Arlington Garden in Pasadena

Land held by Caltrans is home to the three-acre garden known as Arlington Garden. The city of Pasadena has entrusted Arlington Garden in Pasadena area, a 501(c)(3) organization, with the lease of the property. Besides being pet and human-friendly, this garden is also a safe haven for the local flora and fauna of Pasadena. Some of the most common and year-round visible insects and animals are birds, bees, and butterflies.

The Mediterranean Garden Society and the Pasadena Beautiful Foundation provided financial support for the development of Arlington Garden alongside the City of Pasadena, the Arlington Garden, Pasadena Water & Power, and the Pasadena Department of Public Works. Garden groups, businesses, nurseries, neighbors, and friends all provide ongoing help.

A former 710 highway staging area now serves as Arlington Garden. Community opposition put an end to the motorway, but the stripped and compacted area remained empty until the garden was established in 2005.

Betty and Charles McKenney, the garden’s original founders, were among the first people Pasadena City Councilmember Steve Madison approached in 2002. His intention was to get feedback on possible plans for the empty lot. The community came together and decided to turn the area into a garden, with significant input from Betty.

Betty and Charles and landscape designer Mayita Dinos got the ball rolling on the garden in 2005 with the support of Cynthia Kurtz, the city’s former manager. Sun-Drenched Gardens, by Jan Smithen, served as their inspiration. The first of numerous plantings started that summer of 2005. The mission of this public water-efficient garden was to highlight the Mediterranean climate of Southern California. The garden they started is a great example of what can be accomplished with careful planning, minimal water use, and plants that thrive in the local environment.

Over time, the garden’s goal shifted to include showcasing regenerative gardening techniques, such as not using herbicides, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers, and supporting urban animal habitat.

The Arlington Garden is Pasadena’s sole public garden. They are accessible to the public daily during daylight hours, 365 days a year. Partners and guests alike have generously contributed to making the garden accessible free of charge.

Keep the garden in its best condition for all visitors by taking photos in a spontaneous manner (it’s free and not a hassle). However, a price and a permit are required for any prearranged photographic sessions in the garden, such as weddings, groups, portraits, and proms. The whole thing doesn’t take long, and then you can shoot without worrying about the garden.

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