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.
South West Flower Count year on year results
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.
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.
2,287 plants were blooming in the 13th annual Valentine’s Flower count, 32% up on 2017's figure of 1,737, although numbers are down on 2016 where the south west saw 2,644 blooms. Both Cornwall and Devon saw an increase in this year with 33% & 31% more blooms despite a recent cold snap.