The effects of an early spring on South West gardens
It has been an unusual autumn and winter in the horticultural world in terms of high temperatures and rainfall.
The English Riviera
" The amount of plants in flower has increased dramatically this year."
An increase in blooms
At Coleton Fishacre there were 133 flowering which is 20 more than last year. There was an even bigger increase at Greenway from 100 in 2015 to 153 this year.
One of the gauges or sense-checks we use at Greenway to measure how early the season is going to be, is a huge Magnolia campbellii, planted by Agatha Christie’s husband Max in 1938. Last year it flowered on Valentine’s Day, yet this year it started flowering in early January and is practically over now.
The other popular late winter shrub that we have flowering in abundance at Greenway is camellia. With over 300 varieties it is a welcome early splash of colour in the garden. As a general rule of thumb we are generally about 6 weeks earlier than usual.
Closer to the ground the snowdrops strangely have appeared bang on time, whereas crocus are slightly earlier than usual. We also have an abundance of primroses flowering early which love this warm damp winter.