It used to be one of Canberra's best-kept secrets - a tranquil plantation of pin-oaks, pines and cork trees on a tucked away part of Lake Burley Griffin's shoreline.
But in the decade since the Linsday Pryor Arboretum was rehabilitated, from a forgotten experiment to a charmed parkland, the place has seen a constant stream of visitors.
In what will be welcome news for anyone who has sought solace in Canberra's many choice parks and open spaces during this fraught period, the arboretum, located across the Tuggeranong Parkway from the National Arboretum Canberra, is getting another facelift.
The National Capital Authority has announced plans to install a picnic ground, shelter and toilets, as well as plantings of around 30 new oak trees.
It will be the realisation of both the original purpose of the arboretum - to experiment with different tree species in Canberra's climate - and of Walter and Marion Griffins' plans for a continental arboretum on the lakeshore.
Planted more than 60 years ago by Canberra's then director of Parks and Gardens Lindsay Pryor, the arboretum's original "official" purpose had been to provide the Governor-General with a pleasant view in 1956.
Sir William Slim, governor-general from 1953 to 1959, wanted something pretty to rest his eyes upon as he sat at his desk in Government House and gazed across what was then a bend in the Molonglo River.
Professor Pryor jumped at the opportunity, and designed the wooded landscape, with eucalypts and wattles, evergreen cork oaks and deciduous trees, to work in harmony with the tranquil precinct of Yarralumla and Government House.
He also ensured a spectacular view through the reedy banks across the water to the house itself - its front entrance and stately lawns, rather than the view of the back from the road most often glimpsed by tourists today.
Meanwhile, he was also testing out different species to populate Canberra's streets and parks, and the new plantings, of five new oak species, will be carrying on that work.
After Professor Pryor's death in 1998, the site was gazetted by the Government in 2001 and named to commemorate his outstanding contributions to Canberra and the nation, and to recognise the importance of trees and forests to Australia in the centuries ahead.
Duncan MacLennan, the NCA's Project Manager for Landscape Policy and Development, says the area has seen a constant stream of visitors since it was revitalised in 2010.
In the decades before, it had been neglected and closed off from the public.
But now, it's a regular destination for parkland and outdoor enthusiasts.
"We've got lots of people that walk their dogs there, it's now a popular place for people to park and ride for commuters," Mr MacLennan says.
"Obviously we've got lots of tree enthusiasts that go out there, we've got fishers that use the site and we even get university groups - the students from the school of forestry at ANU have been there, and special interest groups.
"It's just a really popular place for people, and it's becoming more popular, not just on the weekends but during the week as well."
The upgrades will include a new path winding its way through the oak trees.
Mr MacLennan says the NCA has consulted with various community groups, including Friends of ACT Trees, of which retired forester John Gray is a member.
Dr Gray was also once Canberra's chief landscape architect; he worked closely with Professor Pryor and chaired the working group responsible for having the arboretum named after him.
He has been involved for years with ensuring the arboretum is properly cared for, and says he's pleased with the proposed upgrades.
"People who use it need to have signage there with background information on the trees that are there and on Lindsay Pryor," he says.
He also admitted to once being scolded by the Governor-General - years after Sir William Slim had left the post - for taking trees out of the area.
Although the work he was doing was in accordance with the arboretum's main purpose - using advanced trees for National Capital Development Commission projects - the man in the house was not pleased to see him besmirching what had become a prized view.
"I got a call from Government House and was asked to come out, which I did, and I got groused on because the Governor General could see me taking trees out," he says.
- Amenity improvements for the Linsday Pryor Arboretum are open for public consultation on the NCA's website, until June 15. Visit nca.gov.au for details.