In her book ‘Country Notes’, penned in 1939, famous gardener and writer Victoria Sackville West wrote that her garden had behaved in an extraordinary way in the previous year; that of 1938. In January, for instance, blue primroses were in full flower, in very early March all her primroses were flowering in earnest and by the end of the month the garden appeared to have gone quite mad.

For, to her complete amazement, in her she witnessed, flowering freely, the pink clematis Montana, tulips, hyacinths, anemones and even a few flag iris. By April she was eating her own asparagus and during that Easter she was picking roses that shouldn’t have bloomed for at least another four weeks.

So what does this tell us I wonder? Well considering that this happened getting on for a century ago it would appear that climate patterns were erratic even in those far off days. The interest thing is that this happened just before the war when many of us feel that everyday life (including the weather) then was clean, wholesome and far more orderly than it is today.

In light of the recent flooding and gales should we really believe that our climate is changing for the worse or, is it simply going through a normal cycle that would have occurred anyway, similar to what happened in 1938? Victoria Sackville West certainly found it perplexing but seemed to accept it as just an exceptional season – perhaps we should do the same and not worry quite so much about greenhouse warming. Just a thought.