The Brooklyn Botanic Garden has announced that the first cherry blossoms of spring have bloomed, initiating the beginning of hanami — also commonly known as cherry blossom viewing season.
These cherry blossoms were found on the botanic garden's Prunus × incam ‘Okame’ trees, which are normally among the first flowers of the spring season to bloom, according to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
This comes just in time for the first official day of spring, which is March 20.
Over the course of the next several weeks, BBG says that the blossoms on its 200-plus flowering cherry trees will develop from buds into full flowers before falling flower petals begin raining across the botanical garden's Cherry Esplanade, Cherry Walk, and Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden areas.
In total, the Brooklyn Botanical Garden houses over 20 different plant varieties of cherry blossoms, making its impressive collection one of the more diverse out of any botanic garden in America, according to BBG.
Throughout hanami, Brooklyn residents can track the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's cherry blossom display by using its CherryWatch webpage, which is an online map that provides the blooming statuses on all of the trees in BBG's collection and is also updated on a daily basis.
In addition, to commemorate the cherry blossom viewing season, BBG will be offering special programming throughout April and May.
From April 1-May 15, the botanic garden will be extending its hours, operating from 8:00am-8:30pm every Tuesday-Thursday, and 8:00am-6:00pm every weekend.
During four separate weekends — April 22-23 and 29-30, May 6-7 and 13-14 — BBG will be celebrating the spring blooms by hosting a variety of live entertainment and programming that includes pop-up music and dance performances, family workshops, garden tours, cultural programs, and more. Attendees that purchase admission to the botanic garden on these days can enjoy the events for no extra charge.
Finally, on April 25 and 26, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m each evening., the botanic garden will be putting on its Hanami Nights event, where guests can commemorate the season by experiencing the vast cherry tree collection throughout the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden and Cherry Esplanade areas, along with enjoying live music and dance, as well as partaking in a variety of specialty drinks and food. This will be a ticketed event.
For more information on the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and its cherry blossom collection, head over to its website.