Why are we counting spring flowers?

The Chapel grounds, Killerton

Every year, for 10 years, gardeners have counted spring flowers in National Trust gardens. This year we're looking at the flowering trends in relation to climate change.

A mild winter

This year’s milder, calmer and less wet winter compared with 2014 has been much kinder on our garden plants and our gardeners are expecting this to be reflected in the findings of the Trust’s annual Valentines Flower Count.

Despite the recent cold snap, spring really is raring to go, and now's the perfect time to get outdoors and spot early rising spring flowers in our gardens across the south west.

In the far west we’ve been enjoying Camellias in flower since November and plants like snowdrops and aconites are beginning to appear in abundance. They won’t be put off because of the occasoinal bit of snow and ice.

The snowdrop has been voted the top spring flower in the South West, and the gardens at Cotehele, Stourhead and Killerton are some of the most popular places to see spring blooms.

An annual spectacular

Ian Wright, National Trust Gardens Advisor in the South West said: ‘Spring is my favourite time of year, it’s a time to get back in touch with plants and enjoy this free annual spectacular played out over several heady weeks, you can almost map the progress of spring as it travels from West to East and South to North by way of the flowers in our gardens. I would thoroughly recommend getting out there and reaffirming your senses with ‘all things nature’ You'll feel lifted after spotting your first swath of daffodils or a magnolia flower set against a crisp blue sky. 

" Building on the success last year we’re asking our supporters to get involved in our very own blooming garden watch and tell us what they have in flower in their garden."

Would you like to get involved in this year's flower count? 

We're building a map of flowers blooming across the South West. Send us the flowers blooming in your garden, or where you are, by sending your photos in on social media.

There's three ways to send in your flower photos


Help us build a picture of which flowers are blooming in the South West by posting a photo of your garden in bloom.


Which flowers are blooming in your garden? Add your photos to the hashtag.


Add your pics to the Instagram hashtag #flowercount.