Flowers in full bloom

15:17, April 12, 2010      

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Cherry blossoms at Yuyuantan Park.

This winter was a tease - every hint of spring was torn from Beijingers' grasping fingers by harsh winds and late-season snow showers. Nature noticed. "It's almost one month late for the flowers in Beijing to blossom. Plants are slouchy on cold days too," Zhang Huijun, senior engineer of the Beijing Xiangshan Botanical Gardens told Lifestyle. "But there's not only a dark side. Some bulbous geophytes actually need lower temperatures to develop bigger buds. People can expect to see even more beautiful blossoms."

Cherry blossoms

1. This year's 12th Cherry Blossom Festival, with the theme "Hua Kai Ru Yi" (flowers blooming as you wish), will be held in Yuyuantan Park, as always. According to the management office, the park has about 2,000 cherry plants in 20 varieties, including sargentii and somei-yoshino imported from Japan, as well as Chinese-bred variants that are planted alongside the park's Ba Yi Lake.

The 25 hectares in the northwest section of the park are known as "The Cherry Garden," while in the northeastern corner, about 1,000 begonias are in feathery pink-and-white bloom.

For the 50th anniversary of Yuyuantan's foundation, they will have 5,000 small gifts to distribute to visitors.

Date: Until April 30

Hours: 6 am to 8:30 pm

Tel: 8865-3804/06

Address: No. 10 Middle-West Third Ring Road, Haidian District

Tickets: 10 yuan each

2. Escape the blossom-gawking hordes while still getting a great view of the cherries by perching in the Central TV Tower's revolving restaurant at 221 meters above ground (out of the tower's possible 405-meter height), directly across the street from Yuyuantan Park. The restaurant's third "Sakura Food Festival" is held during the same time as the blossom-viewing season, and offers traditional Japanese snacks, mochi with strawberries, and Japanese-style cold noodles (hiyashi soba).

Tel: 6845-0715

Address: No. 11 Middle-West Third Ring Road, Haidian District
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