Thinking Like Scientists

March 22, 2017 by Mary Hosier

Questions are springing up from careful observations in Test Gardens across North America. What creative ideas do you have for solving them?

“The blooming tulip was only 8cm tall, while the tallest in our garden is 15 cm. tall,” reported Eisenhower Elementary students in Independence, Missouri on March 16th.

It’s a good time to observe and wonder in the Test Garden. Gather together in the garden and collect your observations and questions.

“In the fall we were often questioned why we couldn’t use our bulbs from the previous year. Our answer was that it was a requirement for controlling variables. Now we can see why. The difference between their old and new bulbs is amazing!”  Shillington, Pennsylvania on March 9th. 

Hardy Tulips
After a week of cold and snow we learned how cold-hardy tulips are. More seasonal temperatures are forecast for this week. How will the warmer temperatures affect Test Gardens?

“The cold temperatures damaged the petals of our tulip flowers. It caused them to turn white. They still look beautiful. Prosperity, South Carolina on March 20th. 

“We’ve had snow, heavy rain and now sunshine and are plants continue to survive and grow. They are 2-4 inches tall.” Wilkeson, Washington on March 16. 

“Some of our tulips emerged and then got covered in a foot of snow. Hope they make it.”  Lincoln, Massachusetts on March 17th. 

Blooming Where?
We’re just past the equinox, the official first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and so far 11 Test Gardens have bloomed in 9 states. Use the map to find out where to find these early bloomers.