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FINAL Tulip Garden Update: May 18, 2001

Today's Report Includes:

Gardens in the News
One look at this week's map and you know that spring has swept the continent. In many places summer weather is replacing spring. We have 12 new reports this week. 11 new gardens have bloomed and one garden has emerged. As always some gardens didn't get a chance to bloom, and each has a story to tell.

Snapshot of Spring's Journey North
We bid farewell to Spring, 2001 with this series of maps which show the greening of spring across North America--thanks to you!

Gardens Planted

February 9

February 23

March 9

March 23

April 6


April 20

May 4

May 18

Original Tulip Garden Sites
Here are the results reported for the bloom times of the Original Garden Sites:

Official Site (Lat, Long) Gardeners Date Tulips Bloomed
Anchorage, Alaska (61.21 N, -149.86 W) Sand Lake Elementary Moose ate the tulips*
Woburn, Massachusetts (42.36 N, -71.05 W) Joyce Middle School April 24
Hood River, Oregon (45.57 N, -121.65 W) Westside Elementary March 23
Kingwood, Texas (29.75 N, -95.36 W) Hidden Hollow Elementary April 5
Mississauga, Ontario (43.50 N, -79.59W) Norman Ingram Elementary April 30
Murfreesboro, Tennessee (35.50 N, -86.23 W) McFadden Elementary March 27
Newport-on-Tay, Scotland (56.40 N, -3.00 W) Wormit Primary May 12
Palo Alto, California (37.44 N, -122.14 W) Barron Park Elementary March 12
Pequot Lakes, Minnesota (46.67 N, -94.24W) Pequot Lakes School April 28
Salt Lake City, Utah (40.77 N -111.92 W) Eastwood Elementary Deer ate emerging plants
Utsjoki, Finland (69.90 N, 26.00 E) Utsjoen saamelaislukio June 16*
Bowie, Maryland (38.93 N, -77.05 W) Rockledge Elementary April 6
*Revised in June, 2001

Enthusiasm in Vermont!- "It is so Cool"
Third Graders in Cavendish Town Elementary School in Proctorsville, VT have big garden plans for the rest of the season and ideas for next year, too. Here's what they wrote:

It is so cool. We have 74 of our flowers emerged but only one bloom. You can see the buds of many other tulips. The pH of the soil is 6.5. The soil temperature at 1:45pm is 66º at about 3" down. We are going to add flowers and create a flower garden for our school. We have already started seedlings in our grow lab. Next year the tulip garden will go somewhere else. I really like doing this."

Fortunately, Unfortunately
Students at Lakefield Elementar in Quispamsis, NB have switched gears and now instead of enjoying tulip blossoms they enjoy the glimpses of deer in their tulip garden! This group's glass is certainly half full! Here is what they have to share:

Fortunately our tulips budded nicely about a week ago. Unfortunately the deer ate them. This is one of their favorite foods. We were expecting it. Even though we live in an urban area, we have a fairly large deer population that wanders through. Ah well, we enjoyed planting and watching the tulips grow and the glimpses of deer in our yards is also a treat so we are content.

Patience Award Again to Our Coldest Gardens!
There are still a few gardens yet to see the light of day. From Anchorage, Alaska we recently received this mail:

"Sorry--no tulips emerging. We'd had a nice early spring up until Thursday (May 3) when it started to snow. I'm sitting here right now looking at a good, solid TWELVE inches of the white stuff sitting on the rail of my deck. It's only 23 degrees, too, so that stuff isn't going away anytime soon. OH! WOE is Us!"

We were hoping the students would have a chance to see their tulips emerge before school is over this year! There is still a few weeks left?

Congratulations Journey North Gardeners
Your tulips have been the focus of an international science project in which you have been able to use tulips as tools to investigate the relationship between geography, temperature and the arrival of spring. We hope you shared your scientific data with laboratory partners or maybe with a classroom of students.

This year we had 262 tulip gardens planted and 90 percent of all gardeners reported back to became part of the study! This is terrific response. We were able to present your data for all kinds of classroom investigations.

Please take a moment to think about the impact your gardening experience had on each person in your class and all the others involved in this international science project. THANKS for the work you contributed to the study!

Form, Function and Sun Screen-Discussion of Challenge Question #19

Water droplets "ball-up"
on waxy tulip leaf.

Have you ever taken a stroll through the tulip garden after a rain?

Here was our question to you:
"Tulip leaves, like all leaves, have many cellular layers. What is the function of the bluish, outside layer of cells?" (Hint: Experiment with one of your tulip leaves and see if you can separate the outside layers from the others.)

Jake Rutherford wrote to say he thinks that the outer layer of cells of the tulip leaf's function is to repel water.

If you take a look at the shape of the leaf you can clearly see that the shape contributes to repelling water, too. The curved shape and pointed tip act to collect and direct rainwater downward to the soil where the roots can use it.

The bluish color of the leaf tells us that the cells at the leaf surface (the epidermis) have some wax in them. Most plants have wax in their epidermis. The wax protects the leaf from losing too much water in the hot sun. It is a kind of sun screen for the leaf!

Investigators Unearth Bulbs- Discussion of Challenge Question #20
Challenge Question #20 asked: "There are many factors that could lead to understanding why the Richardton bulbs were moldy and soggy. Bulbs are a special kind of plant that need special conditions to grow. List as many factors that you can to explain how why these bulbs rotted."
Scientists have to think backwards to solve a lot of their research questions. In the case of the Richardton-Taylor tulip garden, we could make a list of the factors that could cause the bulbs to rot, and then investigate.
Factors that could contribute to the bulbs rotting in the ground:
  • bulbs damaged before planting; during shipping or handling
  • bulbs accidentally damaged while planting
  • animal damage to the bulb while in the ground
  • soil poorly drained
  • wet fall weather conditions

Which of these things can we investigate now to solve the question? Check the soil and investigate drainage. Go to the Web and check out any unusually wet weather patterns. Here is an interesting set of maps to study:

Year-End Evaluation: Please Share Your Thoughts!
Please take a few minutes to share your suggestions and comments in our Year-End Evaluation Form below. The information you provide at the end of each year is the single most important tool used to guide our planning.

Journey North
Year End Evaluation
Please share your thoughts

This is the FINAL Tulip Garden Update. Thank you for all your work on this International study. Have a great summer and we look forward to hearing from you again in the fall!

Copyright 2001 Journey North. All Rights Reserved. Please send all questions, comments, and suggestions to our feedback form

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