The year 2012 is upon us and the UK’s climate is continuing with its bizarre approach. Today, the 3rd January has seen 54mph gusts at my sheltered location and winds in excess of 100mph in other parts. Christmas Day and New Years Eve and New Years Day all possessed temperatures 3 to 4c above normal.
So, what of this new era, how is nature coping with the upheaval?
One thing for sure, the phenological indicators are keeping me on my toes.
Firstly, Winter Aconite (illustrated below) has bloomed in my garden at its earliest date on record, the 27th December. The range, being represented by 12 personal records is from 27th December right through to 24th January.
Winter Aconite –Eranthis hyemalis.
Known as choirboys in Suffolk and more commonly as wolfs bane, Winter Aconite is a member of the Buttercup family. It is a tough plant, being tolerant of frost, snow and ice. The harshest winters bring about the best show of this beautiful flower. It will bloom all the way into March in most years. Although a popular ornamental plant, it is known to be poisonous. Occasionally planted alongside Snowdrops and other early bloomers, they are a joy to behold on a crisp sunny winters day. I know of a wonderful display under a canopy of deciduous trees near Andover in Hampshire, England. I will be visiting there in a couple of week’s time to see how the Aconites are progressing.
More phenology will be forthcoming, people.