Page last updated at 16:58 GMT, Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Cold weather delays spring blooms in Devon and Cornwall

Magnolia covered in snow
Snow, ice and very low temperatures have delayed traditional spring blooms

The cold winter has delayed the flowering of spring plants by up to a month, according to a count of blooms in National Trust gardens.

The chilly weather has bucked the trend seen in recent years of warmer, wetter winters which usually result in plants blooming earlier.

Experts predict the delay will lead to plants all flowering at once, heralding spring's arrival in a riot of colour.

The count has been conducted at Devon and Cornwall trust sites since 2006.

Spring blooms normally appear first in the south west of England but for the first time, other trust gardens across the UK have taken part in the annual count - bringing the total number of sites surveyed to 25.

'Fabulous' display

According to Mike Calnan, the National Trust's head of gardens and parks, garden plants are the "perfect weather barometers" and can be used to see how gardens are responding to changes in weather and climate.

In Devon and Cornwall, 1,115 varieties of plants were recorded in flower across 12 gardens - a third of the 3,335 counted in 2008 when the highest number was recorded.

Ian Wright, National Trust gardens adviser for Devon and Cornwall, said in the past decade warmer and wetter winters had seen spring arriving earlier and earlier but for the second year in a row, plants have been held back by up to four weeks.

Snowdrops
Anglesey Abbey snowdrops are late but should be in full bloom soon

Last year's wet summer and warm autumn have put magnolias heavily in bud so while they will flower later than usual, the display will be "fabulous" when they do, the trust said.

Famous displays including the snowdrops at Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire, have been delayed by several weeks in the wake of the coldest January for 23 years.

Anglesey Abbey's flower count found 217 different plants in bloom, including 180 of the 240 snowdrop varieties the garden contains.

Excluding Anglesey's huge snowdrop collection, the highest number of flowers recorded was at Killerton in Devon, where 172 varieties were in bloom, up from 85 last year.

Overall there was a 7.5% decrease in the numbers recorded in Devon and Cornwall compared with 2009.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Wildlife highs and lows of 2008
27 Dec 08 |  In Pictures
Spring comes 'earlier than ever'
04 Feb 08 |  Science & Environment
Blooms count to monitor climate
13 Feb 06 |  Cornwall

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2016 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific