January’s snow, frost and unseasonably cold weather have had an adverse effect on Britain’s traditional snowdrop display, with many bulb flowers struggling to bloom.
He added: ‘Everything has been buried under snow, but the biggest problem is the fact that there have been such heavy frosts. The ground was frozen rock solid and nothing could move in that.’
Guy Barter, from the Royal Horticultural Society, noted that the cold weather can cause localised flowering: ‘The weather so far experienced in Surrey is such that snowdrops are on the cusp of flowering, while in Cambridgeshire, they’ve been held back.
‘However, if snowdrops are delayed in flowering, so will other bulbs, such as irises and narcissi, so the sequence of flowering shouldn’t be unduly disturbed.’
Colesbourne Park in Gloucestershire, which has more than 250 varieties of snowdrop, has been affected this winter, according to owner Sir Henry Elwes: ‘The snow fell on very hard frosty ground, which plants can’t do anything with.’
However, Sir Elwes is optimistic about the next few weeks: ‘We’re hoping that the mild weather will do the trick. Once it warms up, it shouldn’t make a difference to how brilliantly they bloom.’
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