Dad had a phrase, reproduce before you die. He used this with any plant which wouldn't flower or fruit. He believed that they were probably too comfortable, warm, watered and well fed, with no motivation to do more than sit in comfort month after month.
Dad would make life uncomfortable for them such as putting them outside in a sheltered spot at night for a few hours. This usually had the desired effect.
This spring has made me reflect on this, when observing my garden and driving around in the course of my day.
Winter was long with lots of rain and several snow dumps. Spring was delayed by snow and rain. Lots of rain. As spring developed over the weeks buds appeared but they remained tight closed. Until the sun came. Then everything started to happen, plants grey and leaves opened all at once everything was green.
Now it's started, nothing appears to be able to stop it. The may blossom has been outstanding this year as it all appears to be out at once and at dusk the trees are almost luminescent along the roadsides. Some trees were so heavy with blossom it almost looked like they were covered with snow.
The road verges are now covered with penny moons, clover, buttercups, vetch and cow parsley are everywhere. There seem to be lots more corn poppies this year in comparison to recent years and they are flowering week after week without getting blown to pieces.
The wild roses are flowering in abundance and summer flowers are beginning to open while spring flowers are still in full bloom.
It really does seem that those plant lucky enough to survive the winter are indeed planning to reproduce before next winter, just in case.