SOME of you may have missed it, but yesterday at 4.56pm was the vernal equinox – the official start of Spring.

And right on cue, this magnolia at the Botanic Garden, Oxford, is springing into life.

Trainee horticulturalist Ness Newman said now is the perfect time to see the garden bursting into bloom.

Mrs Newman, 35, said: “The gardens are looking lovely at the moment, everything is starting to do its thing.

“We have had the snowdrops and the next big thing will be the tulips.

“You can see all the fancy things in the conservatories, which creates a nice juxtaposition with everything awakening outside.”

The magnolia pictured was planted at the garden in the 1920s.

The Botanic Garden is the oldest in the UK and this year celebrates its 400th anniversary.