Thursday, 4 February 2016


Some  perennial plants such as daffodils, snowdrops and crocuses survive the hardships of winter by accumulating food in their bulbs and then when spring approaches, the warmer and lighter days result in the plant putting it's efforts into producing flowers.
With the traditional day of the first snowdrop flowers being Candlemas Day (2nd February).

But this year it has been different... 

Like a lot of places, the snowdrops in our garden have been in flower before Christmas.
Rather than flowering on Candlemas, quite of a few are loosing their flowers and once again returning to storing food in their bulbs:
It's not only the snowdrops aren't the only ones, the daffodils, which normally flower in March, have also started to flower prematurely.
And so have the crocuses, which usually flower towards the end of February.
The cause of this early flowering is the unseasonable warm weather the South of England has had in the past few months.
In 2013 the average UK temperature was  5.7 Celsius, in 2014 it was 4.4 and in 2015 it was 7.9 (reaching a maximum temperature of 16.6 in Sunderland) [1].

Whilst it is always good to see flowers on a winters day, it may have an adverse affect on on hibernating animals like insects, bats and hedgehogs.
Yet for animals which don't hibernate - like water voles, this may actually be good news as they won't have to seek food in harsh conditions.

Whether this mild winter is temporary or a more permanent change, time will tell.

[1] Met Office:

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