Spring is in the air… already

    FLORISTS are reporting a boom from the unseasonably warm weather as spring flowers sprout THREE months earlier than usual.


    The weather is proving to be a boost for shops after Christmas with many able able to sell daffodils and tulips many weeks earlier than normal.


    But while the early season means new sales florists could be left trying to fill orders come Easter as supplies run low.


    The temperatures are in sharp contrast to last year when the country was gripped by a sudden freeze in one of the coldest winters for 30 years.  This autumn was the second warmest for the UK since records began.


    And cherry blossom have started to appear on trees in yet another sign of the impact this year’s mild winter is having on nature.


    The bloom is usually a sure sign that spring is on the way and is often not seen until April – but following the mildest December for 20 years, buds have already started to emerge.


    This blossom was seen in Beacon Park in Lichfield, where tourists were taking pictures of the pink flowers. There have also been reports of trees starting to bloom in Church Road, Pelsall.


    The mild winter has seen spring flowers such as tulips and daffodils arrive in florists weeks earlier than usual.  But it is also having a strange effect on fruit and vegetables – with a warning about a shortage of rhubarb.


    The mild temperatures in November followed a relatively mild September and October, which were the sixth and eighth warmest on record.


    On October 1 temperatures  in some parts of the UK hit 27C (80.6F).

    Daffodils are traditionally seen as a sign spring is on the way but many are already

    beginning to sprout and flower. Chris Thomas, who runs a Flower Stall in the Mander Centre, in Wolverhampton, said the boost in mild weather meant far more daffodils were available for sale now.


    Mrs Thomas, who has run the stall for more than 40 years, said: “We have been getting lots more spring flowers through than normal, they are early this year which is a bit unusual.


    “People like to have them because it cheers them up after Christmas and they can look forward to spring and summer.”


    She added that her own daffodils in her garden at home in Bobbington had already begun to appear.


    “It’s because of the mild weather and you wouldn’t normally expect them now,” Tracey Jacobs, who runs Heaven Scent, in Lichfield, Staffordshire, said. “The mild weather has fooled things into sprouting early.


    “Last year we had a mild spell before Christmas and then a really harsh frost.


    “We did have a late surge for flowers and then the only option we had was to get them brought over from Holland.”


    She added: “We have to pay a premium for flowers when they are in short supply but we still have to provide the flowers.”


    Robert Fisher, aged 49, who runs Flowercraft, in Chapel Ash, Wolverhampton said: “The spring flowers are coming earlier this time, by a couple of weeks I would say.


    “People like to have spring flowers and its good news for us and it boosts things a bit.”


    He added: “People have noticed they are coming earlier but when it gets to Easter, the traditional time for daffodils there won’t be any because they have come and gone


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