Early spring … and more record breaking weather

Once again the news is full of record breaking temperatures. This time it’s the warmest February day on record. Already temperatures have hit 17oC in North Wales and 19 oC in London. The average temperature for this time of year is 8.2 oC. No wonder nature is confused.

The RHS predicts one of the most fragrant Februaries on record and I can see why with these temperatures. National Trust is reporting more flowers in all their gardens, especially those in the southwest.

I walked around the wonderful gardens at Dartington Hall, Devon at the beginning of the month and saw witch hazel, viburnum, hellebores, camellias, sweet box,  snowdrops, crocuses and the odd daffodil  in flower. Many are useful pollinating flowers, especially the hellebores, but I hope there will be enough in flower next month when the bulk of the pollinators become active.

My own gardens are looking colourful already with carpets of snowdrops and early daffodils. Our daffodil-lined drive is usually at its best in March but this year it will be all over by then.  But what makes life more tricky for plants and their pollinators is the topsy tervy nature of the weather. Just a couple of weeks ago I was photographing the same snowdrops in the snow and now its almost summery weather.

So who knows what the weather in March will be like!