One of Britain's oldest cities, Oxford in springtime is a wonderful display of the new birth of blossom and blooms amid the antiquarian buildings.
Half way down the High Street you can guarantee to be in the way of a photographer trying to snap the famous 'pink tree'. For most of the year it's an imposing tree looming overhead as you walk past the university church of St Mary the Virgin into Radcliffe Square, but in spring time it's a magnificent arboreal archway.
In the Fellows' Garden whole banks erupt in splendid colour. Who knew there were so many different kinds of daffodil? Look closely around Oxford and you'll find plenty. Over in the Botanic Gardens they're neatly ordered in the medicine beds. Who knew, moreover, that daffodils were a source of Galantamine, a drug used to treat Alzheimer's?
Stepping further away from the city centre, a short venture down Iffley Road will take you past the university sports ground and other green places, and en route to Donnington Bridge (where you can access the river), you'll stumble past one of the most amazing sets of trees in Oxford. Outside the Gladiator Social Club I'm surprised there aren't more crashes from people stunned by the white froth.
These full-blown blossom storms are impressive, but spring never arrives all at once, and Oxford is resplendent with small bunches of flowers, and those just beginning to bud. Every day it's slightly different, and the city rewards regular wanders.
Oxford in Bloom recognises how much effort people put into the botanical life of the city. From manicured college gardens to wild meadows, the city is a riot of colour. On a beautiful spring day it's teeming with people enjoying it, and I for one am going to be joining them.