South West Flower Count year on year results

Project
Couple walking through spring flowers

Every year in early spring, National Trust gardeners carry out a Valentine’s Day flower count. They count up the number of blooms in gardens we look after in the South West.

This gives an indicator of what gardens are going to look like throughout the year.

It also allows us to compare with previous years and see trends. From this we can build a picture of how spring flowers are affected by climate change.

Latest updates

2021

2021 results

While we couldn't carry out the usual Valentine's Day flower count in the gardens we care for during lockdown, we asked for your help to take nature's pulse by completing a survey to let us know what you could see in bloom in your garden, from your window or on your local walk between 12 - 15 February 2021.

Snowdrops were voted as the South West’s favourite spring flower for the second year running. These hardy blooms are a symbol of hope and resilience and a welcome reminder that spring was on the horizon, with 93% of survey respondents having seen them in flower in their own gardens or on their local walks this year, up from 88% in 2020. Daffodils were voted the second favourite flower, with primroses following closely in third place. 79% and 77% of voters respectively had seen these sunny blooms while carrying out their own Flower Count. Those that chose daffodils or primroses as their favourite flowers love their bright and cheery nature; one Flower Counter said ‘spring is well on its way when the daffodils are coming out.’

As well as providing an insight into how spring was shaping up, the flower count survey also showed just how keen we all are to feel connected to nature during lockdown. 496% more people completed the survey over this Valentine’s weekend than in 2020.

Spring flowers

2020

2020 results

Despite the recent and unwelcome visit of storm Ciara, but thankfully a lack of frost and snow, gardeners have reported a whopping 2663 plants in bloom; an increase of 13% on 2019. So although not here yet, spring is officially just peeking around the corner.

The most prolific in bloom in terms of different types was camellia, with over 450 camellia varieties in the South West, and limited visits from Jack Frost have meant fewer than usual flowers have been spoilt. Usually you would see some browning on the blooms by now, due to frost or cold wind damage, but this year most camellias are really displaying well throughout the gardens.

A robin by some daffodils in bloom

2019

2019 results

2,352 plants are blooming in this year’s fourteenth annual Valentine’s Flower count, 2% up on last year’s figure of 2,287. For the fourth year running, Saltram had the highest number of flowers recorded, with 210 plants in bloom. Trelissick in Cornwall saw the biggest leap with 91% more flowers in bloom than last year.

Snowdrops in flower at Kingston Lacy