I must confess I last visited Lincoln's Arboretum many years ago. Yesterday however I had arranged to meet a portrait customer there, at their request, so had he opportunity to re-discover the park.
The Arboretum was originally designed & formed in the 1870's by one of the most celebrated Victorian gardeners of his time, Edward Milner and has apparently seen something of a regeneration in recent years.
In my mind the park has suffered through reputation in recent years and I confess to being a little surprised at the suggestion to meet there. Stories of anti-social behaviour, maintenance budget cuts and, here's the photography bit, some truly awful photos shared on social media by 'photographers' have all had me avoiding a visit with my camera.
So to yesterday's visit. I arrived early with the intention of exploring the park, checking out locations for the shoot but also just to re-discoer The Arboretum generally. As we're experiencing one of the hottest & driest summers for many years the park was parched & dry with very limited colours throughout so I was attracted to the detail, the shapes and patterns in the landscape.
The more I looked, the more I discovered subjects to photograph as well as opportunities to view subjects from different angles. The Arboretum is a sloping, terraced sight which is great for gaining elevation and shooting from unusual angles. Even some of the anti-social behaviour has offered opportunities (I assume the dog sculpture below wasn't originally created with a moustache!)
The fountains within The Arboretum are the focus of those 'photos' I refer to above and they are undeniably photogenic but just like the park as a whole, offer so much more to discover, particular in detail, colour & texture. Maybe, just like me, people need to take time to explore, open their minds a little and discover the unique charm of this park.
The park was quiet when I visited but I couldn't resist including some of the people using it to add a little colour and animation.
The Arboretum is on the north side of Monks Road, Lincoln & below the County Hospital. Car parking is on street in the Monks Road area or (as I did) on Lindum Terrace above the Arboretum. Parking here allows you to walk down into the park but does mean you have to 'climb' back up via the steps or steeper paths. There are lots of buses running along Monks Road and the park is only a short walk from the City Centre.
The Arboretum is a surprisingly beautiful space within a very busy, populated area of the City but one which deserves to be visited, explored & enjoyed. I can't wait to visit again but hopefully next time there'll be a little more colour to see and perhaps more people to bring the space to life. Maybe I'll see you there next time but if you visit please take your time to discover your own unique details, views and images, you'll be surprised at what you find and you'll leave with images full of personality.