Update: March 18, 2010   
Please report:

As a heat wave crossed the middle section of the continent, snow melted to reveal tulips emerging in a whopping 43 new gardens this week! Is spring early or late this year? Try monitoring temps in your garden to compare them to the average. Try some tulip math with the Nottingham garden data. Meet a tulip cousin and see how they are alike. Learn where tulips come from and why they are so tough.

Today's Report Includes:

Image of the Week

How tough are your tulip plants? What if this happened to them?


Maps, Questions, and Highlights

Highlights: Snow Has Melted!

A whopping 43 new gardens reported emerged since our last update! One look at the weather map and you'll know why.

The warmer than average temperatures melted snow piles across the Midwest and East. Gardeners kept a close eye on their garden plots and many were rewarded with their first emerging tulips.

A report from Ohio:
Our tulip garden has been covered with snow for most of the winter. Lots of snow! Over the past few weeks we have waited impatiently for the snow to melt. Once it did . . nothing! A week of sunny days in the 50s and 60s, still nothing. Then, on Friday, March 12, the first little shoots were visible. What joy! We can't wait to see what happens next.
Massachusetts students reported:
Are the tulips up yet? For the past two weeks we've been checking just about every day since the temperature has been hovering around 50. Well, today the answer was finally yes!!!
NA map
Europe map

(North America)
This Week's Map Questions (Handout)
Explore: Is This a "Normal" Spring?

Does it feel warmer or colder than last year at this time? Is this a normal spring or is it earlier or later than usual? What does your gut say? How could you verify this?

This may be the way to begin a discussion about the "big issue" of climate change in your own classroom. Monitor your temperatures and compare them to the national climate maps.

Track temperatures and find the answer to this:
"Is this a NORMAL spring?"

Solve: Tulip Math

Tulip Math
In Nottingham, England gardeners reported their tulips emerged much later than normal. Here is their garden data for the past 5 years. Help them find answers:

  • What is the minimum, maximum,and mean, dates their tulips have emerged?
  • How many days apart are the minimum and maximum emergence dates?
  • Why do you think the tulips emerged so late this year?

For the past month temperatures at the Nottingham garden were
1.97 degrees C. colder than average.
Explore: Two Plant "Cousins"

Here are pictures of two flowers. One may look familiar to you because it is a Red Emperor tulip! These flowers are related. In fact they are BOTH in the same plant family. Find out what it means to share the same family.

Try This!
Study the two flowers. Then write down as many ways they look the same and the ways they look different. Then find out what we see.

These flowers are "cousins" in the same plant family.
Related Journey North Lessons and Links

Learn where the earliest tulips come from so you can understand them in your garden.
More Journey North Lessons and Teaching Ideas!
The Next Tulip Garden Update Will Be Posted on March 25, 2010.