It is nearly cherry blossom blooming season at Hakone Gardens in Saratoga, Calif. This is a photo I took several years ago. There is a modest charge to enter Hakone, but it’s well worth paying; in fact, I recommend purchasing a membership to support the estate. If you live in the Bay Area, you can then return multiple times to enjoy the entire blooming season, which also includes water lilies and wisteria. The cherry blossoms usually bloom at their height in mid-March, but each year is a bit different. In the past few years, I’ve photographed a lot in early March; whereas, before the 5-year drought, I photographed most in mid- to late March.


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