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There’s a term in Japanese called hanami, which means “enjoying the beauty of flowers.” And last weekend at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, I fully understood what that term meant. The cherry blossoms (sakura) are in full bloom, casting a gorgeous pink canopy above the heads of picnickers fortunate enough to venture there.*

In Japan, everyone tunes in to the weather bureau’s special blossom forecast in order to catch the 1-2 week window of blossoms in the spring. Here in New York, our equivalent is the CherryWatch Blossom Status Map on the Brooklyn Botanical Garden website. Looks like there are still a few days left to catch the action, as peaked trees start to lose their blossoms, falling to the grass like a flurry of delicate pink snow.

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At the end of the month, the Garden is hosting a two-day Sakura Matsuri festival celebrating Japanese culture and complete with taiko, tea ceremonies, and samurai sword fighting, but I have it from reputable sources that the trees will be post-peak by then.

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And as impressive as the Cherry Esplanade is, there’s much more to the Garden than just hanami. Don’t miss the wonderful-smelling lilac collection, the koi and turtles in the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden and the colorful tulips lining the Lily Pool Terrace. Then, come back in a month when the Cranford Rose Garden starts peaking in May.

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statue at brooklyn botanical gardens

Oasis is a great word to describe the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, 52-acres of plants and flowers laid out in a well-designed pocket of urban planning dating back to 1910. Whether you’re there to catch the cherry blossoms or otherwise, the garden is definitely worth the price of admission.

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brooklyn botanical garden sign

Check out the Brooklyn Botanic Garden website for more information on visiting hours, directions and other useful information.

* The Garden actually prohibits picnicking, outside food, blankets, folding chairs, pets and athletic or recreational equipment, but feel free to lie on the grass with a book or your honey.

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3 Comments

  1. jane hu says:

    Good tip on Madison Sq Park. Will check it out!

  2. Valerie NYC says:

    Nice reminder and gorgeous photos, as always. I was thinking another week before going but I see I better visit this weekend. I would like to add that one of the most beautiful parks this year in Manhattan is Madison Square Park, where you will find a stunning arrangement of trees, flowers and plants of all sorts, carefully and skillfully combined and placed, including a few Cherry trees. They look absolutely wonderful. Kudos to the Madison Square Conservancy team.

  3. CaT says:

    what a beautiful pictures!!

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