Spring at Last! Hanami (Cherry Blossom Season) Begins at BBG

Spring at Last! Hanami (Cherry Blossom Season) Begins at BBG
Prunus 'Okame'. Photo: Ruiyan Xu. Courtesy of Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Release Date: April 15, 2014

Brooklyn, NY–Early-blooming Prunus sargentii ‘Fuden-zakura’ and Prunus ‘Okame’ cherry trees have begun their floral display, the first sign that Hanami—the Japanese cultural tradition of enjoying each moment of cherry blossom season—has arrived at Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG)! Hanami at BBG typically unfolds at the beginning of April and continues through early May, as the blossoms of more than 200 flowering cherry trees go from bud to bloom to blankets of fallen petals across the Garden. Consisting of over 20 cultivars, BBG’s collection is among the most diverse in the nation. Hanami is an iconic springtime celebration in New York City and one of the most magical times of year at BBG.

As Hanami progresses, the cherry display is tracked on BBG’s web-based CherryWatch. Updated daily, this map of the main collection provides a daily blooming status for each tree, as well as detailed information about each cultivar. This year, the Garden encourages visitors to share their own cherry blossom images—amateur or professional—on social media, including Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, using the hashtag #bbgcherries. Photographers can also post images in BBG’s visitor photo pool on Flickr.

During Hanami, the Garden offers special programs and features to highlight the season:

Free tours (Through April 23 on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. and Saturdays at 11 a.m.) focusing on BBG’s Japanese plant collections and specialty gardens, including flowering cherries, the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, the C.V. Starr Bonsai Museum, and the Tree Peony Collection

Special Japanese menu items at BBG’s Zagat-rated Terrace Café

Handpicked gifts and items for the home and garden inspired by BBG’s blossoms and Japanese aesthetics in the Garden Shop

Hanami culminates in the Garden’s legendary weekend festival Sakura Matsuri—the largest event in a public garden in the U.S. The two-day festival (April 26 and 27, 2014, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.) extends beyond the cherry blossoms to celebrate traditional and contemporary Japanese culture with energetic and dynamic programing, including over 60 performances, demonstrations, and exhibits. The festival’s innovative arts and culture, world-renowned entertainment, and community spirit attracts one of the largest, most colorful audiences for a cultural event in the city.

For more information about Hanami, Sakura Matsuri, and Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s cherry blossoms, please visit bbg.org/discover/cherries.
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