In Japan, spring is heralded by the cherry blossom trees coming into flower.
In England, it is the bluebell that heralds the arrival of spring.
Although found across northern Europe, it is in England that bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) comes into its own.
Ancient woodlands, with trees of oak, hazel and ash, once coppiced, though now mostly neglected, in the spring are a carpet of blue.
Bluebells are the second wave of woodland flowers. The first wave are much closer to the ground.
The trees then come into leaf, shading out the ground.
Nothing of interest will now be found in the woods, apart from butterflies flitting around sunny glades and woodland rides, until the autumn, when the woodland fungi can be found.
Last week, bluebells were just starting to come into flower in my garden.
April, I will expect the woodland area of my garden to be carpeted with bluebells.
Bluebells are usually blue, but occasionally they are white and purple.