A world-renowned Cornish garden is showing signs that, despite the recent wind and rain battering the country, spring is just around the corner.
Magnolia buds at Trewithen, located between Truro and St Austell, have started to shed their furry jackets and will soon be in flower.
Head Gardener, Gary Long, has kept a record of the magnolias since 2002 and this January's activity is 18 days earlier than previous records.
He said: "On January 21st, between 2002-2008, the first magnolia began to flower. 2009 saw a delay of around 37 days, flowering on the 25th of February. 2010 was even later, by 45 days, on the 8th March.
"If the flowers get any later we will start to agree with the textbooks and have spring at spring time and not late winter.
"This year's mild weather has bucked the trend of increasingly late flowering and within the next few days there will be the first flower, which is all well and good as long as we don't get a cold snap which could burn the flowers."
Trewithen will open to the public on 01 March 2012.
Visit www.trewithengardens.co.uk or call 01726 883647 for more information.
Ends: 06 January 2012
Media enquiries: Sue Bradbury PR Tel: 01872 863863