May crept into the garden in the dappled light of the early morning, beneath a sky of clearest blue.
Between light and shade, dewy leaves unfurl and unfold in her wake.
Hosta spears break the earth beneath the bending heads of snowflakes, and bright bursts of cowslips.
Blousy blossoms hint at the fruits of summer to come, as violets and viburnum scent the air.
In the City, May’s arrival will have been welcomed at sunrise with singing from Magdalen Tower; the snakeshead fritillaries below nodding along in accompaniment. These chequered meadowland bells are Oxfordshire’s County flower, as nominated by the charity Plantlife in its 2002 campaign.
This Sunday, they can be admired in the meadow near to St Bartholomew’s Church, Ducklington, which will be open to visitors for the annual Fritillary Sunday.
Isn’t May-time a magical time of year?