Stop what you’ve been doing. Go to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Stroll among the flowering cherry trees, the magnolias and flowering crab apples. Go home. Enjoy the rest of your day, week, month…Especially beautiful right now are the Weeping Japanese Cherry, Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula’ around the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden. A Cherry Watch Blossom Status Map on the BBG website shows you where each tree is and its stage of bloom from bud stage to post peak. The famous BBG Cherry Blossom Viewing Season (Hanami) runs from 4/4 to 5/10 this year, with over 50 Japanese cultural events planned for the Festival Weekend of May 2-3; everything from drumming, traditional kimono show, bonsai pruning, folk dance, manga and anime, origami, food. Go to BBG.org for program and directions.
On the cherry esplanade 76 Prunus ‘Kanzan’ are in early bud. just starting to show a pinkish tinge and should be in full bloom for the main part of the festival. The torii, a vermilion wooden structure in the pond announces the presence of a Shinto shrine among the pine trees on the hill of the Japanese garden. Kids love to watch colorful koi swimming lazily and dozens of turtles sunning themselves on logs in the pond.BBG prolongs the display of bloom throughout the festival month by planting over 40 cultivars of flowering cherry. I went to BBG, taking three trains, to view the cherry blossoms, but found I was entranced by the Magnolia collection as well, including the magnificent yellow variety ‘Elizabeth’. Leaving the pond area I was startled to see a large camellia in full bloom. Just wait 'til I tell my sister in Oregon, who always brags about hers.Other Ellen went to Japan to view the cherry blossoms. I went to Brooklyn and D.C. So there!