Sunshine’s early boost for summer businesses in Norwich

Warm sunshine, soaring temperatures and crystal clear skies are transforming the Easter weekend into holiday heaven.

Across Norfolk, summer businesses are booming and flowers are bursting with life.

Simon Edye, director of Ronaldo Ices, based in Lothian Street, Norwich, said he had been enjoying record sales since the hot spell began: 'This week has been amazing. The London Street stall is getting busier every day.'

He added that yesterday he sold �4,500 worth of ice creams, which is what he would normally take in the whole of January.

Meanwhile, the Mediterranean-style weather has also been perfect for a Norwich garden.

Will Giles, who runs The Exotic Garden, in Thorpe Road, a haven of tropical plants in his back garden which people can visit, has seen his banana plants and palm trees put on a growth spurt.

He said: 'Everything is growing like crazy. My bananas have produced three feet of growth and my palm trees are coming into flower.

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'To be honest it's almost like we went straight into summer from winter. All we seem to be doing is breaking temperature records.

'That said, I really could do with some rain. Everyone is having to water like mad at the moment to keep their plants alive.'

Elsewhere in the county, Blickling Hall is awash with colour, with flowers blooming.

Naturalist for the National Trust, Matthew Oates, believes the dry spell will also make this year's bluebells an impressive spectacle.

He said: 'The bluebells start growing in January with the sole purpose to flower before the other woodland plants, which have this year stalled because of the dry weather. This means that the bluebell is relatively free from competition and attracts the early spring pollinators.'

However, one Drayton farmer is desperate for 24 hours of rain for his winter wheat and winter barley crop, which are becoming increasingly thirsty.

Desmond Mack, who runs Place Farm on Costessey Lane, cannot afford to irrigate his 400 acres of land, so is dependant on regular rainfall.

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