Cherry blossom season is a highly-anticipated rite of spring at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. The BBG is one of the premiere sites to view cherry blossoms outside of Japan (though I'd love to see the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. one day). The blossoms typically peak at the end of April during Sakura Matsuri, a two-day Japanese cultural festival held at the gardens. However, when I attended the festival last year the blossoms were sadly gone thanks to unseasonably warm weather. Determined not to miss out again, I made it a point to visit the gardens twice this year.
The first time was in mid-April. The weather had been unseasonably cool this time around, just as it was all over the world, but some buds had finally opened up.
The BBG is home to over 200 cherry trees of 42 varieties. I can only identify a few, like the exquisite "Pendula," also called the weeping higan cherry. Planted in the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, these trees, with their blossom-laden branches reaching elegantly over the water, are a major draw for visitors and are frequently depicted by photographers and painters.
The red torii, used to mark the entrance to a sacred place, is a distinctive feature of the Japanese Garden.
Also on display were the gleaming white blossoms of the "Shirotae" (meaning "snow white") trees.
I took a little time to view some of the gardens' other lovely flora, such as magnolia trees...
... and weeping crabapple trees.
The star attraction of cherry blossom season, the dazzling "Kanzan" trees, had not yet flowered, so I opted to return again later.
I returned on a weekday in early May and was treated to the sight of the riotously pink Kanzan blossoms.
One more stroll through the Japanese Garden.
This is the Cherry Esplanade. Picnicking is allowed only in the summer and only on this spot. It's very popular, but today I had it almost all to myself.
I don't know the name of these blush-colored beauties.
One more look at the Japanese Garden.
And that concludes my visit. It was a much more serene experience than attending last year's festival. Although I did enjoy the excited and bustling atmosphere of the crowds, I preferred the hush of a weekday morning. At any rate, it was nice to see several varieties blooming at different times, so I'm going to try to visit twice again next year.
Gosh nycgirl those are breathtaking !!! I have always wanted to see the cherry blossoms in Japan or Washington DC and sadly as you said - last year when I visited my GF in NYC in April they were already done blooming due to the warm weather. Thank you for capturing the beauty for us !!
Totally exquisite!! Thank you for taking the time to bring us not one, but two versions! Amazing at every turn I'm sure - I see the weather was 100% in your favour for photos of a really high standard. Also a thank you for bringing the gardens to my attention....I knew about Washington DC and Japan for the cherry blossoms but nowhere else!
Absolutely beautiful -- what a treat! You did an incredible job of capturing those difficult blossoms-against-a-bright-sky shots. Thanks so much for this. Also thanks for linking to last year's report.
What wouldn't I give to visit this Botanical Garden at cherry-blossom time. Those Pendula cherry trees are to die for! I had no idea they even existed. I know that cherry blossom only lasts five? days at its most beautiful and you captured it with your camera.... Thank you so much for the pleasure this thread has given me...
The cherry blossoms are absolutely spectacular, but I wish they would invent a variety with some flowers blooming here and there for six months instead of just two weeks of super blooms followed by six months of boring leaves.