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Have our seasons gone blooming mad?

United Kingdom
Sandra Howell with her flowering primroses.

Have our seasons gone blooming mad? First it was the daffodils. The bright yellow flowers which usually signify that spring is on its way made the headlines after making a four-month-early appearance in the garden of a Hampshire pensioner. Flower experts were baffled, calling the strange appearance "VERY, VERY UNUSUAL". But in the latest sign that the world has gone blooming mad, confused flowers have been popping up out of season across Hampshire. Despite the freezing temperatures, strong winds and lashing rain, three more unseasonal blooms have sprung up in gardens in Southampton. A resident was shocked to see that the lupin flower she planted in the spring of this year was in bloom in November, more than eight months early. "It's very strange...They usually don't flower in their first year, and even in their second year they are supposed to flower in June or July." Another resident got a similar shock when she returned from a week's holiday in October to find the primroses in her garden at Monarch Way, West End, in bloom. "I was sitting in my garden in September and I couldn't believe it - the primrose buds were out. Then I went away for a week's cruise and when I came back they were in flower. It's EXTREMELY STRANGE, because they usually come into bloom in the spring, around the same time as daffodils." At the start of November, a resident of Bassett, Southampton, discovered her narcissi had also decided to blossom months in advance. The flower, miniature relative of the daffodil, is usually expected to come into bloom at the start of the spring. And it is not just flowers that are acting strangely. Catkins - which usually herald the start of spring - were on a hazel tree earlier this month. "I have lived here 20 years and it's the first time I have ever seen the catkins come out early." And there were more early-flowering daffodils in Eastleigh this week. "There are all sorts of weird and wonderful things going on right now. I think the strange blooming has something to do with the fact that it has been a warm autumn. The weather is so crazy at the moment - it stayed warm much later this autumn, so perhaps the flowers thought it was spring again."

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