Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang: Brooklyn Botanic Garden Celebrates Hanami, the Cherry Blossom Season, Sunday, April 1–Sunday, April 29, 2012

From April 1 to 29, Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) celebrates Hanami, the Japanese cultural tradition of experiencing each moment of the cherry blossom season, from the first buds to the full canopy to the multitudes of falling blossoms blanketing the ground.

Cherry Blossoms at Brooklyn Botanic Garden (Photo by Lia Chang)

Cherry Blossoms at Brooklyn Botanic Garden (Photo by Lia Chang)

In Japan, long-established customs associated with Hanami include strolling among the trees and capturing falling cherry petals in open palms. Brooklyn Botanic Garden is the United States’ finest site to experience Hanami, with more Japanese flowering cherries in one place, and a more diverse collection of cherry cultivars, than anywhere in the world outside Japan.
Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden: weeping Higan cherry, Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula’. (Photo by Lia Chang)

Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden: weeping Higan cherry, Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula’. (Photo by Lia Chang)

During the Hanami season, visitors to BBG can enjoy several highlights inspired by its collection of over 220 flowering cherry trees:

Free Hanami tours (Saturdays and Sundays at 3 p.m.) focusing on BBG’s Japanese plant collections and specialty gardens, including the cherries, the C.V. Starr Bonsai Museum, and the Tree Peony Collection.
• Meet the Curator session with Chris Roddick, senior arborist
• Selection of special Japanese menu items at BBG’s Zagat-rated Terrace Café
• The Hanami Collection at BBG’s Gift Shop (both on-site and online at shop.bbg.org), featuring handpicked items inspired by the Garden’s blossoms and Japanese aesthetics

Cherry Esplanade (Photo by Lia Chang)

Cherry Esplanade (Photo by Lia Chang)

The cherry display will be tracked in real time on BBG’s web-based CherryWatch feature, which maps the entire collection and provides daily blooming updates. A perennially popular subject for photographers both amateur and professional, the Garden also encourages all visitors to share their cherry blossom images in its Hanami photo pool on Flickr.

The four weeks of Hanami culminate in the Garden’s legendary weekend festival Sakura Matsuri—popularly referred to as “New York’s rite of spring” and the nation’s largest event in a public garden. Conceived as a thrilling tribute to the Garden’s iconic display, Sakura Matsuri is scheduled for April 28 and 29, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, with over 60 performances, demonstrations, and exhibits—many of which are specially commissioned for this dynamic celebration. More information will be available at bbg.org/sakuramatsuri.

For more information on Hanami and Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s cherry blossoms, please visit bbg.org/discover/cherries.

Other articles by Lia Chang:
Photos: BD Wong in Rehearsal for “Passing It On: An Evening of Mentorship to Benefit Rosie’s Theater Kids”
Photos: Highlights of Shinsai: Theaters for Japan (3pm) with Andre Bishop, Mary Beth Hurt, Jennifer Lim, Angela Lin, Philip Kan Gotanda, Thom Sesma, Sab Shimono, Richard Thomas, Jay O. Sanders, and more
Photos: Highlights of Shinsai: Theaters for Japan (8pm) with Oskar Eustis, Patti LuPone, Lisa Emery, Ann Harada, Paolo Montalban, Thom Sesma, Sab Shimono, Henry Stram, Richard Thomas, John Weidman and more
Photos: In Rehearsal with Director Bartlett Sher and the cast of Shinsai: Theaters for Japan
Thom Sesma, Patti LuPone, Cindy Cheung, Jennifer Lim, Sab Shimono, James Yaegashi and more set for Shinsai: Theaters for Japan Benefit on March 11 at the Great Hall at Cooper Union in New York
Multimedia: Exclusive photos and video of Disney’s The Lion King Las Vegas -In the Makeup Chair with Thom Sesma
David Henry Hwang to Receive 2012 William Inge Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre Award
The SFIAAFF30 Kicks Off with World Premiere of White Frog Featuring Booboo Stewart, Harry Shum, Jr., Joan Chen, Kelly Hu and BD Wong, at the Castro Theater on March 8
Tony award-winning actor BD Wong stars in NBC’s Awake; video preview and interview
Chinglish Playwright David Henry Hwang Moderates “RepresentAsian: The Changing Face of New York Theater” at Pope Auditorium at Fordham University
Photos: Yellow Fever Playwright Rick Shiomi Explores New Territory with An All-Female Cast
Coming to America through The Angel Island Immigration Station
Orville Mendoza Joins the Broadway Cast of Peter and the Starcatcher, Previews Begin March 28 at the Brooks Atkinson
Photos: Laila Robins, Sean Dugan, C.J. Wilson, Peter Francis James, Bill Irwin and Tricia Paoluccio at Signature Theatre Company’s revival of Edward Albee’s The Lady From Dubuque
Photos: “How To Succeed” stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rose Hemingway and John Larroquette at Lord & Taylor for Windows Unveiling
Multimedia: Promises, Promises’ Stars Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes at Lord & Taylor Fifth Ave
Broadwayworld.com Photo Flash: Library of Congress’ IN REHEARSAL Exhibit
Photos: David Duchovny, John Earl Jelks, Amanda Peet, Tracee Chimo at Opening Night Party of Neil LaBute’s Break of Noon
Celebrating my mom – AN ACTIVE VISION: BEVERLY UMEHARA…LABOR ACTIVIST…1945-1999
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang. Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

Lia Chang. Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography


Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist.
All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2012 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at lia@backstagepasswithliachang.com.

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