Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hanami Time at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Three weeks ago I was at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to enjoy hanami time underneath the cherry trees gracing the garden's Cherry Esplanade.

Hanami as defined by wiki is the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the beauty of flowers, "flower" in this case almost always meaning cherry blossoms ("sakura") or (less often) plum blossoms ("ume").

Here's my first view of the Cherry Esplanade at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden last April 15.

The flowers were in full bloom and it was really great to sit or lie down on the grass and just while the hours away while enjoying the views around. 

I didn't stay long under the cherry trees, though, as I wanted to explore the gardens.  I had my BBG map with me but ended up not using at it.  I just walked and enjoyed whatever surprises came my way.

Right across the end of the Cherry Esplanade is the Rose Arc fountain with the Call of the Sea sculpture as its centerpiece. I'm sure it's a pretty sight to see when the roses are in full bloom.

The sweet scent of the lilacs were calling so I went to the garden's Lilac Collection.  Their colors range from white to various shades of green, blue, pink and purple. I tried to cram several of them in one frame and this was what I came up with.

Another garden is the rock garden which, even if there were a lot of boulders, was still full of plants and flowers.

Further to this is the Herb Garden where I got to see the cranberry plant up close ..

and the Children's Garden.  Hmm, is that a spider with a trunk?

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden also has several pavilions, the Tropical Pavilion, the Desert Pavilion, the Warm Temperate Pavilion and the Aquatic House and Orchid Collection, among others.  I missed my Mom's orchids back home seeing the vandas and cattleyas in the Pavilion.

There were also some terraniums at the lower level of the Pavilion.

The garden also has a Bonsai Museum ..

Outside near the Pavilions is the Lily Pool Terrace which showcases water lilies, lotuses and other aquatic plants. There was only a scattering of water lilies when I was there, but everybody was enjoying the Jenkins Fountain, the centerpiece of the area.

Tulips were blooming near the benches surrounding the Terrace. They came in so many colors and sizes ..

And there were double tulips, too!

Lots of open spaces and group of plants and trees at the Plant Family Collection.

I also came upon some little friends enjoying a bath by the stream.

They were near Patrick Dougherty's Natural History which was constructed in the summer of 2010 in honor of the garden's centennial.

Magnolias at the Magnolia Plaza were still in bloom.  It was my first time to see yellow magnolias, they were so pretty!

The magnolias were near the Fragrance Garden and Shakespeare Garden. Here are some of the flowers.

So after having gone all around the garden, I'm on my way back to where I started.  The Japanese Hill and Pond Garden is near the Cherry Esplanade but when you're there, it's like you're in a different world.

Ah, I could stay here forever!

There's even a waterfall ..

and a Shinto shrine dedicated to Inari and guarded by a pair foxes or kitsune.

Near the exit to the Japanese garden is the Tree Peony Collection which had some very large blooms.

I didn't want to leave but it was closing time at the garden.  The Osborne Garden is the first space you encounter upon entering the garden ..

and it's also the last space you'll walk out of as it leads to the the garden's gates.

I'll be back, BBG! More pics on Flickr - Brooklyn Botanic Garden

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