Cold snap causes daffodil shortage
Retailer John Lewis is selling fake daffodils for the first time as the relentless cold weather delays the arrival of the spring blooms.
The long winter means spring flowers will bloom late this year and has led to daffodil shortages for events such as Mother's Day and Easter - driving an 18% increase in sales of fake bouquets at the department store compared with this time last year.
The store has also introduced artificial bluebells, another spring flower expected to make a late appearance.
It already expects to sell around four times the number of fake blooms it originally planned for this year and has expanded its range to cater for increased demand.
Among the best-selling lines this year are a lilac and snowball jug at £147, a £20 small rose cube and a single cream dahlia stem for £8.
John Lewis gifts buyer Dan Cooper said: "Spring's no-show shouldn't be any reason to stop displaying flowers in your home. Artificial flowers are now very realistic, and are also more in-tune with prevailing fashion trends.
"A bunch of daffodils or bluebells will add a splash of colour to your Easter table, whilst reminding you that summer is meant to be just around the corner."
Claire Taylor, chairwoman of the British Daffodil Growers' Association, said daffodils were about a month behind "at the moment".
She said: "We are very far behind on production, about a month. We'll see them in stores when it becomes warm, and who knows when that will be.
"There's not a lot about."