13 Jun 2017

Lanzarote | Jardín De Cactus

Not long ago Kyle and I went away on holiday to Lanzarote and whilst there we decided to visit Jardín De Cactus, César Manrique's cactus garden.  I'd been to Lanzarote and the garden a few times as a child, the last being when I was around sixteen, so it was especially interesting to me to see if much had changed.  One change I was certain of was actually how much my love and appreciation for plants, especially cacti and succulents, has grown during this time.

The garden is appropriately located in the cactus-growing region in the north east of the island.  It is built in an old quarry and contains over 1000 different species of cacti in so many different shapes, colours and sizes.
The plants range from the tiny, to the quite frankly gigantic, with a few definitely being at least as tall as our house back home.  I was particularly drawn to ones with bright coloured flowers, or that were unusual shapes.

I love the way that every inch of the garden has been transformed into a piece of art, be it living or static, even the toilet entrances! 
One thing that really struck a chord with me was the variety of textures and how they contrasted to that of gardens in the UK.  Built out of the natural volcanic rock of the region, the backdrop to the garden was already rather different; all craggy, sharp and rough.  Combining that with the seemingly endless assortment of spines, leaves and wispy hairs of the cacti, along with their almost sea creature-like appearance.
I was pretty excited to photograph the plants, because I can remember really clearly how the last time I visited, I had this little point and shoot camera and I was so thrilled to discover its macro setting.  So much so, that I proceeded to take as many close up shots as I could, experimenting with the very limited kit that I had.  The funny thing is that not much has changed, just my knowledge and camera (and I suppose both the plants and I have grown somewhat).  I still get excited in a child-like manner at weird and wonderful plants and how I can capture them through photography.

I had thought that to a certain extent, my transition into wanting to do photography professionally was only a relatively recent thing, however having been struck with photo related memories and nostalgia when we visited the cactus garden, I realised it has most definitely been a long time coming.

If you're planning a trip to Lanzarote and would like to visit the Jardín De Cactus, you can find more info here.


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