The coming weeks are predicted to be the mildest on record for February, and now the Royal Horticultural Society says it is likely to be the most fragrant, too.
Britain’s gardens are going in to bloom earlier this year, with seasonal flowers including witch hazel, winter-flowering viburnums, shrubby honeysuckles and Edgeworthia flowering larger and more profusely as a result of last year’s hot, sunny summer and a lack of hard frosts this winter.
A reading of 17.5C in Rhyl, north east Wales, on Friday was the highest so far this month and the fourth warmest February temperature since 2008.
The February average is 8.2C, compared to 9.8C so far this year. The highest temperature recorded for the month was 19.7C in Greenwich, east London, in 1998.
The unseasonably mild weather also saw the warmest Valentine’s Day in more than 20 years on Thursday with a maximum of 16.1C recorded in the Welsh town of Bala, Gwynedd.
It all means February is shaping to be the most fragrant in memory, the Royal Horticultural Society has said, with winter-flowering plants blooming quicker than normal to avoid competition for pollinators come the summer.
A flower count in the south west and Wales by the National Trust has seen numbers up in almost 40 of its gardens, with its Trelissick site in Truro seeing a 91 per cent increase from 102 flowers last year to 195 this year.