While the cherry blossoms get all the attention, the magnolias at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden are showstoppers of their own, and now is the time to see them.
Founded in 1910, the garden has more than 18,000 kinds of plants spread out over its 52-acre site on the eastern boundary of Prospect Park.
A visit this week found Magnolia Plaza bursting forth with delicate blooms. There are roughly 30 different specimens flowering in the area surrounding the 1912 Administration and Library Building.
While some of the early bloomers, like the star magnolias, are nearing the end of their moment of glory, there are still some softly colored buds that have yet to open. The latest bloomers, the sweet-bay magnolias, should appear in June.
A few of the more than 200 flowering cherry trees are already blooming this week, although the full beauty is yet to come. If you are waiting for a specific location or varietal to bloom you may want to check out the garden’s “Cherry Watch” map. It’s updated once a week to show the bloom status.
The largest concentration of cherries can be spotted in the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, the Cherry Cultivars Area, Cherry Walk, Cherry Esplanade and the Osborne Garden. The photogenic Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden has been closed while construction moves forward on the garden’s water conservation project but it will reopen next week in time for peak viewing season.
Most important, it will reopen in time for the Sakura Matsuri festival on April 27 and 28. With more than 60 events and performances planned, it’s an opportunity for Brooklynites and other city dwellers to celebrate spring and immerse themselves in the sights and sounds of the seasonal festivities. Click here for more information.
General admission to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is $15 for adults, $8 for students and seniors and free for children under 12. From March through November, admission is free on Friday mornings from 8 a.m. to noon.
Regular hours for the garden are Tuesdays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. During the peak spring bloom season the garden will be open until 8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays. For more information on hours and admission, click here.
[Photos by Susan De Vries]
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