On Daughter's first day of Easter vacation, we skipped the park and headed here, to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, because we suspected this sort of thing was happening on Magnolia Plaza.
I don't think they have ever been this riotously gorgeous. People were stumbling around in a magnolia-drugged haze, nuzzling blossoms, taking cell-phone pictures, and just gazing into the spring sky. The breeze smelled like perfumed French soap.
There are pink ones, a few glowing buttery yellow ones, and snowy-white ones, their black branches a spare and elegant contrast.
We had lunch, bought some seeds (chervil, marigolds, black-eyed susan vine) and then headed back to the magnolias via Daffodil Hill, still at peak. Daughter objected violently when I could not resist humming Lara's theme from Dr. Zhivago and swanning about like Julie Christie.
In the Fragrance Garden, I solved a lifelong mystery: Since violets don't have any smell, where do they get violet perfume? The answer: I've been smelling the wrong kind of violets. These ones, aptly named viola odorata, emit a cloud of that elusive and haunting bouquet. I have never been to Paris, but I'm told that bunches of them are sold there on the street.