Startling buds of May in December

Plants flowering in the mild conditions.'Richard Peacock of Deans Garden Centre with a Cowslip which normally would'nt flower until May.'Picture by Neil Silk 115214a'28/12/11
Plants flowering in the mild conditions.'Richard Peacock of Deans Garden Centre with a Cowslip which normally would'nt flower until May.'Picture by Neil Silk 115214a'28/12/11
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IT’S been a bright Christmas for the majority of people this year.

In fact it is so unseasonably warm that flowers and buds normally seen in the spring are in bloom.

Plants flowering in the mild conditions.'A autumn flowering cherry which has still got blooms on it'Picture by Neil Silk 115214c'28/12/11

Plants flowering in the mild conditions.'A autumn flowering cherry which has still got blooms on it'Picture by Neil Silk 115214c'28/12/11

Temperatures in Scarborough were between 48F and 52F – the highest in the country was 58.1F (14.5C).

It marks a dramatic change from Christmas last year, which saw the town under a white carpet of snow with freezing conditions and temperatures as cold as 1.22F (-17.1C).

This year’s lowest UK temperature was 48F (9C) in the Scottish borders.

It has been close to the warmest Christmas Day on record, registered when the mercury hit 15.6C (60F) on December 25 in 1896 and 1920.

Paul Knightley, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: “It is a green Christmas. It is the mildest Christmas for a number of years.

“It is not often that you see temperatures of 14C on Christmas, it is unseasonably mild.

“We have had such a change around from last year.

“It’s not unusual to have a green Christmas but it is quite strange to have such a cold one last year and such a green one this year,” he added.

At Dean’s Garden centre in Scarborough the warm conditions have brought out the flowers.

Already budding and flowering are the cowslip, blueberry, the chaenomeles and the viburnum.

“All these do not normally flower until April or May,” said outdoor manager Richard Peacock.

“It is unusual to see a berry and a bud on the blueberry at this time of year,” said Mr Peacock.

“In bigger gardens which will be warmer than the centre there will be a lot more plants out.”

The autumn cherry tree still has blossom on it – though a touch of frost might destroy the delicate petals.

The mild weather will continue, though temperatures will be lower – between 41-48F (5-8C) – in Scarborough until the weekend.