Meriden Daffodil Festival at Hubbard Park

With spring upon us, the Meriden Daffodil Festival in Hubbard Park is another good place to go for brilliant spring flowers and landscapes. The festival is set for specific dates, usually the last weekend in April, but the best time to go to photograph the scenery would not be when the festival is on, but any time before or shortly afterwards. Hubbard Park is a large driving park located near the Meriden city center, and is very different from the rural locale of Laurel Ridge. There is a large pond circled by a paved road with a large parking area. The daffodils are planted along the road, in the grass and under the park trees. Plan to park in the lot, or at any of the locations along the road, and walk to view and shoot the daffodils.

Late April is a good time to get out to photograph the daffodils at Hubbard Park in Meriden.

Late April is a good time to get out to photograph the daffodils at Hubbard Park in Meriden.

What to Photograph

With 600,000 daffodils (61 varieties) planted in the park, it’s easy to get what looks like a sea of color in one shot. Many are planted among trees, looking like a carpet of yellow and white at their base. And some areas have a rugged rocky backdrop. Walk around and look for some interesting areas to photograph close-ups, small vignettes or larger landscapes. The pond is surrounded by the road and a few small structures, but you might be able to incorporate the water in a shot or two.

Of course, if you go to the festival, there are lots of other things to photograph. There is a parade and fireworks on Saturday, a craft show and two stages with musical events all weekend. Check the website for details and times (http://www.daffodilfest.com).

Yellow daffodils carpet the ground at the foot of birch trees in the park.

Yellow daffodils carpet the ground at the foot of birch trees in the park.

When to go

Mid-April through early May is the best time to see the daffodils in bloom. The festival website lists the date of the annual Festival. This year it is April 26 and 27. The weather will determine the time for peak blooms, so pay attention to what is blooming in your area and plan to visit around the time you see daffodils in bloom. The season is fairly long, so there is bound to be blooms during a three to four week period, but for the biggest show, try to go at the peak bloom time. Be aware that this is a very popular place and there can be many visitors wandering or driving through at peak times. I suggest the early morning is the best time of day to visit to avoid too many other people.

Have someone sit among the daffodils to capture a seasonal portrait.

Have someone sit among the daffodils to capture a seasonal portrait.

Tips and Techniques

If you are taking close-ups, you’ll be down low on the ground. You might remember to take something to lie or kneel on, especially if the ground is damp in the early morning or after a rain.

Try using a long lens, with a shallow depth of field to get in close to the flower while blurring the background. Experiment with different f-stops to get a feel for the effect that has on the depth-of-field.  Of course, a macro lens is another must for close-ups, but with the shallow depth of field, it’s more difficult to get the entire daffodil in focus.

Take along a diffuser to soften bright sunlight on a sunny day. And remember to use a reflector to reflect light back onto the flower if it is heavily backlit.

Meriden Daffodil Festival at Hubbard Park

If using a GPS, enter the intersection of West Main Street and Mirror Lake Road, Meriden, CT, as the destination. Enter the park at Mirror Lake Road. This one-way road circles Mirror Lake, the large pond in the park.

Phone: 203-630-4259

Website:  http://www.daffodilfest.com

GPS coordinates: 41.5496130,-72.8325410; (41° 32′ 58.61” N,72° 49′ 57.15” W)

Parking is available in the parking areas or in designated spots along the park road.

Daffodils are massed together by color at this park. They are planted for maximum impact at festival time.

Daffodils are massed together by color at this park. They are planted for maximum impact at festival time.

This entry was posted in Central River Valley, Region and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *