‘Fragrant February’ declared by RHS as they say hot summer and mild winter have led to more early blooms

'Fragrant February' declared by RHS as they say hot summer and mild winter have led to more early blooms

“It is quite incredible really,” he said. “We are starting to see more and more flowers come out especially magnolias and mid-term ones.

“We did the count last week but I’d say we need to remember that if this weather continues this week this will be quite interesting. The forecast is double figures again and that will really push things on even more. 

“They are literally waiting to spring, those plants, and these temperatures will force things on.”

The plants use scent, released on warm days when pollinating insects are most likely to be on the wing, to entice pollinators such as flies, as well as the few bees that are active in winter.

Some scents such as wintersweet may fade by the end of February, but others such as viburnum will continue into March.

RHS chief horticulturist Guy Barter, explaining the phenomenon, said: “After a period of cold, the flowers are coming out in a rush with the warming air, and on warm days in particular the scent drifts over the gardens.

“In summer, scents are prolific and tend to mingle but as fewer plants are in flower in winter, you can distinguish the individual scents more easily.”

At Hyde Hall in Essex, where a new winter garden opened this year, curator Robert Brett said the scents of the wintersweet (Chimonanthus), snowdrops and viburnum are the most remarkable he could remember.

Mr Wright said he had also noticed Rhubarb and well-developed bulbs already out in the trust’s Welsh gardens. 

It comes as the UK could be set to welcome the hottest February day on record this week. Channel 4 weatherman, Liam Dutton said that there were signs ‘impressively warm air’ was likely to surge towards the UK and Ireland.

He added: “If it happens, there’s a chance that the record for the UK’s warmest February Day (19.7C) could be challenged.

“For context the same air-mass in summer would give temperatures of around 25-28C.”

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