Yesterday was meant to be the day that spring officially made an appearance, sending the dull, dark days of winter scuttling into hiding for at least another six months.
However, in the midst of the coldest March in almost a decade, signs that spring has sprung seem a long way off.
People are still bundled up in woolly hats, scarves and gloves, bracing themselves against the icy winds and huddling in coffee shops for warmth.
Bearing the brunt of such unkind, and not to mention unseasonable, weather are garden centres across the country.
Birmingham's Botanical Gardens is usually inundated with visitors at this point in the year and its gardens awash with colourful spring flowers but the season's traditional bulbs are only just beginning to bud.
Crocuses would normally have come, and almost gone, by the middle of the month and the presence of daffodils is noticeably lacking when compared with this time last year.
"The only flowers doing well so far are the snowdrops," said director Philip Aubury "and their season was meant to finish in February."
The gardens' number of visitors is down by at least half so far this month compared with last year's rise of almost 75 per cent.
Senior forecaster Stephen Davenport said: "Although the temperatures look to become milder around Birmingham towards the end of this week, we will also be seeing a lot of rain and maybe some sleet.
"After that it looks as though things will once again get colder."
* Historically spring starts on the day of the vernal equinox, which usually occurs on the night of 20/21 March.