Arlington Garden is Pasadena’s only garden that is dedicated to the public. In 1902, John Durand searched for the perfect piece of land to build his magnificent mansion on. He came across Arlington Drive in April of that year, and decided to purchase it. These 10 acres of land soon became the site of Durand’s French inspired mansion. The house’s floor space took up over 17,000 square feet. Not to mention the fifty rooms that were spread across the three story home.

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© Arlington Garden in Pasadena

Durand’s home was thought to be the largest house in California and the southwest. In front of the hotel-sized mansion sat 600 feet of what architects called a “tropical paradise”. Various desert plants grew among one another and integrated with dense bushes and roses. When John M. Durand III died in 1960, the family decided to sell the belongings that were in the home, and have the home demolished.

Flash forward to 2003 when the city of Pasadena began to discuss what should be down with the vacant Arlington Drive lot that once housed Durand’s mansion. One Pasadena resident, Betty McKenney, suggested to the city council that the lot become a garden with Mediterranean plants. Word spread that McKenney wanted to make the lot a garden, and Cal Poly Pomona students even drafted what the garden could possibly look like. With the collaboration of Cal Poly Pomona, the McKenney family, the city council, and Pasadena Water and Power, the Arlington Garden in Pasadena, CA, was created.

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© Arlington Garden in Pasadena

The Arlington Garden in Pasadena is designed with different garden rooms. Across the large acreage, the garden rooms act as a way to section off the different types of plants and themes. There are approximately 20 different garden rooms at the Arlington Garden in Pasadena.

Australian features plants that are native in Australia. Since California is drought tolerant, these Australia native plants can easily grow and prosper at the Arlington Garden in Pasadena. Some of the plants visitors can find in this room are the; pink gaura, grevillea, and acacia low boy.

Baja California Scrub showcases some of California’s native plants in a way that demonstrates their historical significance. When visitors stroll through the Baja California Scrub room, they will feel as if they are visiting the coastal areas of California. This room includes; apricot mallows, blue hesper palms, and giant needlegrass.

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3.More Things to Do

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© Arlington Garden in Pasadena

Cactus Collection has some of the world’s most unique and beautiful cacti. Between the various cacti, aloe, and agave, this room has one of the country’s most diverse and abundant succulent collections.

Half Moon Garden is designed with the moon in mind. This garden room has plants that reflect the moon’s lunar cycle. Some of the highlighted plants in this garden room include the; coyote bush, gooseberry, matilija poppy, and coral bell.

Toyon Patio is a nice way to take a break from exploring the Arlington Garden in Pasadena while still viewing some of the magnificent plants that reside there. There are a few benches and tables in this area, where visitors can sit down and gaze at the marina strawberry trees, pink jasmine, and toyon.

Wish Tree Terrace is another place where visitors can take a second to reflect on the true beauty of the Arlington Garden in Pasadena. The Wish Tee Terrace is full of a combination of tables, chairs, and even umbrellas to keep you hidden in the shade. Various plants reside in the Wish Tree Terrace, such as succulents and Yoko Ono’s famous crape myrtle wish trees (hence the name Wish Tree Terrace). There is even a small fountain and a meditation area that is located near the center of Wish Tree Terrace.

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4.Educational Opportunities

Educational Opportunities
© Arlington Garden in Pasadena

Education is extremely important to the trustees and employees of the Arlington Garden in Pasadena. The Arlington Garden in Pasadena allows schools to take field trips and use their facilities as a way to teach lessons about horticulture. After school programs consist of Girl Scout and Eagle Scout meetings.

Sometimes, the various scouts participate in planting activities at the garden. Even college age students use the Arlington Garden in Pasadena as a learning ground. An example of this is found within the USC School of Landscape Design. Each year, the students enrolled in the USC School of Landscape Design regularly visit the garden to gain inspiration, reflect on the seasonal changes of the garden, and explore nature in-depth. Finally, the Arlington Garden in Pasadena offers various classes that are geared towards adults who want to learn how to apply professional horticulture basics to their house gardens.

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3766 Nye Ave, Riverside, CA 92505, Phone: 951-689-2340

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Pasadena, California: Arlington Garden