I drove O to school this morning, and although Epping Forest was bursting into green leaf all around me, I still thought wistfully of the banks of wild cowslips and orchids which ran alongside almost all the roads in France this Easter. Green and lush is lovely, but spring flowers lift my spirit in a way that no amount of oak foliage can.
Then at lunchtime, while I was walking through Walthamstow, out of the corner of my eye I spotted something very startling.
A snake's head fritillary sunning itself calmly in a corner of a municipal flowerbed.
For a moment I thought I might have made the urban wildflower discovery of the decade, but then I remembered that you can actually buy cultivated snake's head bulbs these days. I still crouched down to take photos and admire it though, and the mad, purple checked petals were a delight. Sometime in my life I want to own a pair of trousers made from fabric just like this - they would be fabulous.
It turns out that London has spring flowers at the side of the road after all - I just had to spot them. They may not often be wild, but they still make me smile.