Spring Arriving

A couple of years ago, we had some daffodils in the house, complete bulbs that is, which grew and were lovely. We put the bulbs away in some soil in the hope they would return. They did nothing last year though, and we thought they were doing nothing this year—to the point that we were getting ready to just throw them. However, one of them then produced a little shoot, which has been growing strong, and was joined by a second bulb after a few days. For some reason I’ve been measuring1,2 them a few times per day, tracking their growth!

Edit: Finished: I gave up measuring once they really began wilting. The tips were brown and it was increasingly difficult to measure things. Interesting to see the relatively quick growth at the beginning tapering off to a maximum height. Hopefully there’ll be something to measure next year too!


  1. Measurements are performed using a schoolboy style clear plastic 30 cm rule, placed edge on to the soil against the shoot. Approximate error in measuring is ±1 mm. A correction must be made as the zero of the rule isn’t at the edge: This was measured as 6±0.5 mm (using another ruler, in this case a metal scale rule). Overall error therefore estimated at ±0.11 cm.
  2. The last eight points for daffodil 1 were made using a steel rule as it had grown too long for the rule. Also, the last several points for both daffs were made by holding them up to full extent as they began to droop. Errors for these points are probably somewhat larger, on the order of 1–2 mm.

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