Have recently discovered the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.
And it was so pretty that I went there twice in one week – once with my friend Pip and at the weekend with the H1B. I thought it would just be a very splendid, stylised park with neat rows of tulips and a few exotic orchids in some steamy, Victoriana-style hot houses, but actually it’s beautifully set up for visitors, of which there were many.
There’s plenty of kiddy areas for horticulturally-minded squealers and lovely, peaceful avenues of trees in riotous magnolia and cherry blossom for the adults.
It seems to have attracted every pregnant woman in New York City too. Must be something about the ozone or oxygen in the air, but the place was heaving (groaning?) with expectant mothers, proudly cradling their bellies and breathing in the serenity (and hopefully undoing the negative effects of last night’s glass of pinot and the stress caused by a weekend visit to the stroller department of Buy Buy Baby — mistake!).
Over the last weekend in April, the gardens are holding the Sakura Matsuri festival – or the Japanese cherry tree festival; a culmination of Hanami, which is Japan’s way of celebrating and appreciating every day the sublime cherry tree is in flower.
If you haven’t seen a cherry blossom up close, imagine that a mythical nymph made a pom-pom out of the finest magenta and pink fairy silk and turned it into a flower, which was designed to sway and blow against the backdrop of a deep azure sky – that’ll get you about half way to how ridiculously pretty they are.
You don’t have to go the BBG to see them, of course, as the streets of the West Village and Brooklyn are filled with the trees, turning the whole city into a scene from the pages of a wedding magazine and showering lucky passers-by with their confetti. However, the ones at the gardens are especially beautiful.