He said: "On Christmas morning I was doing all my March jobs. Usually we have five or six plants in flower but to have 200 was a record for me. We had all sorts in bloom including Ailwyn, Brenda Troyle, Grumpy, Mr Blobby and 'Nothing Special', which turned out to be quite spectacular. These flower shouldn't usually flower until the end of January.
He added: "If it goes cold, say minus one each night, then everything will go into deep freeze and halt. The bulbs actually enjoy the cold and won't be damaged by it. If we don't get the cold weather then the snowdrop fairs will be a funny place this year! You'll still be able to buy the plants but they won't be in bloom, the plants in bloom will be those that usually flower in April."
"When I first started growing snowdrops 28 years ago we had an elwesii Hiemalis snowdrop which used to flower reliably in the middle of January and that was the benchmark, but for the last seven years it has flowered in mid-Novermber. The climate has been changing gradually, but this year with so much in bloom at Christmas it's been a 'step change'."
Jeff Knight, manager of the climate variability modelling team at the Met Office in Exeter said: "We've not seen a December like it - on average the South of England has been five degrees warmer than normal; leading the flowers to think it's spring. Looking ahead though to next week it looks like there's going to be a change, with the possibility of some cold weather, with some night frosts, even in the South of England. It will feel like a complete change compared to what we've experienced over the last six weeks."
While next week's cold snap may be good news for snowdrop fans, more tender perennials may be forgiven for suffering a shiver down the spine at the news from the Met Office that winter could come very late this year. Mr Knight added, "Looking even further ahead to the end of February and beginning of March there is a heightened potential for serious longer lasting spells of cold weather. Our best estimate is something colder in the late winter, colder than normal - we think there's a higher than usual chance that this winter will have a sting in its tail."
Sharman and other snowdrop growers will show plants at Great Comp Garden's Snowdrop Sensation on 21 February.
Lullingstone Castle World Garden creator Tom Hart Dyke said: "It's been ridiculous - we have three foot delphiniums and shrubs that usually bloom in May have come out this morning. Daphne odora aureomarginata has been in full flower since Christmas and doesn't normally flower until February. Tender salvias are shooting along but most astonishing is sophora microphylla 'sun king' from chile which is currently in full flower and normally doesn't bloom until April or May. I've never seen this before. A hard frost would totally knock these plants for six."