Garden Destinations: Arlington Gardens, Pasadena

arling ton garden pasadena claifornia public private garden partnership

Why is it that every time I go to CA to visit my husbands family we NEVER go to Pasadena? Near as I can tell, it’s like garden heaven.  Next time, I am putting my foot down and we WILL fight traffic for hours and and we WILL see all the lovely gardens, and if it’s over the holidays we WILL go to the Parade.  (Because, I truly LOVE A PARADE.)

Top on my list is Arlington Gardens which sits on the site of what was once the biggest mansion on California’s Millionaires Row.  Now, only a fraction of what was once a 20 acre estate, this 3 acre garden was built by the community and is now a place where anyone can go enjoy flowers and the seasonal changes from sunrise to sunset.

succulents planted water feature arlington garden pasadena california

“Gardens help sustain us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually,” says Betty McKenney (one of the main organizers for the garden). “They differ from parks in that plants and trees provide the focal point in a garden. You won’t find play structures or merry go rounds here. You don’t need to run to see what’s here. It will wait for you to discover it. Of all the positive comments we have heard, one by a PUSD middle school student following a summer class at Westridge captures it perfectly. When asked by the teacher what she liked about Arlington Garden, the student wrote that she likes the Garden ‘because I can hear my thoughts here.’”

arlington garden pasadena california

durand manion historic image

The building of the garden turned up many remnants from the demolition of the Durand Mansion that once stood there. Many of the architecturally interesting pieces were used int he hardscaping of the garden and remind visitors of the sites heritage and the region’s history.   The whole place could be seen as an idea garden for water wise landscaping, or you can just go and enjoy the flowers.

all images from arlington gardens

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.
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  1. marissa on March 21, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    If you are ever in Pasadena again, the Huntington gardens are amazing and a beautiful place to walk.

  2. Annie Haven/Authentic Haven Brand on March 21, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Thank you for the inspirational idea to plant a fountain…Looks wonderful Annie

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