Suffolk's signs of Spring

BLOOMING amazing!Winter gardens often look bare and depressing - empty beds and pots, trees leafless and lifeless.But not this year as plants which would normally not yet be in flower are providing a welcome splash of colour after being left confused by the incredibly milder-than-usual weather.

BLOOMING amazing!

Winter gardens often look bare and depressing - empty beds and pots, trees leafless and lifeless.

But not this year as plants which would normally not yet be in flower are providing a welcome splash of colour after being left confused by the incredibly milder-than-usual weather.

Daffodils are already up and providing a great show of yellow blooms in some gardens, crocuses, too, even camellias, and there have also been reports of summer-blooming lavatera in some borders.

Temperatures at the moment are more like mid-April than mid-January, another sign of climate change with this winter set to be warmer than the last.

Long gone are winters when there would be weeks of snow, rivers freezing over, or hard ground frosts leaving the earth like concrete. Now it's wet and mild and nature thinks spring has come early.

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Nick Bugden, manager at Notcutts garden centre at Woodbridge, said: “In the last week or two several plants have distinctly got ahead of what we might expect of them at this time.

“In my own garden, daffodils have grown an inch-and-a-half in the past week and I have a camellia which has two flowers on it.

“However, I am quite sure the weather will quickly turn back to a more seasonal average and then all this growth will just stop and the plants will readjust themselves. February is yet to come and that can be a very cold month.”

Mr Bugden said the biggest danger to plants was where flowers had appeared or buds started to expand - this could leave them vulnerable to damage if frosts suddenly come.

He said: “I think all these peculiarities are temperature driven and due to climate change. Last autumn we had rhododendrons in flower when they usually flower in spring, and we now have olive trees which can stand outside all year round when 20 years ago they had to be brought into conservatories for the winter.”

The average temperature for January is 6C, but this month temperatures have been up to 13C, the average for mid-April.

Weather service Metcheck says Suffolk will remain the same for the next few days and be brighter and sunnier by the weekend, with temperatures still around 10C.

Next week though is forecast to start to turn colder and day-time temperatures could be down to freezing over January 30 to February 1.

Do you prefer bright, cold winter days - or mild and wet ones? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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