The peace and solitude of the BBG on a recent weekday morning stood in great contrast to the crowds and bustle at this weekend's Macy's and Rockefeller Center shows.
I showed up promptly at 8:00 for a stroll around the grounds. I live near the NYBG, which sits on a massive plot of land. The BBG is on a comparatively smaller footprint, but each space is considered precisely and leads into the next area with grace.
The north entry (where I spied rabbits playing in wet grass) leads you down tree-lined paths and under wisteria arbors. It does not give up the next section of the park until you reach the end and the path declines. There you can take a left and wind around through the cherry trees, the Japanese garden, and on to the Conservatory.
I was much too early to be admitted to the conservatory (it opens at 10:00), but the grounds alone are more than worth admission. I then took a peek over the fence at the rose garden, which will be open later in the season. A number of neighborhood residents make the garden their morning walk destination, and the length of the path to circulate the grounds is not too long that it would leave you winded for the rest of the day (as opposed to the epic paths at the NYBG).
The cherry blossoms were in bloom with almost no one in sight to witness the early blossoms falling.
I imagine this weekend will be quite different, with the many people and events that will crowd the field – a truly wonderful weekend excursion. The hanami I remember going to were quiet events. They were usually held on temple grounds, like at our local Chohojia, a thousand year old temple that had cherry trees on all sides. Family, friends and neighbors would gather during the day and set up picnics under the trees.
It was here that I also enjoyed 'yozakura', which is night-time cherry blossom viewing. Lanterns would be strung up overhead and the conversation flowed more liberally than during the day, as did the sake and karaoke. Whichever your style, I do hope you are able to get out and enjoy the blossoms.
This week I want to share with you a link that Sara-Kate sent over to me. Enjoy these photos of Central Park flowers taken from someone who loves flowers as much as food!
And another blog here from flower fanatic Matt Mattus in Worcester, Mass. He is also a superb photographer.
- Matt N.