The community is invited to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Arlington Garden Saturday, May 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 275 Arlington Dr. (northwest corner of Arlington Drive and Pasadena Avenue).
Visitors will receive updates on Arlington Garden, get advice from garden designer Mayita Dinos and native plant expert Thomas Juhasz, take self-guided tours, enjoy live music and strolling poets, watch bocce ball demonstrations, drink free coffee from Jones Coffee House and taste free samples of Arlington Garden Sweet Marmalade made from oranges grown in the garden. Pasadena City Councilman Steve Madison will begin a formal program at 11 a.m.
Jars of marmalade will be on sale at the event along with plein air paintings of the garden, books by local authors, jewelry and Adirondack-style furniture.
Yoko Ono’s 21 Wish Trees, donated to Arlington Garden following their exhibit at One Colorado, will be hung with a number of ideas for completing the garden’s master plan and sustaining the site. Visitors are encouraged to sponsor one or more wishes.
The property, owned by Caltrans, was the site of the opulent, 17,000-square-foot Durand Mansion built in 1901 and demolished in the early 1960s. After Caltrans acquired the property, it stood vacant for 40 years.
In 2003 Madison and former city manager Cynthia Kurtz approached Caltrans about the possibility of leasing the property for city purposes. Madison hosted several community meetings in 2004 during which residents gave input on potential uses ranging from active recreation, such as soccer fields, to passive use, such as a park.
When no consensus could be reached, Madison formed a committee led by Charles and Betty McKenney, who helped conceive of the idea for a different type of passive use: a Mediterranean garden. Colleges throughout the Los Angeles region were invited to submit their ideas, and students from Cal Poly Pomona created the conceptual drawings that helped guide the garden’s future direction.
With the support of Madison, Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard, former councilman Sid Tyler, Pasadena Water and Power, the Pasadena Public Works Department, neighbors, local schools, and dozens of donors and volunteers, Arlington Garden now includes thousands of California-native plants such as poppies, sunflowers and succulents, orchards of orange and olive trees, and many more species. The garden provides a respite for visitors and also includes benches, tables, birdbaths, statuary, fountains and meandering pathways.
“Gardens help sustain us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. 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,” said Betty McKenney. “A middle school student wrote that she likes Arlington Garden ‘because I can hear my thoughts here.’”
Arlington Garden is open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset. For more information visit www.arlingtongardeninpasadena.org or call (626) 441-4478
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Public Information Officer
City of Pasadena
Public Affairs Office
100 N. Garfield Ave., Room S228
Pasadena CA 91109
Cell: (626) 375-2742
Facebook: Pasadena PIO