Hanami, BBG’s Cherry Blossom Season, Begins

Release Date: 04/02/2013

Brooklyn, NY— The Garden’s horticulture staff has observed the first flush of blossoms on the early-blooming Prunus sargentii ‘Fudan-zakura’—indicating Hanami has begun at Brooklyn Botanic Garden! Hanami, the Japanese cultural tradition of enjoying the cherry blossom season from first buds to lush flowers to multitudes of falling petals blanketing the ground, is one of the most extraordinary times of year at the Garden. More than 200 flowering cherry trees encompassing over twenty cultivars—the nation’s most diverse collection—provide a spectacular seasonal show that continuously unfolds over three to five weeks, depending on seasonal weather.

As Hanami progresses, the cherry display is tracked on BBG’s web-based CherryWatch feature, which maps the main part of the collection and provides a daily blooming status for each tree as well as photos of and 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 including:
  • Free tours (April 3–24 on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. and Saturdays at 11 a.m.) focusing on BBG’s Japanese plant collections and specialty gardens, including cherry trees, the C.V. Starr Bonsai Museum, and the Tree Peony Collection.
  • Selection of special Japanese menu items at BBG’s Zagat-rated Terrace Café.
  • Handpicked items, inspired by the Garden’s blossoms and Japanese aesthetics, in BBG’s Garden Shop.

  • Hanami culminates in the Garden’s legendary weekend festival Sakura Matsuri—popularly considered New York’s rite of spring. A celebration of traditional and contemporary Japanese culture, Sakura Matsuri (April 27 and 28, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) features over 60 performances, demonstrations, and exhibits—many of which are specially commissioned for this dynamic festival—and attracts one of the largest, most colorful audiences for any 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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