Welcome to Arlington Garden in Pasadena

This 3 acre lot is owned by Caltrans and is leased to the City of Pasadena. The site was to have been a staging area for the construction of the 710 Freeway but had been vacant since 1961. Council member Steve Madison from District 6 initiated the project, requesting Betty and Charles "Kicker" McKenney to head up a steering committee to determine the best use of the site. Betty suggested a garden since the neighbors were interested in a passive development.

This garden is inspired by Jan Smithen's book Sun Drenched Gardens: The Mediterranean Style and is designed by Mayita Dinos. It has been developed by a collaboration among Arlington Garden in Pasadena, a nonprofit corporation, the City of Pasadena, through its Public Works Department, and the Pasadena Water and Power Department, with help from the Mediterranean Garden Society and Pasadena Beautiful Foundation. Support has come from the Metropolitan Water District, garden clubs, local business, nurseries, neighbors, and friends.

Our basic aim is to develop a water-wise garden that is in harmony with our mediterranean climate. The garden's colors and cover attract and show butterflies and birds to this formerly barren lot and show the community how beautiful, practical, water-wise and satisfying a well planned and maintained climate-appropriate garden can be. 

The Garden has demonstrated to private property owners, commercial developers, and those who drive past the site each day the beauty and practicality of drought tolerant gardens. The City has used our experience to plan and develop small gardens and to landscape public places throughout Pasadena and provided guidance to developers and property owners.

Local public and private school students learn horticulture. College and universities use the garden as a laboratory and classroom to train their landscape architecture and horticulture students. Residents have the opportunity to plant and help maintain the garden according to our plan.

Best of all, Arlington Garden in Pasadena allows visitors and passersby to enjoy the beauty and serenity of a garden in our urban setting.