Japanese cherry blossoms are beginning to bloom across the city and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is inviting New Yorkers to experience the delicate display up close. NY1's Stephanie Simon filed the following report.
As New Yorkers it's not really in our DNA to stop and smell the roses but every April gives us a chance to pause and celebrate the cherry blossoms. NY1 got a look at the very first trees to bloom this season Friday at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
"This tree has a very showy flower. Though It's small and delicate but thousands of blossoms all on this one tree with this red bark," says Brooklyn Botanic Garden Grounds Foreman Chris Roddick.
And while one or two blossoming trees might not seem like cause to celebrate as people await all 200 trees to go full bloom over the next few weeks, in fact it is the Japanese tradition of Hanami to mark each phase of the cherry blossom.
"It's a really amazing tradition because it forces us to really pay attention to nature and sometimes in New York we lose track of that," says Brooklyn Botanic Garden Director of Public Programs Anita Jacobs.
And as is the tradition, the botanic garden will host a weekend long festival celebrating Japanese culture on April 26th and 27th.
Stephanie Simon: Anita, do you recommend everybody wear cherry blossom inspired jewelry when they come?
Jacobs: Absolutely. What's fun is a lot of people come dressed in traditional kimonos and crazy blue hair and cosplay and people really enjoy dressing to come here.
When the cherry blossoms are in full bloom visitors come by the thousands to enjoy them. But in fact there are 52 acres of gardens at the Brooklyn sanctuary. So you you can also come to see the tulips, the magnolias and the daffodils.
New Yorkers can also track the cherry blossoms progress on the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's website at BBG.org.
The celebration doesn't end until all the flowers fall and blanket the ground.