?. This publication is going to be alternative guide to the exhibition and will contain interviews with artists along with some superb articles looking at ceramics, vinyl, death and murder.

We have had some help from lots of museum staff along with interview and writing tips from Emma Geliot (editor of CCQ magazine) and layout and design work planning with Liz Price from Chipper Designs.

We hope it's going to be all ready for the opening on April 18th, but there's still a lot of work ahead! it's just like being on Press Gang (90s tv reference...)

Hello Bulb Buddies,

Well, you have been busy! A further 78 flowering records have been entered this week bringing us to a total of 175 flowers!


For those of you still waiting for your flowers to bloom here are some helpful tips:

  1. Your plants have flowered when you can see all of their petals, without the outer casing that protects them while they are developing (see the picture to the right).
  2. Remember to measure in mm!
  3. Measure from the top rim of your plant pot to the highest point of your flower.
  4. Remember to record the date when you enter your flowering record on the National Museum Wales website!
  5. Please leave comments when you enter your records, this is your chance to tell me what you’ve liked or disliked about the project!
  6. Please send pictures! I have been able to share a few pictures posted by schools on Twitter. If your school doesn’t use Twitter maybe your teacher could email pictures to me!

There isn’t long to go now, only two more weeks of collecting and entering weather data!

Remember, the 27th of March is the deadline for entering all of your weather data. You must do this to achieve your Super Scientist certificates and be in for a chance of winning a museum nature trip!

Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies

Professor Plant


Your comments:

The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School: We were very excited this week as there were lots of buds on our crocuses. The weather has been getting warmer and today the first crocus flowers opened in the sunshine and we had to measure them carefully, H and J. Prof P: Well done H and J! I hope you have enjoyed studying the development of your plants. There are other experiments you can do that demonstrate how your flowers respond to light and heat. I will send these to your teacher but you can also find them on the website under ‘Professor Plant’s investigation ideas’. Keep up the good work!

Rivington Foundation Primary School: On Monday we had snow! And on Thursday we were on a school trip. Prof P: Well Rivington Foundation Primary School, you’ve had quite an exciting week! And you still managed to document your weather records, thank you very much!

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Still no sign of bulbs in pots flowering yet, we think the ones in the ground are doing better, as the roots have more space to grow, unlike the pots which have restricted space! It’s lovely and sunny here today, with a good sunny forecast for the weekend. When we return to school on Monday we should hopefully start to see our bulbs flowering. Prof P: Hi Stanford in the Vale Primary, I’m pleased to hear that you are observing other plants and discussing the effects of environment on growth and development. I hope the sun over the weekend spurs on your plants, it shouldn’t be long now so watch them closely!

Our Lady of Peace Primary School: The bulb's still have not came out yet but one of them is almost out. Prof P: It shouldn’t be long now Our Lady of the Peace Primary! Watch the flower buds carefully to see how they open. The spathe will begin to split lengthways as the bud grows! If your teacher has a camera you might be able to take pictures that show the different stages of the bud flowering!

Thorn Primary School: We are very sorry but we were unable to submit plants data this week as there was building work taking place at school and we could not safely get to the thermometer and rain collector. We will be fine to collect our data this week. Prof P: Thank you for letting me know Thorn Primary School, and not to worry! I look forward to seeing your data next week.

Our Lady of Peace Primary School: My name is T and my flower was first to open. It was outside when it opened but when we brought it inside it opened even more. We were amazed. Even our teacher was amazed. Prof P: Hi T. I’m glad that you have been studying your plants so closely, they are fascinating things! Did you discuss why the flower reacted to being moved inside? I suspect your classroom was a lot warmer than the playground!!

Swiss Valley School: Hello how do we record the mystery bulbs please? Prof P: Hi Swiss Valley School. You can record the mystery bulbs flowering dates for your own records in the class room, but there is no need to record them on the NMW website. Schools that are taking part in the Edina Trust extension projects were given an extra 20 daffodil bulbs to plant in the ground, and those schools are asked to document the flowering dates for these on the Edina Trust website. This is so that they can compare the flowering dates of those in the ground to those in pots and think of reasons why these might be different. Have you noticed differences in the development of your mystery bulbs to your bulbs in pots? Can you think of reasons for this?

Ysgol Iau Hen Golwyn: We enjoyed measuring them. Prof P: I’m glad to hear that you are enjoying the project Ysgol Iau Hen Golwyn! Keep up the good work.

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: All our crocus have flowered and they are looking so pretty. What a lovely week of warmer weather, and finally the rain came today, we are so in need of more rain.....we looked at the weather data as a group and noticed Oxfordshire have had little rain this year! Prof P: Hi Stanford in the Vale Primary. What a lovely post, and it’s nice to see a positive spin on rain! I’m glad that you are using the resources on the map to study readings from other schools! You can also use the Met Office WOW website to look at readings in other areas.

Hello Bulb Buddies,

I hope you all had a fantastic St David’s Day yesterday!

St David’s Day (Dydd Gwyl Dewi) is a national holiday in Wales that celebrates St David (Dewi Sant), the patron Saint of Wales. This is a time when the history and traditions of Wales are celebrated. Traditional foods are prepared such as cawl/ lobscows and welshcakes, and traditional dress and Welsh emblems are worn. The Welsh emblems adorned on St David’s day include the leek (which is a symbol of St David) and the Daffodil. It is interesting that the Welsh word for Leek (Cennin) and Daffodil (Cennin Pedr) are very similar!

I thought it would be interesting for the schools in England and Scotland to see how important the Daffodil is in Wales. Did you celebrate St David’s Day? If not, are there other days that you do celebrate? You could let me know about these in the ‘comments’ section when you record this week’s weather data!

Have a look at the pictures attached!

Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies,

Professor Plant

Hello Bulb Buddies,

I have exciting news to report! We have had our first flower dates recorded on the website!

Congratulations to Ysgol Deganwy, who’s first Crocus flowered an the 21st of February at 90mm tall. Ysgol Tal Y Bont and Ysgol Bancyfelin who’s first Crocus's flowered on the 23rd of February at 65mm tall. And, Ynysddu Primary School who’s first Crocus flowered on the 25th of February at 50mm tall. They expect two more to flower any day now!

I have also had reports of even earlier flowering dates. Swiss Valley CP School report that some of their Crocus plants flowered over half term.

Silverdale St. John's CE School have reported that some of the Crocuses they planted in tyres have flowered. One is 110mm tall!

And today, via Twitter I received photographic evidence that Llanharan Primary School has at least two fully grown Crocus plants! They saw one of them open today!

Remember to enter your flower date and the height of your flower on the National Museum Wales website. But, only do this once the petals are fully visible and remember to measure the height in millimetres.

I would love some photos of the flowers for the Museum’s website and my Twitter page. Please ask your teachers to send these in to me if possible.

I would also like to see just how artistic you all are! So, I have an activity for you to do once your flowers have opened! I’d like you to draw a detailed picture of your plant and label all its different parts. This is a great way to get to know your flowers better, and to see just how complicated such small things can be. It’s also very interesting to compare the Daffodil and the Crocus, can you spot the similarities and differences? In many ways all flowers are very similar, even though at first glance they look completely different to one another!

Here is a fun game to do with labelling plants that I found on the BBC Bitesize website:

I look forward to seeing your photos and pictures.

Keep up the good work Bulb buddies,

Professor Plant

Your comments:

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: We had snow on Tuesday! Bitter cold all week. Prof P: Wow Stanford in the Vale Primary, you have had cold weather! -2 on Tuesday – burrr!

Rivington Foundation Primary School: Our daffodils in pots started sprouting last week, now between 1 and 4 cms. Daffodils in pots no sign yet. Probably too cold in the ground. Professor Plant: Hi Rivington Foundation Primary, I’m glad to hear your bulbs are sprouting! It is exciting to see how fast they grow once they start to show above the soil. Usually, the plants in the ground would grow first because they are slightly warmer than your plants in pots. But this depends on a number of things, such as how much frost you have had! I’m sure they will show themselves soon, maybe they are waiting for it to get a little warmer!


Chryston Primary School: Sorry but we were off for 3 days and sadly a bulb got squished because it is near the playground and a ball landed of top of it. The good news is the bulbs are starting to grow. Next week we will start recording the height of the bulbs. Prof P: Oh I am sorry to hear that you lost one of your bulbs! I hope you are all sharing so that no one is too upset – these things do happen! I’m glad to hear that your bulbs have started growing though! It’s interesting to document how quickly they grow, and to see that each one grows at its own pace!

Saint Anthony's Primary School: We are enjoying taking the measurements and are delighted at how well our bulbs are progressing. Prof P: Hi Saint Anthony’s Primary, I’m glad to hear you are enjoying the project. I very much enjoy studying all the weather records that are sent in. And I especially like receiving lovely comments that show me others enjoy this project as much as I do! Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies.

Glyncollen Primary School: We have had good fun so far doing spring bulbs investigation! Prof P: I’m glad you are enjoying the project Bulb Buddies! There are lots more experiments and investigations you can do if you are enjoying this one, why not have a look at the MET Office website for idea! 


Saint Anthony's Primary School: We have noticed that the temperatures have recently been rising and falling. Prof P: Hi Saint Anthony’s Primary, I’m glad to hear that you are studying and comparing your weather records. You have had a bit of a jump, from -2 on Wednesday to 11 on Thursday! Differences like this can result from taking readings at different times of day, as the temperature will be consistently lower in the morning than in the afternoon! This is why it’s important to always try to take the readings at around the same time. However, this can also result from changes in the weather. I’m guessing it was a lot sunnier and less cloudy on Thursday compared to the rest of the week!

Our Lady of Peace Primary School: We hope our bulbs flower soon. We enjoyed planting them. Prof P: I’m sure it won’t be long now Our Lady of Peace Primary! One of my Crocus plants is nearly big enough, but it will be a while yet before my other plants flower! Isn’t it interesting to see that all of our plants are developing differently even though we planted them on the same day!


Keir Hardie Memorial Primary School: We have started to see that our bulbs are starting to grow. Some of our bulbs during the extremely windy weather blew over and were nearly out of the plant box and plant pot. However, we have seen some growth in a number of our plant pots and are hoping they will grow further. For the other ones that had blew over, we replanted them just in case there is any hope. This was a few weeks ago so hopefully we will see some change. Prof P: Hi Keir Hardie Memorial Primary, you did the right thing by re-planting your bulbs. I have my fingers crossed that they will still grow for you! I’m glad to hear that some of your plants have started to grow and that you are monitoring them so closely. Keep up the good work!

Glyncollen Primary School: We have had a broken thermometer on Monday and Tuesday. Professor Plant: Hi Glyncollen Primary. I’m sorry that your thermometer wasn’t working. But I’m glad to see that you fixed it or got a new one, and that you still took your rain fall readings. Good work!  

The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School: Nearly all our bulbs have shoots now the weather is a bit warmer and the mystery bulbs have buds so it looks like we may have some flowers soon. E and O. Prof P: Ooo this is exciting! Once your mystery bulbs have flowered let me know what type of plant you think they might be! Keep up the god work!

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Another strange week with the weather....high winds, cold and heavy rain, then beautiful sunshine! Our plants in the ground look as if they could be showing signs of opening.....but the one in pots seem rather behind....so we are on constant watch! Kind Regards, Gardening Club. Prof P: Hi Stanford in the Vale Primary Gardening Club! I’m glad to hear that your plants are doing well, and that you are comparing the growth of the plants in the ground to the plants in pots. It’s very interesting that these are developing differently, can you think of reasons why this might be?

Glyncollen Primary School: Some of our spring bulbs are starting to grow and our crocus! Prof P: That’s good news Glyncollen Primary, keep a close eye on them now because they’ll grow quickly!