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Are plants adapting to climate change?

on January 25, 2015

The answer is easy, yes, plants are adapting to climate change, and the proof of this is in our gardens, parks and woods now. This winter began unseasonably mild, but has gradually turned colder with temperatures closer to or sometimes below the seasonal average. We’ve had several hard frosts in the past month with temperatures dropping to -5C in parts of southern England and -13C in the north. However, there are still plenty of flowers in bloom that shouldn’t be according to gardening books.

My Mum is a keen gardener and has been commenting on all the different flowers she’s got in the garden at the moment. Below are some of the photos I took this week after a frosty night, the flowers range from daffodils which shouldn’t be out for another couple of months to Pinks which don’t normally flower until the summer. Additionally, she’s got cyclamen’s still out from last summer and snow drops coming through.

According to some sources, one in six flowering plants are in flower which is more than normal for this time of year. It’s not just plants though, the Woodland Trust received its first report of frogs-spawn in November! This is the earliest it’s been reported for a decade (Clover 2015). Additionally, ladybirds are still being seen in south-western parts of England.

So has Spring really sprung early and Winter not arrived? Probably not, current models suggest that the polar vortex is going to shift from northern Canada to Siberia over the next week. This means it’s going to turn colder later this week with a more northerly air flow affecting the UK. The risk of precipitation falling as snow will increase and there is the potential for significant frosts overnight.

Pinks (Dianthus) - normally flowers in the summer

Pinks (Dianthus) – normally flowers in the summer

Camellia - normally flowers in late spring or autumn

Camellia – normally flowers in late spring or autumn

Crocus - normally flowers in the spring around April time

Crocus – normally flowers in the spring around April time

Daffodil - normally flowers at the end of the winter in March time

Daffodil – normally flowers at the end of the winter in March time

Geranium - normally flowers in the spring and summer

Geranium – normally flowers in the spring and summer

Photos taken with WeatherPro.


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