Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday Afternoon at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden: Hanami - Cherry Blossom Viewing Time

On this gloriously sunny and warm afternoon, we joined hundreds of people for Hanami, the monthlong cherry blossom viewing festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

A gorgeous day coincided with the last day of the Passover/Easter break for public school students, so the crowds were really big.

Everyone, including us (obviously), seemed to be snapping photos.

We heard a lot of Japanese, but also Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, Bengali, Polish, and other languages.

Prepared to pay the admission fee, we were happily surprised to learn that admission was free to everyone today.

According to Wikipedia,
The Garden has more than 200 cherry trees of forty-two Asian species and cultivated varieties, making it one of the foremost cherry-viewing sites outside of Japan.

The first cherries were planted at the garden after World War I, a gift from the Japanese government.

Each spring at BBG, when the trees are in bloom, a month-long cherry blossom viewing festival called Hanami is held, culminating in a weekend celebration called Sakura Matsuri

which will take place this year on Saturday and Sunday, April 30 and May 1.

Cherry trees are found on the Cherry Esplanade and Cherry Walk,

in the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden,

and in many other locations in the Garden. Depending on weather conditions, the Asian flowering cherries bloom from late March or early April to mid-May.

We've always loved coming to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. When we were teenagers and in our twenties, we especially loved the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden.

Here's a photo we took of our brother Jonathan there back in the summer of 1970.

Here is our then nine-year-old bro in the conservatory among the tropical plants.

And here's a pic he took of us 41 years ago at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, standing next to our favorite beverage, tea.

We're grateful for the Brooklyn Botanic Garden being there for us all our lives.

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