I called in at Gresgarth Hall last Sunday for snowdrop day. As expected, the snowdrops were looking fine, but what ought to have been a surprise is that so many hellebores were in full flower too. Hellebore day isn’t scheduled for another month, so it’s perhaps as well that their flowers are so long lasting.
Far from being surprised, I’d been eagerly anticipating the hellebores. After all, I’d have had to have been keeping my head in a bucket not to realise this season is a strange one. Since the start of 2016, gardeners the length and breadth of the country have been marveling out loud on social media at the range of flowers brought out early by the unseasonably warm weather we’ve had this winter.
The Independent newspaper ran a story saying that more than 600 species of British flowers were in bloom on 1st January 2016 compared to 30. (Since then the newspaper has itself fallen victim to climate change of a different type, becoming the first British newspaper to announce their move to publishing online only in response to their dwindling print circulation.)
But to return to the seasons… what every nature lover is asking is: what happens next? How will nature mind the gap? Is this another anomaly or part of an irreversible trend?
I’m all for enjoying this season’s early bounty – and believe me, I do. But what should be a pure joy makes part of my heart feel heavy.
Saving this post as a draft, I decided to look for climate data to find out what’s happening to average mean temperatures. The data for my part of the world turns out to be the longest running of its type with records of mean monthly temperature starting in 1659. It shows a clear progression over time, though ‘just’ a couple of degrees. How sensitive do we think nature is likely to be to that ‘just’?
I know many people believe climate change isn’t happening. I hope with all my heart they’re right.
I hope hoping helps.
Shared for WPC: Seasons.