Nature thinks it is spring, and that cold you’ve got could be hay fever

The warm winter is confusing nature, with plants shooting up and getting ready to flower at least a month too early, the Volkskrant reports on Thursday.

‘The bulbs are three or four weeks early, but the hortensias are already in leaf and that really should not be happening,’ garden expert Ben van Oijen told the newspaper.

‘I’ve seen roses in bud. We’re having to mow the grass. In fact the grass has stayed green all winter. It is extreme,’ Van Oijen said.


This winter is likely to be the third warmest on record. Wageningen University biologist Arnold van Vliet, told Nos the situation is extremely special.

‘I’ve had reports that the ground creeper Glechoma hederacea is already in bloom. Fifty years ago, the first flowers were reported on April 16,’ he said.

Insects and birds are also getting ready for spring. Early butterflies have been spotted and the birds are singing in search of a mate. ‘Last week I saw a coot on a nest,’ said Van Vliet. ‘It was quite ready.’

The black Alder tree is already in full bloom in the south of the country and pollen scores are mounting. People who suffer from allergies may think they have a cold but in fact they have early hay fever, Van Vliet said.

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