What a difference from December 2010. This year was the complete reverse; no snow and plenty of warm dry days. Even on the last day of the year the thermometer showed a balmy 12°C. Many of the plants in the garden were confused and thought that spring had arrived. They were flowering at least one month early. The lack of a hard frost has meant that summer flowers, such as the Sweet William (Dianthus Barbatus), are still busy producing blooms.