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Hanami, BBG's Cherry Blossom Season, Begins
by Kate Blumm
April 7, 2013

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
General Information

Founded in 1910, Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) is an independent nonprofit institution committed to education, research, and the display of horticulture. BBG serves communities in New York City and internationally through its world-class gardens, extensive research collections, and numerous educational and community programs. Situated on 52 acres in the heart of Brooklyn, the Garden is home to over 12,000 kinds of plants and hosts more than 725,000 visitors annually.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The Garden is closed on Mondays except public holidays. General admission is $10 for adults and $5 for senior citizens (65 and older) and students with ID (with special pricing during Sakura Matsuri). Children under 12, all school groups, and Garden members are admitted free at all times. Visitor entrances are at Flatbush Avenue, 990 Washington Avenue, and Eastern Parkway. For directions, please visit .

Learn what’s happening at Brooklyn Botanic Garden at, read the Garden’s blog at, and see photos of current botanical highlights at


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