‘After a good growing season like the one we experienced this summer, plants are flush with resources and as a result sometimes chance an extra flower or two later in the year. Similarly, without a prolonged cold period leaves are able to cling on for longer. However, they will only do this if the weather stays mild, so the notable lack of autumn frost has been critical to this year’s unusual display.
‘The changing climate will undoubtedly continue to disrupt the traditional British growing season in the coming years, and we can expect to see plants flowering later and for longer periods more regularly. However, given the precise conditions required to cause the simultaneous appearance of summer and winter-flowering plants, this year’s spectacle may be a one-off phenomenon.’
RHS chief horticulturist
The mild autumn also appears to have impacted wildlife at the RHS gardens, with no sign yet of migratory birds.
The absence of birds searching for food means bushes are still bedecked with berries, bringing further bursts of colour to the gardens and the possibility of a spectacular influx of birds in the coming weeks.
With food sources scarce in a cold snap, the bounty of fruit could be stripped within days. Garden visitors should enjoy it while they can.