Anna and Greg’s springtime Arnold Arboretum engagement photography session was so much fun! These two wanted to stay near the Boston area, but preferred a woodsy backdrop for their photos. The Arnold Arboretum is an expansive 281-acre property owned by Harvard University, and is oldest arboretum in the country!
Here are a few of our favorites from this May engagement session in Boston…
More about this Arnold Arboretum Engagement Photography Session:
So many of our couples are from the Boston area, and while they love the city, most want a more natural backdrop for their engagement photos. The Boston Common is an obvious option, but it’s always so crowded. The Arnold Arboretum is one of our favorite woodsy locations that you can literally take the train (the T) to get to. This location provides secluded woodsy paths, open fields, ponds, and lots of different foliage depending on the time of year.
Getting to the Arnold Arboretum:
The Arnold Arboretum’s official address is 125 Arborway in Boston, but there are several entrances to the property. When we schedule engagement sessions here, we typically park near the South Street entrance. There is a small parking lot there (as well as street parking) and it offers a quick entry into the Arboretum. Admission to the Arboretum is, wait for it, completely free! We love exploring the Hemlock Hill area, especially at sunset. This location typically involves a bit of walking, but the paths are all flat and easy to navigate.
Best time of year for an engagement session at the Arnold Arboretum:
Of course, with a venue like this, any time of year can be picturesque… but we do have some suggestions. Planning an engagement session here in the spring is beautiful, but the month of May is when the blooming rhododendrons put on a show! Summer sessions in June, July and August are all lovely with lush green backdrops. If you are wanting peak fall colors, aim for mid to late October. The fall foliage is always stunning in New England, and the Arnold Arboretum offers vibrant backdrops of deep oranges, yellows and reds if you time it right!
History of the Arnold Arboretum:
The Arboretum was first established in 1872 when the property was left in James Arnold’s will to Harvard College. Charles Sprague Sargent, the first director of the Arboretum, created a unique lease between Harvard and the City of Boston in 1882. The 1,000 year lease stated that Harvard owned the land and would maintain the property for public use every single day of the year and the Arboretum would become a part of the city parks system. Eventually the Arboretum was included in the city’s famous “Emerald Necklace” greenbelt area designed by Frederick Law Olmstead.
The Arboretum encompasses 281 acres within the Jamaica Plain section of Boston. It is the home of various research projects as well as educational programs for school groups and the general public. As of November of 2020 the Arboretum has 15,500 individual plants, representing over 2,000 different species.