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      Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.

      Showing posts with label Prunus. Show all posts
      Showing posts with label Prunus. Show all posts

      Saturday, April 10, 2010


      Washington DC seems to own the US brand on cherry blossom festivals but I'm enamored of the cherry trees that grow in Brooklyn. Having gone to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden last year about this time, I wasn't planning to go again so soon, yet daughter Jen was in town, escaping from the still-winter of New Hampshire. We agreed BBG was a must-see. There's always something new, or a different way of viewing a favorite scene. Alan Rokach, noted garden photographer and my first photo teacher, says that when you think you've shot a subject in the best way possible, there's always another way. (double click on the photo above to enlarge).
      Ben, Jen & I arrived early last Saturday morning joining a small group waiting to take advantage of the relative serenity. By the time we left at 1pm the crowd of viewers had intensified. This group of young people were gazing at the koi in the pond below. Another favorite stopping off place was the log crammed with basking turtles across the pond, near the bridge.At Magnolia Plaza in
      front of the main
      building, the deep
      magenta Magnolia
      'Vulcan' drew all
      eyes. Every group
      of family or
      friends had at
      least one camera:
      our group of three
      had three, and we
      all took shots of
      'Vulcan' This one
      is courtesy of Ben.

      The cherry blos-
      som story will
      continue to unfold
      for the next few
      weeks, as differ-
      ent varieties
      come into bloom.
      It's worth a trip to see the spectacular Cherry Esplanade of Prunus 'Kazan' first planted in 1921. The yellow Magnolias 'Elizabeth' is also on its way to full bloom. If you're like me, beware the crowds on the official festival, May 1&2. If you love to people watch, by all means go then.

      The Paper Bush that attracted attention on my post of 1/28/2010 was in full bloom this trip. When I first laid eyes on it in January the big buds looked like popcorn puffs. Now the flowers are more like powder puffs. Looking great from January through April is a hard trick in any New York City garden. Though my hort encyclopedia lists this Edgeworthia as hardy in Zones 8-10, it sure looks like a NYC winner to me.

      Wednesday, April 22, 2009


      Stop what you’ve been doing. Go to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Stroll among the flowering cherry trees, the magnolias and flowering crab apples. Go home. Enjoy the rest of your day, week, month…Especially beautiful right now are the Weeping Japanese Cherry, Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula’ around the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden. A Cherry Watch Blossom Status Map on the BBG website shows you where each tree is and its stage of bloom from bud stage to post peak. The famous BBG Cherry Blossom Viewing Season (Hanami) runs from 4/4 to 5/10 this year, with over 50 Japanese cultural events planned for the Festival Weekend of May 2-3; everything from drumming, traditional kimono show, bonsai pruning, folk dance, manga and anime, origami, food. Go to BBG.org for program and directions.

      On the cherry esplanade 76 Prunus ‘Kanzan’ are in early bud. just starting to show a pinkish tinge and should be in full bloom for the main part of the festival. The torii, a vermilion wooden structure in the pond announces the presence of a Shinto shrine among the pine trees on the hill of the Japanese garden. Kids love to watch colorful koi swimming lazily and dozens of turtles sunning themselves on logs in the pond.BBG prolongs the display of bloom throughout the festival month by planting over 40 cultivars of flowering cherry. I went to BBG, taking three trains, to view the cherry blossoms, but found I was entranced by the Magnolia collection as well, including the magnificent yellow variety ‘Elizabeth’. Leaving the pond area I was startled to see a large camellia in full bloom. Just wait 'til I tell my sister in Oregon, who always brags about hers.Other Ellen went to Japan to view the cherry blossoms. I went to Brooklyn and D.C. So there!

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