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Climate Change Brings Daffodils For Christmas
07/12/06

Climate change and one of the mildest Autumns on record has produced an unexpected pleasure at Aberglasney Gardens near Llandeilo in West Wales.

The Daffodil variety is early flowering and in a sheltered area but wouldn't have been expected before early spring.
daffodils

A beautiful display of daffodils has appeared in the Bishops Rudd walk area, the first time staff have seen them flowering this early.

Director Graham Rankin says he's amazed and attributes the development to climate change. The variety is early flowering and in a sheltered area but wouldn't have been expected before early spring.

"I was really surprised to see these flowers", he added. "It's further proof that the climate is changing in my view. I have never seen these daffodils flower this early before and it was a real shock to see this really beautiful display.

"There is always the occasional primula and cyclamen this time of year, but to see such a traditional spring flowering plant like the daffodil is a very welcome and unusual sight.
"Other signs of climate change here have been the autumn colours which extended well into November, where normally they used to be at their best the second week of October. And there are tree ferns and a wider variety of other tender plants grown in the gardens than ever there used to be."

Variety

Graham Rankin says visitors are always amazed at how much there is to see in the garden at this time of the year. There is always a wide variety of different flowers and plants.

"On New Years Day I counted 28 different flowers that were out in the garden", he continues. "For me the most precious of all winter flowering plants is Daphne bholua which starts to flower in November and lasts until the middle of February, the exotic perfume of the small white flowers is absolutely fantastic and are very welcome indeed during the bleak months of winter.

"Other plants in flower at the moment include the winter flowering Honeysuckle, Mahonias, Christmas Box (Sarcococca) Camellia sasanqua and the amazing Witch Hazels (Hamamelis) are just coming into flower. There are also various different coloured barks, berries and architectural foliage to add to the interest and beauty of the garden".

Climate Change

Meanwhile the co-ordinator of the UK Phenology Network which monitors nature's calendar believes that this is one of the warmest Autumns on record. Dr Tim Sparks believes it's the start of the visible part of climate change, but is confident that farmers and growers can successfully adapt.

"Certainly the evidence is stacking up that autumns are now changing in much the same way as we have got very, very, strong evidence about Spring changing", he told BBC Farming Today recently.

"It's quite extraordinary that we have events at this time of the year when we are just starting to anticipate the earlier Spring events as well. Unfortunately CO2 and some of the other greenhouse gasses take so long to break down in the atmosphere that some warming is inevitable and even if we stop production of CO2 now we will still see an increase in temperature.

Aberglasney Gardens is at www.aberglasney.org.uk


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