"The Chinese plum is one of the very few plants that bloom in the winter. It is one of the most beloved blossoms in Chinese art and poetry. Because its fragrance can be noticed even in the winter, it came to symbolize hope, perseverance, beauty, and purity as well as the transitoriness of life."
"Some plants, both annual and perennials, require “vernalization” (from Latin vernus, meaning “of the spring”) to flower. This means that a plant needs to experience a period of low winter temperature to initiate or increase the flowering process. Researchers believe this ensures that seed production begins in spring and summer rather than in the fall."
"Industry experts note that a colder-than-usual winter probably would not reduce the number of insects for the following spring and summer. What would have more of an impact on their numbers would be an out-of-season cold snap because insects have not yet adapted to environmental change."