If you go down to the woods today, you’re in for a big and rather pretty surprise.

Often thought to signify the start of spring, a host of snowdrops have begun to bloom around the Oxford Botanic Garden on Rose Lane. Trainee botanic horticulturalist, Vanessa Newman, 36, from Headington, said: “All the snowdrops have come up now, but it is between now and the end of February that they are at their best.”

There are 21 different species of snowdrops and, along with the witch hazel, these new arrivals at the garden are bringing a bit of cheer to visitors.

Ms Newman said: “They’ve been popping up around the garden for the last week or two, which is about normal. This time of year, a lot of the roses and other plants aren’t blooming, and so the garden can look a bit bare. It allows the more subtle things to shine. They look lovely.”