Every year, crowds descend on the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to see the 75 trees on the Cherry Esplanade bloom into a riot of pink. Because cherry blossom trees only remain in flower for a week, the window of opportunity to see them is very narrow. This year, I made it my goal to see them bloom—and it was well-worth the trip.
Thanks to the garden’s handy “Cherrywatch” map, I could keep an eye on the trees and time our visit just right. As soon as I saw that the Esplanade and Cherry Walk were in peak bloom, we made our way over to Prospect Park to finally see the trees for ourselves.
The gardens open at 10 AM on Saturday, and by the time we arrived at 9:45 AM there was already a line snaking around the entry gates, and people kept joining the line in a continuous stream up until opening time. Even though it felt like we were entering with quite the crowd, it didn’t compete with the mass of people we saw as we were leaving a few hours later, and there was a mile-long traffic jam just to get into the parking lot. Clearly, plenty of folks had as much of an eagle eye on the “Cherrywatch” as I did.After spending some time checking out the famous trees, we decided to meander through the rest of the gardens.My favorite area (aside from the cherries of course!) was the Fragrance Garden. While it was too early for the fragrant plants this garden is known for, the area was planted with a mass of burgundy and magenta flowers.If you want to see the cherry blossoms they usually appear sometime from late March to mid-May, so it’s worth keeping an eye on the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s website to find out when it’s go time. They don’t typically open until there’s a string of warm days…that’s why they didn’t bloom this year until the first week of May.